For those of us who discovered The Red Green Show midway into its historic 15-year run, the release of The Infantile Years is a real treat. Although there were very few changes to the basic format of the show (why mess with success?), the first three seasons are charming in their “infantilism.”
For anyone who is somehow unfamiliar with the basic premise, Red Green is something of a Canadian Bob Vila or Tim Taylor. The show parodies the whole emerging “men's” genre of TV. This includes do-it-yourself and home improvement, as well as hunting, fishing, and other “outdoorsy” programs.
A key aspect of The Red Green Show was that it was a no-budget cable access show, which gave it an appealingly amateur look. Another funny aspect, especially noticeable in the early seasons were the sounds of chainsaws and shotguns punctuating just about every moment inside the Lodge.
As The Red Green Show evolved, certain segments became ingrained, such as “Handyman Corner,” and “Adventures With Bill.” “Adventures” was always one of my favorites, and remained pretty much unchanged throughout the series’ run. Filmed in black and white, and appearing to be a home movie, the bit featured voice over by Red, chronicling whatever misadventure he and Bill had gotten up to that week. It was one of the most consistently funny segments in the program.
“Mail Call,” was another piece that remained virtually untouched over the years as well. One little piece of trivia that I discovered about “Mail Call” was that on the first episode of the very first season, the bit was titled “Male Bag.” That particular double-entendre was immediately dropped.
I expect that the appeal of The Red Green Show: The Infantile Years Seasons 1991-1993 will be to fans like myself, who are curious about the very beginnings of the program. Unlike most long-running TV series though, The Red Green Show hardly changed at all over time, making these episodes much more than just a curiosity. They are truly funny, and a welcome addition to the DVD library.