First I should start out with the disclaimer that yes, I am Canadian.
With that said
Over the past little while I re-watched the last few seasons of KOTH. I started with season 8 and worked my way to the end. Looking back, I found this episode to be the poorest of the bunch. Is it because I'm Canadian? Not at all. I'm reminded of Jerry Seinfeld complaining about Dr. Whatley in the anti-dentite episode of Seinfeld (The Yada Yada). Did this episode offend me as a Canadian? No, if offended me as a fan of the show and comedy in general.
A previous reviewer mentioned how the episode might bother Canadians by eschewing the stereotype that Canadians are polite and good neighbors. This wasn't the case for me.
I found fault with how one dimensional the Canadians characters were. Every stereotype that could be remotely attributed to Canadians was included. This meant: having their own maple syrup, not being a fan of "watered" down American beer, talking with an over the top accent, the use of "Canadianisms" like sorry, the metric system and of course, they play hockey.
This allowed for a lot of cheap and easy jokes that weren't well thought out or clever. Previously, the show had introduced one shot characters that were much more engaging and dynamic. An example of this is the similarly plotted episode from earlier in the season, Straight as an Arrow. Hank was at odds with a new neighbor and their conflict had depth and substance. You get the feeling that maybe Hank's way of raising his child isn't the best for everyone and he has to learn to live with that.
However, this episode makes the Canadians so flat and unlikable that you can't help but side with Hank. I can appreciate jabs as much as the next guy, but this episode was just lazily written and hard to enjoy.
As a Canadian I was excited to see this episode. Before going on to the actual quality of the episode in entertainment and humour level, I'll discuss the portrayal of Canadians. This, from what I hear, is a fairly controversial episode amongst Canadian viewers. Maybe it's because a show dared to not use the "Canadians are super polite" stereotype, but used a bunch of others ones, but I don't know. I personally am fine with it. I probably would have liked to have seen them in a nicer light, but I think I understand where this is coming from. One thing that KOTH has always done is highlight the ignorance of its characters, be it red necks, or just America as a whole. And there are a few moments where this is shown. I think ultimately this is an episode about two cultures clashing, and not about America is nice and Canada is rude. While the show does seem to be showing Canadians as rude and acting like they're better than America, I think the show is also showing it from their perspective. It isn't so much that they were actually being rude, but that really, it's just how the Americans felt. I actually tend to agree with some of the things that Gordon said, and it comes off as rude, mostly because that is how the main characters (the "heroes") react to it. For me, this episode isn't about what the writers feel about Canadians, but rather how Americans as a whole probably feel about Canadians. Which, I (never actually been to America) would probably agree with. I actually think the only thing that bothered me was the accents. The majority of Canadians don't speak that way. It is only in the East (Newfoundland, but again, I feel it is based upon the average American opinion (possibly the ignorant American-which KOTH often mocks), and not really those of the writers themselves. Whether as a Canadian, you feel offended or not, your judgement of the quality can't fully be based on that. So, as for whether the episode was actually GOOD. KIND OF. It was entertaining, and it was (as a Canadian) intriguing to see what they were going to do. I didn't think it was all that funny (I did enjoy Bobby's scenes though), as the majority of the jokes were just "Why America is better" and "Why Canada is better". It's not a bad episode, but I think it would be less controversial if the jokes were actually really funny and not so much about the two countries trying to out do the other one. If you look at the one where Kahn first appears, you get a similar situation, but it wasn't really about America Vs. Loas, as it was Hank Vs. Kahn. And that to me is where the difference between the quality of the episode lies.
While I did not find this episode to be particularly funny, the episode is interesting because it deals with the differences between American and Canadian cultures. For example Hank believes some of the remarks the Canadians made were rude, while the Canadians themselves believe the Hills were rude with their party. Its nice to see the heavy use of Canada in this episode because not many TV shows even mention the country. Other than that there's not much else to say.
Well we do hear Boomhauers first name which is apparently Jeff.
Overall I give this episode a 6.5 because it wasent that funny, but it did have a good plot.
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