Sunnyside

Review: Pushing boundaries and poultry love on Sunnyside

Sunnyside is a very funny—and admittedly odd— little program and I applaud Rogers for putting it on the air in the first place. It’s rare that a series featuring a dude who falls in love with a live chicken is going to make it to primetime (if ever), so kudos to the company for allowing co-creators Gary Pearson, Dan Redican and the improv cast breathe life into these folks.

Thursday’s “Chain gang” continued to explore many of Sunnyside’s established characters, including the meth girls, who wanted to cheer up Georgette by taking her on a shopping spree … in a homeowner’s closet. (The program’s hidden gem might be Georgette, the meth gal who utters nary a word and whose eyes are constantly downcast. Alice Moran’s portrayal cracks me up every time.)

Kathleen Phillips continues to play memorable citizens, like Claire. An over-the-top poke at those folks who claim a Starbucks table as their “office” for the day, Claire showed up at Dark Roast with a bulky typewriter and announced the table she was at would be “her office from now on” and began clacking away on her food blog article “Croissant My Heart and Hope to Die.” She, of course, annoyed everyone in the place at first … until they got caught up in her out-loud reading of romance in a coffee shop.

Pat Thornton, meanwhile, continued to get away not only with playing every clueless simpleton in Sunnyside but as a dude who held deep, deep love for a live chicken. (“The heart wants what the heart wants. Sometimes the heart wants a chicken,” a poultry farmer advised his confused daughter after Thornton’s character grabbed a bird and ran off.). I cannot unsee those moments where he held the chicken close, romantic music playing, before ushering her into the bedroom and gently closing the door behind them.

Notes and quotes

  • The teeth on those meth ladies. Oh god, their teeth!
  • Shameless plug alert! Claire was entering a writing contest in Chatelaine magazine, which just happens to be owned by Rogers, owner of City. I’m sure that was totally a coincidence.
  • Who else caught the street sign that read “Pearson” on it? I’m assuming it was an homage to Sunnyside co-creator Gary Pearson
  • Only Pat Thornton could pull off a scene describing kissing a girl like holding a jar of change and pretending to lick a chocolate off the front of it “before it falls off and stains your date pants.”

Sunnyside airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on City.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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