Heartbroken to learn John Dunsworth, Mr. Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, has passed. Dunsworth’s portrayal Jim Lahey was tragic, complicated, sometimes inspiring, often humourous, and always indispensable in the storytelling. The perfect antagonist.
What’s remarkable is if you were asked to pick one word to describe Lahey, what would it be? “Drunk”? “Asshole”? “Tragic”? How about gay? Too often, “the gay one” is the defining characteristic of a gay character on television. (Hi, Riverdale!) Jim’s homosexuality was never his defining characteristic, and his rocky relationship with Randy was treated with no more or less focus, humour or respect than any other.
And how about “driven”? Lahey loved the park. While we side with the Boys, I think if a lot of us lived in Sunnyvale we might side with Lahey in keeping the gun-shooting, loutish drug dealers away from us and our kids.
Lahey was never a monster, but always his own worst enemy. Sometimes the voice of reason, sometimes the voice of The Liquor. But always the voice of shitisms.
Rest in Peace, Jim.
In the meantime, I invite you to read a blog post about why Trailer Park Boys is a much better show than it might appear on the surface.