While CTV and Global TV fight over who airs better American shows, CBC has slowly spent the past two or three years, cultivating its strongest line-up of Canadian shows ever.
Tonight, the debut of The Republic of Doyle marks a crowning achievement for CBC.
The show, which stars Newfoundland native Allan Hawco is one of the most enjoyable shows to have debuted this television season, Canadian, American or otherwise. Republic of Doyle is about a father and son who daylight as private investigators. It is fresh, crisp, intelligent, funny and proudly Canadian. And I use the term Canadian in the proudest sense of the word. I am sometimes guilty of looking at shows differently because they are Canadian. I didn’t need to do this with Republic of Doyle, it stands well enough on its own.
What makes the show such a success is its confidence, which oozes from the uber-talented Hawco and his cast mates, which include: Sean McGinley, Lynda Boyd, Rachel Wilson and Krystin Pellerin. One episode in, they are a well oiled machine. The chemistry between Hawco and is female cast mates is palpable. And it would be hard to imagine anyone else strong enough, to be able to keep Jake Doyle in line, other than McGinley’s Malachy Doyle.
The show’s first mystery is a good one. The Doyles help a close family friend beat a manslaughter charge despite the fact he refuses to defend himself. If you think you can figure this one out, you’re probably wrong. The mystery is well-woven and uses itself to introduce us to many of the show’s characters, some of who help and others who hinder the duo’s investigation.
Perhaps the only fault of the show, is the lack of colourful language, which is usually synonymous with those born and raised on the island. Though I suspect that is due to censorship laws more than anything else.
The Republic of Doyle premieres tonight on CBC. Watch it tonight, because everyone will be talking about it tomorrow.