It’s “Family Day” (at least in Ontario), so time for a second or third look at the CBC family sitcom 18 to Life. The 8:30 p.m. comedy has been lost on Monday nights, slumping in the ratings opposite House and import comedies on CTV. CBC left it off its recent list of renewals and its fate seems very much up in the air.
A shame since, on the weeks I’ve checked in anyways, it is a fun and original little show.
Tonight’s episode is all about a battle of the sexes subject most families can relate to: leaving the toilet seat up or down.
The modern day Romeo and Juliet at the centre of the story–teen newlyweds Tom and Jesse (Michael Seater and Stacey Farber)–are at odds over the seat issue. Tom, like most dudes, can’t stand sitting in the boys room and likes to leave the seat up. This despite the fact that the actor’s name is Seater. Follow?
Jesse asks her mom and mother-in-law how they managed to train their partners on the seat issue and gets some surprising answers. The dads also take aim at the issue. Hilarity ensues.
Some might think this sitcom has bottomed out or is sunk to toilet humour but really, 18 to Life shines when it explores the everyday, relatable things. Brent Butt always said Corner Gas was at its best when it was about the “finding my pencil” moment, some little thing that allowed each character to rise to the bait. 18 to Life has that same comedy-in-the-character DNA.
Toilet humour aisde, CBC seems ready to wash its hands of this comedy. Given all the chances Being Erica got to find a so-so audience, the network should try 18 to Life out at least once on another night. Sunday nights at 8 after Heartland would be a nice fit, I’m thinking.

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