Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recommendation of the Month: Republic of Doyle

There are tons of things I watch that I don't blog about.  I thought I'd start a new monthly feature where I would recommend some of those things to you.  Some of the shows are currently airing and others aren't.  I won't recommend anything that doesn't currently air on television that isn't available on DVD or Blu-Ray (or both) because if you can't find it, you can't give it a try, right?

So, on or around the first day of each month you can expect one of these chatty (but not too chatty!) little posts about a television show I dearly love.  While keeping things as brief as possible, I'll try to introduce you to the characters and give you a bit of an idea as to what the show is about so you can decide whether or not it might become one of your favorites, too.

So, let's get going!

If someone told me I had to choose five television shows, past or present, that I absolutely couldn't live without there is one that I wouldn't hesitate for a second to include on that list:  Republic of Doyle.

Republic of Doyle is a Canadian private eye series set in St. John's, Newfoundland.  The show is currently enjoying its second season and has already been renewed by the CBC for a third.  Doyle stars series creator, writer and executive producer Allan Hawco as former policeman turned private eye, Jake Doyle.  His business and investigative partner is his father, Malachy Doyle (Sean McGinley).  Malachy is a retired policeman himself and full of witty lines and always ready to trade a barb or two with his son.  Rose, the love of Mal's life, helps the Doyle boys by carrying out investigations from the office.

Republic of Doyle has been compared to The Rockford Files and Magnum P.I. and I think those comparisons are quite fitting.  Both Rockford and Magnum had strong lead characters, compelling supporting characters and a perfect blend of mystery, action and humor.  Doyle is no different. 

Jake Doyle is a character you can't help but love.  He's flawed (very flawed!), he's got a quick and ready wit, he'll go the extra mile to help his client out of a jam (as long as that extra mile doesn't threaten him with severe bodily harm) and he takes his fair share of punches.  Jake has quite an affection for the ladies.  When the series starts, he's going through a less than amiable divorce from Nikki Renholds.  At the same time, he's got eyes for the local constable who looks more like a beauty queen than a policeman, Leslie Bennett.  Jake's dad, Malachy Doyle has long since given up on trying to keep his son out of trouble because he knows no matter how hard he tries, Jake can't stay out of trouble.

Tinny Doyle is Malachy's sixteen-year-old granddaughter who lives with her grandfather and Rose.  Her relationship with Rose is a little tough at the beginning but, as the series progresses, they go from angry teen/frustrated Rose to two women who can get along and work together.  We're first introduced to Des Courtney when Jake and Mal are chasing him down because he's spray painting graffiti all over buildings in St. John's.  The dislike between he and Jake goes to new heights when Des spray paints "Dick for hire" on the side of Jake's beloved GTO.  Des is given an option:  turn his life around and help the Doyle's or he will be turned in.  Of course, he chooses the former and becomes the newest member of the Doyle team.  He's also completely and hopelessly in love with Tinny and doesn't really hide that fact very well (even though he thinks he does).

The writing on the show is strong and focuses not only on providing viewers with an interesting and entertaining story each week but with creating compelling characters you can come to really care about.  You want to know what will be happening next with prodigal son Christian or if Jake will ever get things straight in his love life or just how much trouble Tinny is going to be getting herself into with her current plans.  The female characters aren't weaklings who need the men to bail them out of trouble at every turn.  They can stand on their own two feet and, in many occasions, give the guys a run for their money.  The crimes are unique and sometimes hilarious (how often on television do you see an investigation into a stolen chip truck?).

Allan Hawco has done a brilliant job focusing on St. John's and Newfoundland with Republic of Doyle.  The series theme song, Oh Yeah is by Newfoundland band, Great Big Sea.  (Trust me, after becoming a Republic of Doyle fan you'll never say the phrase "oh yeah" again without thinking of RoD or even singing the theme song.)  Lots of famous faces from Newfoundland have had guest starring roles in the show including Gordon Pinsent (Maurice Becker), Michael Coady (registration, sign-in guard), Shaun Majumder (Benny Natchie), Mary Walsh (Miranda Cahill), Mark Critch (Ned Bishop) and Joanne Kelly (Stacey Layden).  The awesome Gordon Pinsent has appeared as Maurice Becker twice and will no doubt be seen again as he has a score to settle with Jake.  Victor Garber also made an incredible appearance in season one as novelist Garrison Steele who is always ready to give the bad guys, or Jake, what they really deserve:  a good slap.  Garber will be returning in season two.  The city of St. John's is as much of a character as Jake, Malachy, Rose or Des.  It provides the beautiful and colorful backdrop for the action.  At times, the picturesque images of St. John's and the Atlantic Ocean on which it lies almost steal the scenes from the actors themselves.

Season one of Doyle is available on DVD in Canada.  The series can also be bought on iTunes.  Episodes of season two can be watched on the official CBC website for the show (Canadian residents only).  Republic of Doyle has started airing in countries other than Canada.  In October of 2010, viewers in the United Kingdom were introduced to the Doyles.  Australian and Brazilian viewers were able to follow Jake and Mal on their weekly adventures starting in November of 2010.  With a little bit of luck, this amazing Canadian television show will continue to expand to other countries so more viewers can enjoy the action, humor and amazing characters Republic of Doyle has to offer.

Jake Doyle:  Allan Hawco
Malachy Doyle:  Sean McGinley
Rose Miller (Doyle):  Linda Boyd
Tinny Doyle:  Marthe Bernard
Des Courtney:  Mark O'Brien
Leslie Bennett:  Krystin Pellerin
Dr. Nikki Renholds (formerly Doyle):  Rachel Wilson
Walter McLean (Jake's lawyer):  Sean Panting
Christian Doyle:  Jonathan Goad

Republic of Doyle airs Wednesday nights on the CBC at 9:00 p.m. (9:30 p.m. in Newfoundland).
For more information:
Republic of Doyle Official CBC Website:
The Internet Movie Database:

No comments:

Post a Comment