If You Don't Believe It It's Not Real: Who’s the Asshole Here? Sunnyvale, 07/05/2016

Fucking Sam Losco, that's who he is. I don't think I can remember a bigger asshole in Sunnyvale than him. Even Cyrus or that whack job Tommy from last season isn’t as big an asshole as Sam. Sam Losco is so big an asshole that you don’t feel bad robbing from him. Even Bubbles doesn’t really feel bad stealing from Sam. He’s such an asshole that his real first name should be Fucking, Sam should be his middle name, and his birth certificate should read Fucking Sam Losco.

But that’s not the Sam we see in “If You Don’t Believe It It’s Not Real.” This Sam is smiling, pleasant, and kind. It's more than just the All Smiles image he puts on his denture business. The contrast is incredible. 

Because the show goes out of its way to make the contrast obvious and clear. I remember the first episode of Trailer Park Boys that I ever saw was “Mrs Peterson’s Dog Gets Fucked Up.” And I remember a major plot point was that Ricky accidentally got shot in the ass and they had to go to Sam Losco’s veterinary practice to have the bullet removed. And he treats the boys terribly the entire time. 

This episode creates a parallel situation. As part of an elaborate scheme cooked up with Julian’s greasy lawyer Steinberg, the boys are planning a fake heist. The plan is clear. To cut off Barb’s lawsuit to take back ownership of Sunnyvale Trailer Park, Julian is having the park rezoned as private property. Part of that will involve branding the park as a business, so they arrange to steal a truck full of liquor, e-cigarettes, and slot machines. Steinberg has arranged for the truck’s driver to play along with the supposed theft. So far, so greasy, so good.

But the truck driver fires shots at them. The result is a classic moment of angry screaming among the boys. Danny, the guy who was supposed to drive the truck, got busted that very morning for drinking and driving. The driver is frightened beyond belief, thinking that he’s actually being set upon by genuinely dangerous killers and criminals. Not just a bunch of anarchists from Sunnyvale. Julian bribes him and he runs away screaming. We never hear from him again. 

If I can say there’s any underlying character arc this season that’s starting to become clear now that we’re halfway through, it’s that Julian is trusting the wrong people. Despite growing evidence to the contrary, he keeps believing that Steinberg can deliver on his promises. This is probably that lawyer’s biggest fuckup yet. Relying on a driver so sloppy that he can’t even avoid getting caught for drinking on the job, they end up turning a fake heist into a real one and scaring a driver into potentially becoming a witness to the police. 

Police which we know from the last few episodes are (however slowly) becoming more competent now that actually wealthy people are moving into the area around Sunnyvale. 

Even Julian’s own crew aren’t really competent enough to pull off this heist. Danny the truck driver we never actually see was too stupid not to show up for an intense job without getting so fucked up he’d get caught. Now look at Cory and Jacob, more fucked up than Mrs Peterson’s dog was back in that first season episode after Ricky makes them each swallow his liquified weed paste. So fucked up that they’re playing around the side of the road with flowers in each other’s hair instead of preparing for a heist. And way too fucked up to drive the truck back to Sunnyvale.

So Bubbles ends up being the smartest guy in the group going back to Sam Losco’s denture business to get Jacob sewn up. And they meet Sam Losco, who isn’t angry, isn’t a jerk, who’s just being nice to them. Smiling, genuinely happy to help them out. His mother, “God rest her sexy soul,” said to him on her deathbed, “Sam, you’ve got to stop being such an asshole!”
“I started being nice to people, and they started being nice to me. Now I’ve got money in the bank. I’m getting fucked! I’m getting sucked! Life is great!”
Wise words, Sam. Wise words. It’s a shame that Bubbles nearly kills the guy with a giant toothbrush after he freaks out over the boys having stolen his dead mother’s teeth. And we end up with a properly slapstick sequence that’s just as absurd as the best zany shit the boys from Sunnyvale can come up with. Rolling the unresponsive Sam up in a carpet with duct tape. Accidentally backing over him with Lucy’s car. Tying him so poorly to the top of Lucy’s car that he rolls off into the woods. Leaving him to crawl back to Sunnyvale, just looking for his mom’s teeth.

Sam should be unbelievably pissed about that. I don’t really know who wouldn’t be a least a little. And he is angry. But he remembers the promise he made to his mom. It’s a promise more important than just being a dick to Bubbles, Ricky, and Julian. “You’ve got to stop being such an asshole.”

“Can you just call me a cab, please?” So Randy calls him a taxi, and he goes back home. And we never see Sam Losco again either. 

Think about that for a second. Sam Losco has been a major villain on Trailer Park Boys in multiple seasons over the years. All because he was mad at the boys and the people of Sunnyvale and wanted to take revenge. He was a part of Sunnyvale’s world, and even though he was a destructive part, we all loved him didn’t we? We looked forward to seeing what kind of crazy shit Sam would get up to as he went after the boys and the people of Sunnyvale. 

But now that he’s not an asshole anymore, he’s not part of the story anymore. Which leaves me with an important question for what Sunnyvale is really all about. Do you have to be an asshole to stay part of Sunnyvale?

Sunnyvale is a paradise – a place that doesn’t even run on real money, where all you really need is liquor and dope and a spirit of having a good time, where happiness is just getting drunk and stoned with your family. That’s paradise. But it’s a paradise that also runs on conflict. Jim and Randy coming after the boys. Sam, Barb, or some other malignant outsider coming to Sunnyvale to take it over. Sunnyvale is a paradise, but you can’t have a television show without the conflicts that tear paradise apart. Nothing would happen in ten episodes if everyone was just getting drunk and stoned. 

Look at how Barb came back to Sunnyvale, how she plans to rule Sunnyvale again. She literally plans to take ownership of the trailer park back through court orders and force everyone out of the community. She does so with two goons whose only tactics are intimidation with threats of violence and actual violence. She humiliates and blackmails Jim to ensnare him in her plan to take over and destroy Sunnyvale. The condition of her coming back is that she’s become a bigger asshole than she ever was.

Sarah has come back too. And she was never a part of Barb’s plan this season at all, even though she went to jail with Barb, and was part of Barb’s crew in prison. Yet none of that has been mentioned this season. Sarah is on the sidelines, barely saying a word. Not even really contributing to the storyline at all yet this season. She hasn’t even said anything about Barb yet. Even her colour commentary on the boys’ ridiculousness is banal, uninteresting. Unnecessary. She’s not an asshole, but she’s also not really part of the story.

The biggest villains in Sunnyvale are the assholes. But is being an asshole a condition for entry?
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