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In my opinion this is probably the best TV show ever made, which explains why it didn't last that long. Originality is the key even though it sits within the much copied police genre. A mountie, on the trail of his fathers killer, winds up in Chicago where he befriends a streetwise detective and together they solve the crimes, both big and small, of the Windy City. It's the fact that humour and characterisation take first place over gritty realism (Overrated to be honest) that separates it from, well, every other cop show ever made. Benton Fraser is undeniably one of the greatest characters ever to grace the small screen and his relationship with Ray Vecchio is both touching and humourous. I admit that the dramatic episodes, such as 'Victoria's Secret' and the magnificent 'Juliet is Bleeding' overwhelm the other, lighter, episodes but that is simply because they are so brilliantly written. When Ray and Fraser are sat in the hospital at the end of 'Juliet' and Ray speaks out about his childhood romance with the deceased Irene (Incidentally played by 'The Matrix's' Carrie Anne Moss) you can honestly feel his pain and the expression on Frasers face says more than any amount of comforting words could. It's little scenes like that which show up the show as truly great and worthy of more than three seasons. My favourite scene however, is at the end of 'The Deal' when, after Fraser is badly beaten by the local Mafia boss, Ray takes revenge on his age old nemesis by humiliating him in front of his subordinates, even though he knows that that action might cost him his life. The bonds of friendship between the two have always been shown to be tighter than steel, that's why the show was so great.The acting too was always top notch and if life is even remotely fair both Gross and Marciano should have no problem finding other work. I love this show and it always made me feel good inside. Even though it's gone I'll always have a special place in my heart for it's warmth and humour. It will be sorely missed.
This ranks up there as one of the best TV dramas of all time. Honestly, I can't recalls details about plots and so forth but I distinctly remember the way in which this show hooked me. Great music, great acting and one of the best on-screen relationships between two men I have ever seen, Due South has always been greatly missed in my life since it ended -- especially with the crap that is on TV these days. It's a shame that no network has picked up reruns of this great show but a person can always hope.
I have long since packed away the Due South videotapes I own and stashed
them in an unobtrusive corner, but that didn't stop me from checking out
IMDb entry and the fans' comments while surfing through here. I want to put
in my two cents worth because I loved that show and I hope that one or two
other persons who read this will seek it out and come to enjoy it too.
fans have written great things about the overall quality and the subtle
humor of the series - two of the best reasons to watch, so I shall stick to
how I feel about the show.
Due South is a courageous show. Week after week, the writers put the comically unflappable Mountie Fraser in center court, fighting crime in his bright red ceremonial uniform. This raised eyebrows and started snickers. It was ridiculed for its ostentatiously feel-good storylines and ignored as "another one of those cop buddy series". But those who overcame their initial cynicism and stayed to watch a full hour of the show discovered a gem. The message of the show was - don't be afraid to show what's in your heart and mind. Due South the series, by being on air and gaining a loyal following, led by example.
Due South promotes old fashioned virtues. Mountie Fraser opens doors and helps old ladies cross streets. He always goes the extra mile for everyone he knows. Detractors claimed that the character was cartoonish. But again, they missed the point. I am reminded of a forwarded e-mail that encouraged the reader to wear bright colored clothes to improve the mood, spike the energy level and increase productivity in general. Another e-mail said to smile frequently so that one will feel better about oneself and be attractive to others at the same time. Due South embodies the spirit of those quaint but universally sound advice. You bring out the best in others by exhibiting the best in yourself. In our modern world of depressing grays and browns, Fraser's scarlet served as a flashing reminder that passion, over any issue, causes us to care about others and may yet redeem us from the selfish, individualistic blackhole that society is sleepwalking towards.
And my favorite reason, Due South is about friendship. Fraser and Ray took bullets for each other. I can recall a few other cop and soldier shows that had the lead characters do the same but more often than not, it's done to grandstand the machismo of the protagonists. Due South says what's really important is to be a hero for your loved ones, the people who actually need that from you. In real life, those who were passionate about the show became good friends, making full use of the (then) infant Internet to clamor for the revival of the show after its first season. I made friends with fantastic people who shared my love for Due South, people who understood and placed a high value on the kind of "through thick and thin" relationship that the show emphasized.
Due South resounds with the hope that we will remember to have love in our hearts and empathy in our actions. It doesn't try to shock or sensationalize. Instead, it requires the viewer to reflect a little after the television set is switched off. It appeals to the brain as much as it does to the heart and the funny bone. It will always be one of the best shows I know.
I was very disappointed to hear in 1995 that "Due South" was being canceled, because it was one of the few interesting Canadian/American endeavors to hit the tube in years. Paul Gross and David Marciano were well-matched as partners, and were what made the series fun. It's surprising that "Due South" rated so poorly in both Canada and America, because it had a wit and humor that is often lacking in some of the more popular American dramas. Benton Fraser (Gross) and Ray Vecchio (Marciano) launch pithy one-liners off of each other, never batting an eyelash when the other does something that seems outlandish to them. Fraser can be a tad over-exaggerated as a result of the American desire to create the stereotypical Canadian, but this seems to decrease somewhat in the second season, after the US stepped away from the show. Marciano continues through both seasons to be well-written and funny, both with his personal fashion sense and his large, over-bearing family. A nice get-away from the usual violent cop show.
The appeal of this show is very difficult to put into a few paragraphs. Its
an extended modernizing of Shakespeare's Hamlet, only the Prince in this
case is a Canadian Mountie, sent to Chicago to pursue his fathers killers,
haunted by his father's ghost. It's more light hearted than it sounds,
Benton Fraser(the Mountie) begins to get more acquainted with his father in
death than he ever had been in life, courtesy of journals and interacting
with Fraser Senior's ghost. The characters are both exaggerated but
ultimately very believeable and Benton Fraser is by far one of the most
intriguing fictional characters I have seen on television. The first season
especially really does ask probing questions and deal with issues, notably
the last 3 episodes featuring Fraser's warped love affair with a woman he
had to imprison!
Many episodes are modernized derivatives from notable literature, one case is an episode entitled "Gift of the Wheelman", a reference to "Gift of the Magi" featuring the wheelman in a bankrobbery throwing his life away in exchange for the loot to give his son (played by Ryan Phillipe in his first major appearance) whom only wants his father's company and compassion. If you have the means you should really check into this show, if you are an avid reader it's incredible. Next to the Simpsons this is my favorite television series to date.
"Less is more" is the concept that makes this series so compelling and fun to watch. The cast displays rare talent, with Paul Gross portraying a unique leading man, a refreshing change from other carbon-copy cop shows. Gordon Pinsent, as his ghost-of-a-father, is delightful and completely at ease as he appears to Gross to guide, advise and torment. He is, indeed, one of the most underused and underrated actors of our time. This series is a perfect example of what good quality television the United States is missing.
The spirit of the pristine countryside out of which Paul Haggis'
contemporary vision of the stalwart Mountie emerges was summoned to an
unlikely place--downtown Chicago--and from it, "Due South" was born. My
cynical side gave in to the sense of snow and suggestion of rarefied air,
and the crisp figure of Paul Gross against them, as the character he
plays--Constable Benton Fraser--greets the squalor and disorder of the big
city with uncommon graciousness. Haggis must have intuited this gallantry
would soon trigger the gag reflex of people like me, and mercifully
introduced a comic turn, so his conception wouldn't turn insufferably
"noble." Enter David Marciano as Chicago detective Ray Vecchio, and this
vehicle burns rubber. You don't mind Haggis turning your disbelief on its
head with Ray around. He's the lever that balances our doubts against the
heroics that ensue. That is to say, if Ray doesn't mind being the butt of
Haggis' jokes, why should we? And the laughs make the unwelcome moral at
the end of each episode stick in a way it wouldn't with a graver
I'm a sucker for themes where fathers try to redeem themselves in the eyes of their children, but if it's mawkish, I head for the remote control. There are at least two episodes like these that I can remember, both handled well. The one with the ex-con (and his partners-in-crime) soaked in gasoline contemplating suicide with a lit match in his hand, so his son can be set for life with the booty he's collected made my heart stop. The way Fraser talks him out of it had me swallowing hard. It was spellbinding.
I regret this series leaving the air. Gross and Marciano make for smashing buddy-buddy interplay--and I usually hate this kind of stuff. But Haggis turned me around, and had me feeling that good things were at stake, that with every day lay an opportunity to save it, that there was something to this zeal for justice and pursuit of love and self-respect, that when Haggis headed south, he was really aiming for Heaven. "Due South" was my favorite TV series from the 90's.
I loved the show first-run and was thrilled last December (2002) when a
station in southern Sweden began to replay every episode as a daily
extremely clever, with wonderful, witty dialogue. The exchanges that
with the deaf Dief and his father's ghost are priceless as is the subtle
(and not so
Just a few complaints:
*My favorite storyline was "Victoria's Secret" -- but what happened to Victoria? There should have been an ending there.
*By the time I got used to the "other" Ray (Stanley) being in the cast, they made him cartoonish and dumb.
*I think at the end, there was too much junk about women mooning over Frasure. All the googly-eyed stuff from his superior just plain embarassed me.
*Fraser should have ended up with a woman -- a good woman who would make him more human and save him from his own perfection.
It was a clever, clever bit to use actor Paul Gross' (Fraser) real-life wife as the ghost of his mother in the last episode. I have read that Gross "is sick of" this show and resents being remembered for it. If it's true, that's a shame. "Due South" will forever be one of my favorite television programs.
Due South was a breakthrough in many ways. It proved that a U.S./Canadian
weekly co-production which satisfied to both cultures was indeed possible
and that it could be done with a lot of class and taste.
Every upcoming episode possessed some form of anticipation. It was never known what tone the next episode may possess, for some were comedic, some were dramatic, some were a decent mix of both. Most of all, its viewers were left feeling good in the end despite the fact that not every issue had been resolved. Most of all, any farfetched twists were minimal, leading one to believe that people like Fraser do indeed exist. Throughout the first two seasons, Fraser and Ray involved themselves in the lives of characters in trouble who needed to turn their lives around. The retooled version of the show which appeared in 1997 loses that quality, choosing to set its leads in precarious situations and mainly helping themselves rather than the people living in the city of Chicago.
Paul Haggis should be proud of his creation. It was a terrific show while he remained a part of the production. Unfortunately, it never again regained its peak once he and Kathy Slevin departed.
The fans are hoping we may perhaps see a sequel to "Victoria's Secret" within the next while? Only once Providence is cancelled (if ever), may it be a reality! Melina Kanakaredes' newfound popularity may entice potential new viewers to respond as well.
Why is it all the good shows get canceled early?
Due South was no exception.
I didn't even watch the show's first season. I had never paid any attention to it being on. Only after catching an episode of the second season on tape at a friend's house was I drawn into this quirky show.
Who would have thought that a TV show starring a Dudley Do Right cloned member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (a mountie) who lives by the rules and a sharp tounged Chicago Detective who lives to bend the rules could be such a fantastic show? This is a prime example of a fantastic show that was canceled way too early.
But we had it for 4 years and that is better than nothing.
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