There’s so much I have to say about this show Shoresy on Hulu created and written by Jared Keeso and directed by Jacob Tierney. Hands down, this is my favorite show out right now, and I’ll gladly tell ya what got me here. For those of you that don’t know, Shoresy is a spin-off of Letterkenny which is also created and written by Jared Keeso (who stars as the main character, Wayne). Letterkenny is about small-town life in Canada where you got hicks, hockey jocks, skids, Christians, swingers, and more. Think of it as a quick paced Seinfeld with sharp dialogue, quips, and punchlines. Now enter Shore nicknamed Shoresy; he’s a hockey player that’s a recurring side character also portrayed by Jared Keeso. His face is always obscured because Jared also plays the main character Wayne. For the past 10 seasons, all we’ve known about Shoresy is that he’s a motherfucker (literally and figuratively), he’s a god when it comes to chirping (disses), and he’s the dirtiest player alive in hockey. You don’t understand, in wrestling Ric Flair is known as the dirtiest player in the game, right? Well on the ice, Shoresy makes Ric Flair look like Tom Hanks.
You don’t really need to know much about Shoresy the character before seeing this show. However, if you want to go back. Check out Season 10, episode 5 (VidVok) of LetterKenny. Wayne is doing a favor for a friend with closing the hockey rink and he as well as the audience sees how much of a hard worker Shoresy is. The man is doing drills solo until he throws up. All Wayne ever knew about him was that he seemed like a snake, but he gains respect for him seeing how hard his work ethic is night after night. He wishes him well before being sent up to a new team to play Triple A-level hockey in the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization (NOSHO).
We then get a colorful introduction to Shoresy via some sports commentators and find out he’s playing in a 4-team league where his squad lost 20 games and got beat 5 nothing in the latest game. Oh yeah, and they just lost their coach. This is where our story starts…at rock bottom with the worst team in the league boys. Shoresy and teammate Sanguinet (Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat) get called before their General Manager Nat (Tasya Teles) and her proteges, the sisters Miigwan (Keilani Rose) and Ziigwan (Blair Lamora). Nat’s thinking of folding the team until Shoresy makes her a promise to turn the team around by getting some veteran presence, having Sanguinet be the new coach, and a vow to never lose again.
Shoresy’s Story and Character Development is *Chef’s Kiss*
Sure, Shoresy could be qualified as an underdog story, but fam, it’s so much more than that. Jared Keeso’s writing does not miss as he fleshes every character out on the show, especially as he introduces these hockey veterans onto the team. Mind you, the majority of these vets are folks that haven’t played hockey in quite some time. Each one comes with their own little quirks, mannerisms, and personalities. The great thing about Shoresy as a show is that each character plays a role but isn’t pigeon-holed to that role. We’re not only seeing another side of Shorey as a person, but in these 6 twenty minute episodes, we see incredible growth from everyone that’s part of Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs team from the front of house to the back of house.
A great mark of a writer is one that can make you invested in something you have no interest in. I am not a hockey guy at all, but Jared Keeso’s writing juxtaposed with Jacob Tierney’s directing sells not only the hockey culture but these characters as well. Also, the women on the show shine and grow just as much as the men do too. It’s dope to see that Nat is not only a woman in charge of the team but how and why that came to be. Also, there’s a fuck load of First Nations men and women represented on this show as well which I fucking stand up and applaud. We see Black folk and First Nations folk on Letterkenny as well but they really delve into that diversity hard on Shoresy. I fucking love that same energy not only being kept but pushed. No one is there as a token, again these are great characters with a role to play that each does well.
It also must be said that there’s no fucking reason for this show’s soundtrack and cinematography to go as hard as it does. Oh my god, there’s so many scenes that go hard as fuck. From the opening of the team on the ice, to the fights, to scenes of the team working as a unit, the shots and the music are just such a perfect combination of grit and heart. We see the vet players as being more than just hard-hitting stone-cold motherfuckers. From Goody loving chicken tenders and being a foodie, Hitchcock calling Martinis “Martoosies”, and the three Jim’s being just beautiful souls (Jim #1 (Jon Mirasty), Jim #2 (Brandon Nolan), Jim #3 (Jordan Nolan) we get reminders every so often that these mother fuckers will step to whoever without fear of losing teeth.
PLEASE READ: I really hope that I’ve sold you enough to check this show out from what I’ve said so far, because there’s going to be spoilers past this point. There are certain moments and interactions from the show that I wanna dissect for those that have seen it. So please check this show out then come back and read the rest of the article. Again, I’m going to be getting into spoilers here so please watch this fucking masterpiece then comeback to join the convo with the rest of us.
Spoilers and Wholesome Ahead
I cannot tell you how much I love Jared Keeso’s writing. For 10 seasons of Letterkenny, we only knew Shoresy to be a quick-witted smart ass that’ll always have the last word on or off the ice. On the show we get to know more about him as a person. I gotta say the biggest shock for me is finding out that he comes from a single foster father family. This isn’t something we see a lot on tv shows. I loved this choice for his character and one entirely out of left field. Shoresy was a fat kid that got picked on and made fun of, but then we find out his foster brother Morris (who is Black) joins the family as an athletic kid with no one to play with. Shoresy filled the role of rival, trying to beat Morris but never could. He then discovered he hated to lose and made it a point to play with other kids to try and be good enough to beat Morris. We then meet the third addition to the family, Carrie (who is Asian), and becomes their foster sister. The story is told by their foster father and shows how each of the foster siblings helped one another out. I fucking loved this episode. here we don’t see Shoresy as a dirty player but someone that hates losing.
Hating to lose is a big theme throughout this show. The entire problem with the Bulldogs team and why they lose is because according to Shoresy talking to Nat, the players are young and just floating. Nat says “they don’t love to win” whereas Shoresy believes the issue is “they don’t hate to lose.” Shoersy plays a role, he is a fucking good hockey player, he pushes himself, but above all he fucking hates to lose. Even when the team starts gaining wins, that’s not enough. Loving to win doesn’t beat out how hard you play when you hate to lose.
Again, if you never gave a shit about hockey then Shoresy will get you into it for this show at the very least. You are going to care about this team and these characters. The GM Nat has a beautiful speech about how hockey players own their losses individually. How it’s truly a team sport, unlike basketball where you’re on a team but can still stand out individually, hockey players will take the L on themselves individually to spare the team. We then see that exact methodology take place during a tough ass game against the Soo. Shoresy hated Michaels as the coach and found him useless but he comes back as a goalie due to Nat and helps the team with an off-ice issue. Shoresy has a change-of-heart so much so that when Michaels blames himself for getting scored on in the last game, Shoresy, surprisingly, is the first person to tell him, “No. It’s our fault they’re peppering you. You’re… Hell, Michaels, you’re playing a fucking hell of a game.”
This change in Shoresy comes from Coach Sanguinet who comes into his own in the role. He points out to Shoresy earlier how he wasn’t chirping (shitting) on the team as much. Sanguinet’s way of coaching is positive reinforcement. He takes notice of folks playing their roles. Especially, a younger player Fish who was a floater at first but then did as he was told to be useful. He took fucking shots to the face in brawls, blocked the opposing sides shot with his body, and when Sanguinet let’s him start. He says, “looks like you finally love to win.” To which Fish says, “No. I hate to lose.” There goes Shoresy’s influence along with Sanguinet’s positivity.
It’s funny, because for years we saw Shoresy taking a shit between periods and before hockey games, and at first it just seemed like toilet humor while he chirps at everyone. However, in Shoresy, it seems like this may be more of an anxiety thing. That man comes thru, hits the bathroom, and is throwing his fucking guts up at the circumstances of the final game. Everyone keeps saying how good The Soo are, but Shoresy still feels they can be beat, especially by this team. This isn’t a game that they’ll win, but they ain’t goin out like fucking punks as they decide to give The Soo the fucking lumber and nothing but the lumber (give’em the lumber means using hockey sticks to harass your opponent).
I cannot emphasize the writing of these characters enough man. The dialogue keeps you on your toes to catch every joke and quip. However, the character development. Seeing how antagonistic Shoresy is with certain characters and then the respect he gives them. How Sanguinet asks for helps from Shoresy but ensures the concerned young players and Nat that he is the one running the show, then does so. The way Nat goes before the board (which consists of all first nations women!) concerning a brawl her team was in. Nat doing everything she can to get buts in seats for these hockey games in order to keep kids off the street, something to bring the community together, and to do her mother (the previous GM) proud.
The way the team turns around is fucking beautiful. We see everyone eating ice cream together as a team, going to the wall for one another, and then against a team that is on fucking fire. I love an underdog story, but I fuck with one where the outcome isn’t the feel good win for the team at the end. Shoresy as a show exemplifies that, and I fucking cried my eyes out man. The way they decide to go out, knowing that they will lose, knowing this is it for them, and there’s nothing they can do? My heart man, my fucking heart. It’s so dope how Shoresy tells them to do their barn proud and get the last goal for the team which are going to come down to the Jims. The Jims have been acting as enforcers for the team, that is their role. They were benched for the final game because their role wasn’t needed and they understood that. But now the team is going to be their enforcers, and they get to be in the limelight.
Jared Keeso is a fucking brilliant writer with making people come full circle and the fucking kicker? The real kicker is the ending. We cut back to the team huddle between the coach, the vets, and Shoresy where they tell him. They’re all going to play his Ric Flair style of hockey. They’ll give the Soo one period of hell to remember them by…. and see those fuckers in the playoffs. This then puts pressure on The GM Nat. She promised to fold the team if they lost again, it was in the paper, and she does what she says she’ll do. Shoresy tho puts her in a tough spot as he tells her she was going to fold back when she had a team that was floating. Now, she’s got 18 players that hate to lose, bums in seats just like she wanted, and a whole town backing them that wants to see them on the ice again. Come on, man. Shoresy made Nat a promise, and he lost the battle but his word has been kept and the war isn’t over yet.
That right there would have been a perfect ending but Nat tells Shoresy okay, but what will you do to change. The team is going to take on your style of hockey but what are you going to do? What will you change? This is dope as we see him having learned to be more positive toward his teammates, recognize folks trying, but there’s still more he can do to get better. That man looked at the weights and the next scene we see his him out in the streets at dawn jogging with his team through a snow storm. I stood the fuck up for that moment right there. That man said, fuck it. we goin train then. A running joke has been the vets not really training but slowly coming around to it with the exercise bikes. They call the league they’re in whale shit hockey, but Shoresy is going to now put forth the extra effort despite that and the team is right there with him.
*stands up from my seat clapping hands in front of the laptop* Yall don’t fucking hear me tho. Shoresy fucking bangs. I’ll never get tired of saying this: Jared Keeso’s writing is criminally underrated. He world builds another banger show. Jacob Tierney’s direction is perfect. Shot for fucking shot, this show goes awf. The music keeps changing and sets the damn mood. I’m not a big re-watcher of shows unless I’m watching with someone else and it’s their first time. This show tho? I’m mos def rewatching this. It’s only 6 episodes which is my only complaint, and that ain’t even a real complaint. I loved the length of this (settle down). I just need yall to trust me. Shoresy, is a fucking gem. Get into this shit, man.
Cover image via Rotten Tomatoes