If there was one peculiarly Canadian subject just begging to be sent up, it was minor hockey-or more specifically, minor hockey parents. And a new CBC series, The Tournament, takes full advantage of this sitting duck. Presented in a mockumentary style-
like those legendary Christopher
Guest movies (This is Spinal Tap,
Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind)—the show takes us into the world of the Farqueson Funeral Home Warriors, an average peewee team (sponsored by local funeral
directors) from the fictitious hick town of Briarside, Ont. It’s Six Feet Under meets The Mighty Ducks meets Trailer Park Boys.
Ten-year-old Robbie McConnell is the best player on the team, but he’d rather be a jazz dancer. Anthony Pishatelli’s parents have recently divorced and he throws up before every game. Kumar Singh, son of the town gynecologist, is out to make friends, and Denim Farqueson is a female goalie with the mouth of a sailor. But it’s their parents, prone to screaming, fighting and bullying, who are the main focus. “You hear about these kinds of parents and there seems to be no limit to some of their antics,” says filmmaker Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo), who directed two episodes of the series. “It’s such a bizarre contrast -this adult maniacal obsession with hockey on behalf of these 10-year-olds who can barely make it down t^ie rink. It’s a strange culture, but I guess a very pervasive one in North America.”
At least one parent is so obnoxious he’s almost too difficult to watch. Robbie’s father, Barry, cries, begs, intimidates and throws temper tantrums, all in the name of getting Robbie to the NHL-meanwhile, ignoring his son’s more artistic inclinations. It’d be sad, if it weren’t so funny. SHANDA DEZIEL
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