P.E.I.’s Just Passing Through takes viewers on raunchy, comical ride

Mary MacKay
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The first episode, Alberta Bound, features the side-tracked journey westward and the arrival of the quirky over-the-top P.E.I. Gallant cousins, Terry and Parnell, played by Dennis Trainor, left, and Robbie Moses, on the apartment doorstep of their somewhat stuffy and totally unprepared-for-company cousin, Owen Stephens, played by Tyler Seguin.

It’s like a hybrid mix of the 1982 Canadian/American sex comedy movie Porky’s and The Trailer Park Boys, with a little Three’s Company slapstick flair tossed in for good comedy measure.

And if you pass the well-deserved explicit content warnings and your delicate senses aren’t the type to be blown away by loads of coarse language and implied sex scenes, then get ready for the raunchy comic ride of Just Passing Through.

This freshly launched web series, which includes seven full 22-minute episodes, follows the hilarious adventures of two Prince Edward Island cousins, Terry and Parnell Gallant, who become stranded with their stuffy and totally-unprepared-for-company Toronto cousin Owen Stephens on their way to making their fortune in Alberta.

“To my knowledge it’s the biggest budgeted, complex homegrown comedic dramatic series ever shot on P.E.I.,” says Jeremy Larter, who with his brother Jason Larter and high school chum Geoff Read created Just Passing Through, which stars Dennis Trainor, Robbie Moses, Tyler Seguin, Bridget Tobin and Sydney Dunitz.

The idea for Just Passing Through started in Toronto when Jeremy and Read were talking about the iconic film Goin’ Down the Road, which is a 1970’s movie about two Maritimers who move to Toronto in order to find a better life.

“That’s one of my favourite Canadian films and in that movie there’s a scene where the two Maritimers land at their Ontario aunt and uncle’s house. They’re banging on the door because they have no place to stay in Toronto and the aunt and uncle are kind of hiding in the background,” Jeremy says.

“So I thought that it would be an interesting place to start for a show; what if the aunt and uncle actually let the two guys in? Then it would be like a sitcom. You could take the idea of Goin’ Down the Road, except it would be about two guys going to Alberta because nobody really goes to Toronto looking for jobs the way they used to. So their car breaks down just outside of Toronto and they go to stay with their Toronto cousin who they haven’t seen in 15 years.”

And so the Larter brothers, Read and Moses brainstormed to come up with the comic scripts that would tell the travelling tale of the kooky P.E.I. cousins.

“It was kind of taking that old-fashioned idea (of Goin’ Down the Road) and using a ’70s or ’80s-style sitcom, like Three’s Company or Perfect Strangers, and then updating it with more 21st century humour,” says Jeremy, who was involved with the hit web series Profile P.E.I., Ponderings, the feature film Jiggers and numerous other film projects.

However, this web series is the largest production he has ever produced.

“People are willing to watch TV shows on the Internet so we thought why not push ourselves further into making something that’s a little bit more complicated and a little bit more complex and still try to make it funny,” he says.

From there, he and Read applied and received $50,000 from the Independent Production Fund, which funds web series in Canada.

The project also received a $100,000 grant from Innovation P.E.I., one of the requirements of which was that a significant proportion of the project be filmed in the province.

“But I always wanted to bring a series back to Charlottetown to try to show that we could actually make a full series here with Islanders. I’d say 90 per cent of the cast and crew were from P.E.I. and almost all the locations that we used were within a five-block radius of downtown Charlottetown,” Jeremy says.

Filming started in February of this year, with film friend Adam Perry onboard as a second camera operator at the last minute to help out. The crew shot four weeks worth of scenes in Charlottetown and a weeklong shoot in Toronto.

“We’re faking Toronto in Charlottetown, so all the interiors in Charlottetown are supposed to be in Toronto,” Jeremy says.

“And then we shot for a week in Toronto in April. So that’s for all Toronto exteriors.”

Extremely discerning eyes may be able to pinpoint where the local shooting locales were, such as The Globe, The Sportman’s Club and the Old Dublin Pub.

“It’s not as recognizable as you think,” Jeremy says.

This being P.E.I., calls for extras were as simple as putting out notices on Facebook.

Their partnership with Alpine beer for product placement was a helpful enticement as were the generous offerings from snack-providing partner Pizza and Poutine Company in Charlottetown.

“We had good crowds of people come out. We had a church scene. We had a lot of people come out for The Factory scene,” Jason says.

“The Sportsman (shoot) was in the middle of a big blizzard in February. . . . The entire city was shut down, but we were still able to get 15 or 20 people to come out. They were all into it.”

Some extras were even enlisted as stuntmen on the fly, as was the case in a fight scene in an Alberta bar, a.k.a. The Factory in Charlottetown.

“That scene kind of evolved as the day went because we didn’t know exactly who was going to show up. We had these two

Company’s guys in the bar fighting the main characters — Terry and Parnell — but luckily we were able to get Kowboy Mike Hughes to come down. Mike is a professional wrestler and he’s quite huge. So we’ve got Mike in the scene and we didn’t plan that (initially),” Jason says.

“So (Robbie’s character Parnell) got to be in a fight with Kowboy Mike Hughes. So you basically have a professional stuntman more or less, who is six foot-5 inches, 260 pounds and we then we picked another extra who was skinny and small. So we had the contrast of these two guys in the bar.

“And we had Kowboy Mike picking Robbie up over his head, spinning him around, fake punching and kicking him.”

In one take, the action was not so fake.

“One of the first takes he kicked me right in the face with a big giant boot on,” Moses says.

“He knew what he was doing. I think I just put my face into it when he was faking it.”

Just Passing Through viewers will also catch snippets of supplementary content as well.

“In the show, Terry and Parnell watch their favourite TV shows on a big old TV that they brought into Owen’s apartment. So we’ll see little clips of those in the show,” Jeremy says.

“One is called Pogey Beach. It’s like a beach show set in P.E.I. and it’s supposed to be a real TV show that they watch. So we’ll actually have a supplementary series with a couple of episodes of Pogey Beach (which was shot at Tracadie Beach) that will be on the website as well.”

The hope is that the series will be sold to a distributor like Netflix Canada that might pick it up for broadcast or to possibly make a second season of it if funding is available.

“We kind of left it in a certain way in case we did have a second season coming,” Jason says.

The reaction to the series, which was posted earlier this week, let loose a series of binge watching, racking up 20,000 YouTube views in its first two days

“The response has been great. It seems like the East Coasters especially are proud to actually see Islanders in a show. The recognition of seeing two Islanders who are the main focus of a show I think just keeps getting people’s attention. If a broadcaster made it they would probably never cast two guys from P.E.I. in a show like this,” Jeremy says.

“It’s definitely not a show for everyone. It seems like there are people who genuinely love it . . . so that’s encouraging, because if you don’t have any hardcore fans that are really passionate about it, it probably won’t go far. But if you have people who really love it, it will probably do well.”



Just the facts

u Just Passing Through, created by Jeremy Larter, Geoff Read and Jason Larter, is a comedy web series that revolves around the relationship of Owen Stephens and Terry and Parnell Gallant; rough and tumble cousins from Prince Edward Island who arrive unannounced on their cousin Stephen's Toronto doorstep.

u They swear they're "just passing through" Toronto to sweet jobs in Alberta. But like every family reunion, this one turns out to be more than Stephen's bargained for.

This series, which was funded by the Independent Production Fund and Innovation P.E.I., 
was shot almost entirely on the Island during February 2013 with a cast and crew comprised mainly of Islanders. Exterior scenes shot in Toronto, April 2013.

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Recent comments

  • dave stewart
    January 28, 2014 - 23:06

    i love the show, as a maritimer myself, from pictou county ns, i found all the episodes quite comical. i hope you guys get the funding to do another season. i believe this is just the start of a huge series, i am working in alberta and have showed it to all of my friends back home and out here , needless to say the love it. my dad is 66 and watched all seven episodes. the show reached people of all ages and pogey beach! aint that the truth! i mean have you have ever watched the beginning pilots of the trailer park boys? i think your on to something thats going to fly. ~dave stewart

  • Kim
    December 12, 2013 - 23:39

    Just passing through is now the theme for my husband's upcoming birthday party. I am sure he will get a kick out of it. Anyone have any ideas of what to include that he'll get the reference to? He laughs so hard at this show and I hope they film more soon :)

  • islander800
    November 29, 2013 - 19:03

    This is the best Canadian comedy series since Trailer Park Boys. I binge-watched all 7 seven episodes and was blown away by the talent of everyone involved, from the writing to all of the actors. It has the makings of an adult-rated Big Bang Theory. Now, get it on Netflix and let's have many more seasons! The genius is keeping the characters "real" with all of the localized Canadian references. By the way, my "Islander" reference is to the left coast.

  • Islander abroad
    November 28, 2013 - 23:19

    I laughed my a#$e off watching this. It was more the references to tasting the can vs the bottle, and the link ruining the island that i found the funniest. Anyone offended by this should probably stick the vinyl cafe and the adventures of dave and morley. I actually think it gives the island a more diverse and interesting image than stories about a silly little red headed girl written by a CFA! and im a Gallant! off to pogey beach

  • CP
    November 27, 2013 - 17:28

    I think its an awesome show and hope for more seasons. the people who don't like the show are the same people who think their farts smell good (smug arseholes). I'm a nova scotian and I find the show hilarious, any true maritimer will. Because a true maritimer has friends like terry and parnell. And as far as giving maritimers a negative image.. the rest of canada already thinks we're all hillbilly's and fishermen (which I am) anyway. It's all in good fun tightwads, lighten up.

  • T MacN
    November 21, 2013 - 10:18

    This show makes me proud to be an Islander. It's easily one of the best things to come out of PEI entertainment. All the dissenters aren't in the target demographic anyway (people with a sense of humour). Good job boys, here's to more good stuff to come.

  • Islander
    November 20, 2013 - 16:47

    This show is garbage!!!

  • Fan
    November 19, 2013 - 21:07

    Love this web series. Great job guys!!!!!!!!!!! Hope to watch more.

  • Fan
    November 19, 2013 - 21:03

    Love this web series. Great job guys!!!!!!!!!!! Hope to watch more.

  • hockey mom
    November 19, 2013 - 08:01

    I am a hockey mom and thought I had heard it all. This is low grade filthy humour with a very poor reflection on island talent. It shows no respect for women or men, for that matter. This is a total waste of taxpayers money and it makes PEIslanders look like potty mouthed fools who need their mouths washed out with gillet's lye soap! This is not talent. It is a dirty version of trailer park boys......another shameful mark on maritimers.!

    • t macdonald
      November 20, 2013 - 15:09

      To all those offended Nay Sayers…. How's about making your own production and see who gets the most hits and supportive remarks? I think this is original & creative, unlike your acerbic comments.

    • Agreed
      November 20, 2013 - 16:43

      My thoughts exactly hockey mom. I got a lot of backlash when I commented almost the same.

    • Perfect Citizen
      December 10, 2013 - 22:09

      Got news for ya Hockey Mom. Most of us are "potty mouthed fools who need their mouths washed out with gillet's lye soap!" Head back to church and don't forget your heated cushion for your tush on those cold hockey arena fan stands.. don't want to get hemroids. I love the show! It shows what the heart of maritime culture is really like as far as its sense of humour. We are different and we are proud of it!

  • Vulgar Vulture
    November 18, 2013 - 20:41

    This is nothing more than toilet humour. Show some wit.

  • More more more...
    November 18, 2013 - 18:42

    Just watched all 7 episodes and want to see more. Funny funny stuff. If there is a fan club where do I sign up? Great stuff guys, give us more.

  • Not for me, but maybe for others?
    November 18, 2013 - 16:26

    Yikes, I wanted to like this but . . . yikes, it isn't even bad enough to be good. But, as far as a waste of tax dollars? Compared to what? I'm glad it this project was supported and hope we give it another try.

  • Pogey Beach
    November 18, 2013 - 11:44

    Very funny stuff! Set your egos and stuffy britches aside to watch this somewhat satirical laughfest.

  • Out West
    November 18, 2013 - 11:19

    If this were something new, something cutting edge, something with even a smidgeon of novelty to it, I would give it the attention it deserves. Heck, I would even forward it to friends out West. (I’m very proud of my PEI upbringing and think it healthy to laugh a bit at where you come from.) Unfortunately, this is a story that’s been repeated again and again, so much so that the idea has become pedestrian. Goin’ Down the Road is one of my all-time favourites and Just Passing Through is nothing but a spin-off and should be called Goin’ Down the Toilet, which is where all that grant money has gone. Profanity can be used as an art form, but there is a line. This program crosses it and forces the viewer to wade through a mire of vulgarity. I couldn’t get through five bloody minutes! It’s deserving of a spot on SNL(Wait, Just Passing Through is too small, too provincial) It’s deserving of a spot on some comedy sketch program that existed many years ago, which means you’re just passing through about then years too late! Yer give ‘er has got up and gone. Now git!

  • Is not
    November 18, 2013 - 09:09

    This show is not a very good portrayal of islanders at all. So much for the 'gentle' island.

  • Disappointed Islander
    November 18, 2013 - 07:00

    Cannot believe the government gave them $100,000 to make PEI look like complete idiots. Well I guess we are if we allow our government to waste tax dollars like this. Great job at shining the worst light possible on the province.

    • How it is...
      November 18, 2013 - 10:01

      It's called satire and having a sense of humor.

    • R. Blanchard
      November 18, 2013 - 12:06

      Simmer down!

  • wondering
    November 17, 2013 - 20:20

    Good to see the government supporting this garbage. Not an original line in the part I watched . Complete and utter garbage .

    • Jimmy
      November 18, 2013 - 08:01

      Oh come on "wondering" don"t be a stunned ******!!

    • How it is...
      November 18, 2013 - 08:33

      Not an original line in this comment either... Same old whining PEI attitude as always.

  • Love it
    November 17, 2013 - 17:17

    Watched the first episode last night and loved it! Does anyone know when the following episodes will be released!

    • Toni
      November 17, 2013 - 20:22

      All of the episodes are available now at the show's website justpassingthrough.ca

    • They're there
      November 17, 2013 - 20:32

      They're all up now at http://justpassingthrough.ca/ I watched them all today. :)

    • Jeremy Larter
      November 17, 2013 - 21:39

      Hey, all of the episodes are up and posted on their website: www.justpassingthrough.ca

  • Poogy nark
    November 17, 2013 - 14:01

    Lots of good jobs in Moncton

  • Funny Stuff
    November 17, 2013 - 12:45

    Hilarious show if you don't mind a little dirty comedy. Well worth watching this one. Very well done! Hope to see a second season someday!

    • Sue
      November 19, 2013 - 05:25

      There's the problem with this show,it's not a little bit of dirty comedy ,it's a lot of dirty comedy.Im not offended but I'm not amused either.When the raunchy stuff is overused it's just toilet humor,when written in the right places of the script it could be hillarious!

  • Brad Williams
    November 17, 2013 - 12:11

    Hold the ALPINE high and CHEERS , HERE'S hoping to more funding and more seasons to come , bravo, BRILLIANT