It’s pretty easy to forget that in our 200 channel universe there are a fair amount of Canadian television shows that have been enjoying a great amount of success as we are producing a handful of procedurals that are just as addictive as their counterparts to the south. Available now on DVD is the third season of the adventures of smooth-talking private detective Jake Doyle as he navigates the mean streets of St. John’s, Newfoundland. It’s time for Republic of Doyle: The Complete Third Season.
Allan Hawco returns as handsome rogue Jake Doyle for a hilarious and action-packed season. However, this is Jake as we’ve never seen him before. Still working cases and capturing criminals, Jake is earning his stripes as a newly-appointed sergeant and the most colorful member of the Newfoundland Royal Constabulary. Assigned to protect a mob informant turned federal witness, Jake finds himself in over his head. Hawco steps into and inhabits the role of Jake Doyle in what is arguably Canada’s first loveable, yet charming, TV cop. This tightly written show is a fantastic balance between straight-up drama with just enough humor to keep proceedings light and entertaining, very comparable to a show like Bones that works both elements to the absolute maximum.
Running through the streets of St. John’s, the pacing never lags in any of the episodes as it all comes off with an air of a fun romp that rarely takes itself all that seriously. The very first episode of season three actually featured a reunion from Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood as Russell Crowe, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes and Alan Doyle all showed up as a mysterious group of men after Jake as he is the subject of a manhunt. This episode probably serves as the best example of why the show has lasted this long, and in its third season it is still going strong.
Combine a charismatic leading man with solid writing and a quality supporting cast and Republic of Doyle is successful because it actually manages to stay out of its own way rather than suffer the fate that some Canadian shows have suffered in the past, by simply trying too hard to be Canadian. It is well crafted, highly entertaining television and is a proud example of the quality homegrown entertainment that is being produced.
Bonus features on the three-disc set include a behind the scenes look at the production of the show and audio commentary on three of the 13 episodes.
If you’d like to learn more about Republic of Doyle and when it airs on the CBC, visit cbc.ca.