The Republic of Doyle: Season One

The Republic of Doyle: Season One
On the sole "Making of" supplement included with the three-disc Republic of Doyle DVD set, series creator and star Allan Hawco, along with various producers, describe the show as a throwback to '70s detective comedies like The Rockford Files. And aside from the unique use of St. John's, Newfoundland as a setting, that's essentially what this Canadian hour-long is, only with slightly less creativity and vitality. With references to Canadiana whenever the opportunities arise, this new addition to the CBC line-up details the escapades of father-son private detectives Malachy (Sean McGinley) and Jake (Hawco) Doyle as they tackle mysteries of the week with dysfunctional comic whimsy. Jake is a tool, playing off his fading pretty boy looks to compensate for his overall ineptitude, while his father, Malachy, approaches the job with maturity, occasionally seeking help from his technically apt wife, Rose (Lynda Boyd). When not flirting with police officer Leslie Bennett (Krystin Pellerin) for information, Jake bickers with his (soon to be) ex-wife Nikki (Rachel Wilson), hopping back in the sack with her whenever she lets her guard down. These characters never evolve beyond their archetypes, aside from Nikki, whose ambivalence is refreshing, which leaves the quip-y one-liners and routine weekly cases to fill the void. Unfortunately, the writing is at its cleverest when it tackles base, crude double-entendres, like when Jake finds a client attractive and states, "If we wanna know more, we gotta get a man on the inside," to which Rose replies, "Of his wife, you mean." While the tendency to bungle up investigations on cheating spouses and rum-runners can shake up the procedural element, the actual complexity of these mysteries is limited to sub-par Veronica Mars, without the sharp, cynical world observations and playful, deliberate language. This leaves only the charm of leading man Hawco to carry the show, which is unfortunate, since he's rather transparent and insincere. (eOne)