When a show as popular as Letterkenny announces a spin-off series focusing on a rather minor character, the bar is set incredibly high right from the start. Nevertheless, Shoresy Season 1 manages not only to reach the heights of Letterkenny, but at moments it shines as the better of the two shows.
Shoresy Season 1 follows the mysterious hockey player of the same name who has previously only been known by voice since his face is always hidden in Letterkenny. Shoresy, whose face is shown as none other than Letterkenny creator and star Jared Keeso, has moved to Sudbury, Canada, to continue his hockey career. He joins up with the local senior AAA hockey team, owned by Nat (Tasya Teles), whose members are an absolute embarrassment on the ice. After losing the first game shown on screen, Nat tells Shorsey the team will have to fold. Refusing to accept it, Shorsey promises the team will never lose again, and he sets out to save the team.
The most intriguing part about Shoresy Season 1 is how it manages to give depth to a character that only shows up as a faceless hockey player and part-time referee in Letterkenny, most known for chirping at other characters in the show. Taking a minor comic relief character and fleshing out a whole show focused around them is a really challenging thing to do. Still, Shoresy Season 1 manages to add layers to the character that I never expected.
Shoresy doesn’t just enjoy playing hockey; he absolutely hates to lose and has an unbelievable passion that carries over to his teammates. He also shows a more caring side instead of just being the jackass character from Letterkenny. Sure, the jokes are still fast and furious, but there are moments when things slow down, and it is quite apparent that Shoresy really cares about his team. I do have to note that it was weird at first to see Keeso’s face on the Shoresy character, given that he already plays Wayne in the main series. Still, he immediately settled into a rhythm, which made it significantly easier to accept.
Shoresy also continues the Letterkenny standard of promoting Indigenous Canadian characters in important roles. The show is rife with Indigenous characters, from Nat’s crew of Ziigwan (Blair Lamora) and Miigwan (Keilani Elizabeth Rose) to a myriad of hockey players filling out all of the teams shown throughout the season. However, the one that stuck out most was the portrayal of Sanguinet (Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat). Starting as the butt of Shoresy’s jokes, Sanguinet goes from a player riding the bench on a terrible hockey team to coaching the Sudbury Bulldogs and multiple impressive victories. Sanguinet never feels like a stereotype, which is a testament to the job Kaniehtiio Horn (who plays Tanis in Letterkenny) did as a consulting producer.
While Shoresy Season 1 surprised me with the depth of the characters, I was not surprised at all at how excellent the comedic writing is. Shoresy’s appearances in Letterkenny are virtually all centered around variations of “your mom” jokes, albeit significantly more vulgar and descriptive. Shoresy, as a show, manages to expand the repertoire of jokes and brings a bit of the Letterkenny spirit to Sudbury. The timing of jokes is impeccable, and even though the line is toed at times, it never feels like they are punching down at anyone. It is a delicate balance, one that edgier shows tend to struggle with, but Shoresy finds the sweet spot. I was glad to be able to care more about the characters, but the main appeal of Shoresy for me was the potential for more excellent humor, and they absolutely delivered. There are quite a few jokes and bits that are likely going to become ingrained in viewers’ minds.
The writing and development of Shoresy are all quite good, matching the high bar set by Letterkenny. However, where Shoresy really sets itself apart is the actual look of the show. There is a large amount of on-ice action, and the production quality is arguably better than in real National Hockey League games. I’m not saying Shoresy is now the go-to for hockey fans, but Keeso’s passion for hockey really shines with the detail shown. Even the mock sports show talking about the senior AAA league looks like a bonafide network show you would find on television. The show’s entire production just feels like it leaped forward into true premium television. The Letterkenny universe isn’t just a cult comedy anymore, and visually Shoresy shows that they are more than ready to move further into the mainstream.
Shoresy is a spin-off that will excite dedicated Letterkenny fans, but it also serves as a great entry point for new fans who may find watching a 10-season-long show daunting. It also never feels like a cash grab. Instead, it stands on its own as an excellent show that has me very excited to see more in the future. If you can’t win, don’t play, and Shoresy is an absolute win.
Shoresy is streaming now on Crave in Canada and streams on Hulu in the US on May 27th.
Shoresy Season 1
- Rating - 10/1010/10
Shoresy is a spin-off that will excite dedicated Letterkenny fans, but it also serves as a great entry point for new fans who find watching a 10-season-long show daunting…It stands on its own as an excellent show that has me very excited to see more in the future.