It wasn't until the fifth season that Allan Hawco, the show's star and among its producers, helped foster a deal with Trifecta Entertainment of Los Angeles to put the show into United States syndication. According to Hawco, owners preferred to keep the show exclusive to Canadian audiences for the first several years to help keep the show "real and truthful to the place"; it's set in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Syndication will keep the show, which ended after season 6, playing in U.S. households for years. See more »
As a native Newfoundlander, my opinions on this show have to be coloured by that rather important fact, but I have tried to divorce my feelings for my home from my review of the program.
As is plainly written on the Republic of Doyle web site, this show is cut from the same mould as The Rockford Files and Magnum PI. It's mostly a comedy with just enough mystery plot to hold the whole thing together. If you are expecting CSI on the East Coast, you will be disappointed. However, if you are looking for interesting characters that are true Newfoundlanders, with all the irreverence, dry wit and lust for life that the term implies, then this show will definitely entertain you.
Shot in and around St. John's, Nfld, on admittedly the largest number of nice weather days I've seen in a row, Republic takes full advantage of the visual variety of both the city and the surroundings. Dramatic shots of steep hills and brightly coloured houses backdropped by the harbour make even unlikely car chases appear really dramatic. I've driven those streets. Car chases on those hilly, narrow and winding streets is a fast way to a trip to the hospital. Still, they look like a lot of fun, and that's the point of it all, so it works a treat.
The strength of the series, though, is the characters and their interactions. For a brand new series, the recurring characters have a sense of solidity and reality that usually takes several seasons to achieve. The humour is appropriate to the place and people. As a Newfoundlander, I "get" the humour; I can only hope that others find it just as amusing. The other thing that reads very true is the dialogue. Having listened to a great many people butcher both the accent and the common terms of speech, it is refreshing to find dialogue that really could be heard on the streets of the city on any given day.
All-in-all, this is an hour of your life that you will be glad you spent in Newfoundland. If you can't get "Republic of Doyle" where you live, check out the CBC web site where you can watch the episodes online.
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