What’s not to like about Republic of Doyle? (Except of course for those two things that aren’t very important to most people but couldn’t be more important to some people.) This brainchild of a fella who’s too tall to be called a scamp, Mr. ALLEN HAWCO, has fallen prey to Canadian snobbery. The same kind of TV critics who dismissed Corner Gas and especially Trailer Park Boys have found a new whipping boy, one with bright blue eyes, a bit of a high forehead, and no chest hair whatsoever.

Let’s demolish a few objections.

  1. Setting

    Myles McNutt:

    [W]hat kind of cultural statement does a show make when it proves that St. John’s is just as capable as Toronto of housing a generic procedural private-investigation series?

    My argument is that it isn’t a cultural statement at all. I’ve written thesis chapters on how

    I’m just going to stop there. Anybody writing theses on Canadian TV is obviously gonna hate Republic of Doyle.

    C. Archer:

    The biggest problem with Republic of Doyle is that Newfoundland is ancillary to the show’s plot. RoD is a generic mismatched-partners detective drama…. With a rewrite or two, Republic of Doyle can be set anywhere in Canada…. Maybe I’m missing out on RoD’s subtleties. I don’t know.

    No, C., all you and Myles did was jump the gun. On Episode (10)3, there was Mary Walsh as a kind of doyenne of George St., complaining bitterly of the citadel to alcohol from which she could not extricate herself. Episode 5? We’re going off-island – but we’re not going down the road to Toronto. We took the ferry to St. Pierre, with apparently real exterior shots captured by second unit.

    If car chases made The Streets of San Francisco special because a car chase in flatland Omaha or Fargo would be boring as shite, car chases in St. John’s make Republic of Doyle special. It’s a city where every second street is a hill and half of them cross at Escherian angles.

    Unmentioned also is the depiction of St. John’s as part of the 21st century. I expect my dicks to carry an iPhone. I may not expect my dicks’ dads’ missuses to hack into suspects’ VoIP voicemail via MacBook, but I will be pleasantly surpised when I see it.

    Republic of Doyle is a genial detective series set in St. John’s, where sometimes things happen that could happen only there. “Setting” can hardly exclude universal human activities.

  2. Girls! Girls! Girls!

    Now, this one I don’t get at all. Peter Jackson: “The problem is, Jake Doyle usually succeeds. The women are all horny and indiscriminate; all but a couple of them exist for little other purpose than to throw themselves at Jake at least once every show…. In a nutshell, the show is sexist.”

    Actually, Nikki is at best ambivalent about divorcing Jake. We see her ambivalence in a true-to-life way: Nobody fucked her better, not even that big black guy they obviously airlifted in from Toronto and The Border, so she comes back for more. Other lasses are former Jake squeezes.

    Meanwhile, Jake is baffled to the point of disgust by Rose’s desire for his dad. Malachi has been around the bend a few times and always looks like he just woke up after ten years’ slumber, but if anything, Malachi is Rose’s boytoy. (Des is another of those, this time not metaphorically.)

    And when tubby ginger Walter finally gets rogered, he’s the bottom. (Just like in real life.)

    The sexual politics of Doyle? The sexual politics are the show is just sexual. These critics – all of them guys – may be inwardly unnerved by Hawco’s manly suavity. Jake Doyle is tons of fun to be around, and to get done by.

    My esteemed colleague and I do wonder how, if ever, they’re going to handle the homosexualist question. With dykes, we assume. Like in the territories, Newfoundland is crawling with ’em.

What about those two pesky issues?

Producer Rob Blackie admits that postproduction is a continuous process. They’re pretty much still posting episodes for March right now.

All right, Blackie. When the hell are you gonna fix your captioning and description? Friends don’t let friends hire amateurs for a show as good as this.

And I’m not the only one who noticed that pretty much every other CBC star has appeared on the show.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.02.19 14:24. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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