Review: Corner Gas Animated “Smoke-A-Cola”

Major role-reversals in Dog River as the girls get into some cigars and Brent gets self-conscious.

Overview:

With the arrival of a new display of Commander Cola at Corner Gas, it gets Brent and Wanda thinking, but on two different paths. Brent learns that if he puts a little effort in here and there, that exercise has all sorts of benefits for his body. While Wanda becomes a little too infatuated with the cardboard cut-out of the beefy commander. Things get a little out-of-hand for both of them until they find out that Commander Cola has been taken off the shelves for causing delusional behavior.

Meanwhile, Lacey is still daydreaming about her vacation to Cuba, and convinces Karen and Emma to have a night of smoking cigars with her. They agree to the evening as long as they can watch their new favorite reality TV show, Battle Brides. For some reason, Hank is insistent on joining them which inevitably they are forced into as he is the only one who can host. Hank gets left out of all the fun as the girls start fixing up his home. And, Lacey had no idea what she was in for as Battle Brides turns out to be a pretty literal name.

Our Take:

Eleven episodes in and for the first time I feel like we actually spent some time inside of Corner Gas. The titular gas station always plays a bit of a role in the show, but thus far it has not been a necessary setting to any of the stories. Having Wanda dealing with her crush of a cardboard display occur mostly inside of Corner Gas allowed us to spend some time in a store that fans have been welcome to for years. Plus, it is always nice when a sitcom actually shows that the characters have to work sometimes. I mean, how does that store stay open when both of the operators are up to antics all over town most of the time?

The introductory scenes to Corner Gas Animated have really solidified themselves as the best part of the show. Each episode there is something outrageous and funny to kick things off and hook you in. Whether it has been sensitive to werewolves or deadly ice hippos, the show typically starts off big. This particular episode had me laughing out loud with Hank’s unsuspecting manner of saying that he was not wearing underwear. Actually, there were many more raunchy and boundary-pushing jokes than usual, which made this episode stand apart from the season thus far.

Visiting Hank’s house was a bit of an adventure. Not for the female characters that had to sit on his couch, but for the viewers. Hank has always been an outlandish character and seeing into his home is a look into his psyche. It was like the first time we ever visited Kramer’s house in Seinfeld. Honestly, Hank lives kind of like you would expect he would, with run-down furniture and old movie posters falling off the walls. But, when he served his guests a snack you get a real understanding of the guy, as he offered them his creation of pop dogs; popcorn with hot dogs cut up into it. For some reason that sounds like an awesome meal, if I were still a young bachelor.

There was a third storyline involving Oscar and Davis purchasing lottery tickets and having a disagreement over the winnings. That is essentially all that happens and it was all very unnecessary. I know, I know, I mention this like clockwork on every Corner Gas review, but they really need to stop trying to fit stories in for all the characters in every single episode. I would drop it already but, with the news that Corner Gas Animated has been picked up for a second season (yay) they should really look at the show formula and hopefully break up these stories for more focused episodes.

Getting over my continued concern about the series, this episode was actually one of my favorites thus far. It had some of my favorite jokes and I was happy to be home inside of that ugly rural gas station. Maybe structurally it was a bit of a mess, I mean nothing really blended together, but it felt more like the good old humor that made Corner Gas popular in the first place. A return to their roots, you could say. I had fun watching this one, and I could break the plot apart or I can just enjoy it for what it was.

Score
8.5/10

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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