Show Preview: Brent Butt’s Gas goes live

By Adam White

Watching television these days can feel like a chore rather than entertainment. You turn on the TV, searching for something good to watch, and only find a lot of tribal councils, eliminations, and talent shows, all with little worth. Once in a while though, a show comes along single-handedly making the sift through the garbage worthwhile. One of the recent diamonds in the rough has been Canada’s own Corner Gas.

From the very first episode of the quirky comedy, it was obvious creator and star Brent Butt had stumbled upon something special. The jokes were witty and the cast was so diverse one couldn’t help but relate to one of the characters.

“The writing on the show is so strong, so unique,” says Gabrielle Miller, who plays Lacey. “Everybody feels a comfort and familiarity with the characters. They created such wonderful characters.”

Something about the project just clicked right away. There may not be a magic formula for a successful TV show, but Corner Gas had a solid foundation right from the beginning.

“They did such an amazing job casting,” remarks Miller. “It’s become like a family.”

The cast and crew of the show are not the only ones who have observed Corner Gas’ success. The show has filled the Canadian acting community with a new hope. With shows like Corner Gas paving the way, Miller hopes people will give Canadian television more of a chance.

“If the success of a show like Corner Gas can help with creating an awareness with the fans, I think that is fabulous,” she remarks. “All of the talent is already there. We just need the chance to put stuff out there.”

In the past, Canadian programming, comedies especially, have not fared well, with many being cancelled after one season. With Corner Gas showing no signs of slowing down, things are finally looking positive for usually easily avoidable Canadian television.

“Obviously with the history of Canadian television, you don’t often get to do things more than once,” observes Miller. “The fact that we’ve got to do three seasons is such a great thing.”

You’d think some people would take offence with a show gleefully poking fun at the eccentricities of living in a small town. However, Miller insists most, if not all, comments she gets are positive.

“I think it’s because the characters aren’t stereotypical,” says Miller. “I’ve never had any negative feedback. We mostly get people saying: ‘Oh, my uncle is just like Oscar.’ It’s not a sitcom, so you have to expect the characters to be a little odd.”

Corner Gas airs every Monday on CTV and every Sunday on the Comedy Network, the cast is also touring for the next few weeks with Corner Gas Live. While Miller was not privy to all of the details, she guarantees a fantastic show with many surprises.

“It’s going to be hilarious, and a lot of fun,” she insists.

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