The Red Green Show: The Midlife Crisis Years (2000-2002) DVD Review: craziness at Possum Lodge undeterred

The Red Green Show was a Canadian television institution. It ran from 1991 to 2006 on CBC, and was picked up in the US by PBS. Acorn Media have been issuing the series chronologically in a boxed-set DVD format. The latest 9-disc package features seasons 10, 11, and 12 in a nine-disc package and called “The Midlife Crisis Years.” The set contains all 54 episodes that aired from 2000 - 2002.

red green

The craziness at Possum Lodge has not slowed down a bit, and there were some big changes going on as well. For one thing, Red’s sidekick/nephew Harold Green (Patrick McKnee) was completely absent from Season 10. Mcknee was working in Hollywood, and his departure from the series was explained by Harold going off to college. The character had proven a reliable foil for Red (Steve Smith) over the years, but the role was ably filled by Dalton Humphrey (Bon Bainborough).

Many of the show’s classic bits have remained. One of these is “The Possum Lodge Word Game,“ now hosted by Mike Hamar (Wayne Robson) rather than Harold. “North Of Forty” is back, with Red sitting behind his desk in the Lodge’s basement, offering words of wisdom for his fellow aging handymen. My personal favorite Red Green segment was always “Adventures With Bill.” This piece had been on the show since the debut. It is filmed in black and white, with no dialogue - only Red’s narration of the slapstick results of whatever project they are working on. The bit is now untitled, and features various cast members, although it retains the black and white format and Red’s narration.

In the first episode of Season 11, Harold returns. While still being Red’s goofy nephew, Harold has been hired as the new PR director for the town of Possum Lake. When Patrick McKnee appears unannounced, the studio audience gives him the heartiest reception the series ever witnessed. Season 12 finds the whole cast continuing their seemingly bottomless well of middle-age dumb guy jokes, all with a wink and quite a bit of ingenuity.

Another bit that has proven to be a huge fan favorite over the years is the “Handyman’s Corner” segment. Some of the creations Red comes up with are great. In one, he is bemoaning the fact that when you have friends over and want to serve popcorn as a snack, it takes forever to pop enough. Red’s solution? Pop it in the clothes dryer. I also liked his use for cell phones, which he labels “An electronic leash.” Leave it to Red to find something useful for this annoyance to do. If you need a back rub, just set the thing on vibrate, duct tape it to your back, and call yourself from your home phone.

Speaking of duct tape, there is an absolute disaster at the Lodge during the “No Duct Tape” episode. How could the Lodge run out of duct tape? The gang searches everywhere for the magic adhesive, to no avail. Finally at the end of the show, they find some in the most unlikely place of all. It seems that a helpful but uninformed soul was up in the attic, using the duct tape to repair heating ducts - of all things!

These seasons also found sponsorship, if you can believe it. The opening title reveals, “All duct tape provided by the 3M Company Canada.” Well, why not? There is also the fictional sponsorship of Rothschild Sewage And Septic. It makes sense as owner Winston Rothschild III (Jeff Lumby) is around the Lodge about as much as Red himself. The Red Green Show always signs off with the weekly Lodge Meeting starting up. We do not get to see the full meeting, but their Man’s Prayer closes the shows with words for us to live by: “I’m a man, but I can change, if I have to.” We middle-aged men know that truer words have never been spoken. The Red Green Show was a classic, and these later seasons are as funny as any of the others in this long-running comedy series.

By Greg Barbrick

About the author

Greg Barbrick has been watching TV so long he remembers watching first run episodes of Star Trek.

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1 Comment
On: Thursday, June 23, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Old Red Green has found much love on TVGA, thanks Greg !

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