'Trailer Park Boys' happy to be back for season eight

Robb Wells, Mike Smith, and John Paul Tremblay of 'The Trailer Park Boys' in Toronto, promoting...

Robb Wells, Mike Smith, and John Paul Tremblay of 'The Trailer Park Boys' in Toronto, promoting their new movie "Don't Legalize It," at The Grand Hotel, on Thursday April 3, 2014. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

Mike Smith is so devoted to his role on Trailer Park Boys that he has undergone a physical transformation.

“In the early seasons I would get nauseous wearing the glasses,” admitted Smith, who plays Bubbles. “But I can wear them now sort of indefinitely, my brain has adjusted to it.”

Wow. What a commitment.

“Oh yeah,” Smith said. “I definitely changed my brain chemistry for this role.”

It's a role that has been around for a long time, and it isn't going anywhere soon, with the eighth season of Trailer Park Boys debuting Friday, Sept. 5 on Netflix. Bubbles, Ricky (Robb Wells) and Julian (John Paul Tremblay) are up to the usual sorts of shenanigans that have made them so beloved across Canada and, increasingly, around the world.

“I think it's probably just the fact that behind all the swearing and the craziness and the gun fights and the drugs and the drinkin', there's this show about family and love,” said Smith, when asked about the enduring quality of Trailer Park Boys. “People subconsciously relate to the heart of the show.

“In this world, (Bubbles) ends up being the moral compass. He is dealt this hand. But he's with Ricky and Julian, and they're his brothers, basically. Bubbles will do whatever he has to do to keep those guys together and out of jail. That's his family.”

This isn't so much a revival as it is a continuation, because Trailer Park Boys never really went away.

“When the show ended (on Showcase in 2007), that was a decision by the producers at the time, Mike Volpe and Mike Clattenburg and Barrie Dunn,” Smith recalled. “I guess Mike Clattenburg decided he didn't want to do it any more, and that sort of ended the show. But nobody else really wanted it to end, including the fans.

“So me and Robb and J.P. started to do a live version of Trailer Park Boys that we've done now all over the world, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Ireland. And we realized from meeting people face to face that the fan base was not getting smaller. In fact, it was getting bigger and bigger, even though the show wasn't being made any more.

“Then the producers wanted to make another movie, so we sort of made a deal that we would do one more movie with them, but then we (Smith, Wells and Tremblay) would acquire the franchise after that. So we did that, then we wrote season eight, scraped the money together ourselves and put it into production, without knowing where it was going to be, we didn't have a broadcaster, we didn't have anything at that point. But we just knew, if we make the show, somebody is going to play it.”

For a variety of reasons, Smith is convinced Netflix is where Trailer Park Boys was meant to be.

“No. 1, we're not censored,” Smith said. “That was the problem, Trailer Park Boys started to get bleeped on Showcase, because they sort of changed their format, and we didn't want it to be bleeped because it just doesn't work. So it's really hard to get it on a network with the amount of swearing we engage in.

“Plus, it's going up on Netflix worldwide on Sept. 5, in all their territories. Netflix is just getting so big and so broad. And they don't meddle in the making of the show. They just say, 'Send it to us when you're done,' which is the way it should be, in my opinion. It makes for a better product. Netflix is a powerhouse, it's a total perfect fit for us.”

And neither Mike Smith nor his character Bubbles needed perfect vision to see it.

“My eyes are not great these days, but I think that's just because we're getting up there,” Smith said with a laugh. “It's nothing to do with the glasses.”

Twitter: @billharris_tv

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca


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