Mystery and Murder in St. John’s: A Review of The Republic of Doyle

On Wednesday I was walking home from work when I spotted bright sky lights over downtown St. John’s cutting through the darkness. My first thought was where the hell is this lighthouse? Because underneath my red hair, there’s some blonde growing in with each brain cell destroyed by beer.

Turns out the Majestic Theatre was having a big VIP party for the series premiere of The Republic of Doyle, a TV series filmed right here in St. John’s which has been the topic of local discussion for awhile now.

Anyway, the series is an action/investigative show featuring Jake Doyle as a P.I. and his father as a partner in crime. Two thoughts about this: 1) I love how creative the idea is, since there’s virtually no huge crime in St. John’s (although the last murder was a brutal one) 2) action scenes set to fiddle music is surprisingly wicked awesome.

(Some of the shots of the city were incredible, but they’re not really shown in the trailer. If you’re so inclined to check out the full episode, just follow this CBC link.)

It was pretty exciting to see St. John’s featured so colourfully on TV. The whole time my roommate and I were watching, I’d squeal when places like The Duke of Duckworth appeared or the harbour front where I work. Plus, y’know, Doyle is pretty hot. Kinda like a Newfie version of Colin Ferrell.

There’s another thing: this isn’t a typical Newfie production, and there’s no Newfie stereotypes besides a slang word tossed in here and there. I think this might be the first show I’ve seen set in Newfoundland that takes place in modern times, without all the old Newfoundland scenes of women drying fish on flakes and men lost at sea. It’s my city, in the here and now.

My only qualm with the whole thing is that some of the acting was kinda off. I disliked the constable’s character in particular, she’s like a not-as-funny version of The Office’s Angela. I’m also a big supporter of actors working outside their comfort zone, but Shaun Majumber as a badass just didn’t work for me.

I’ll definitely be tuning in next week, however. If you’re not a Newfoundlander and you’ve seen the show, I would love your unbiased opinion.

(Thumbnail photo by micha420.)

  • January 09 2010

    I’d love to see this but when I click on the CBC link it says the episode won’t stream outside of Canada. Boo Hoo.

    • January 10 2010

      Damn! I think there’s a way to download it from iTunes too, I’ll have a look.

  • January 09 2010

    I do not think this show is designed for my demographic! However, I really wanted to like it. Unlike you, I appreciated the “new Shaun Majumber.” The tatts, the sullen expression, the hair…perfect… he was great. And… more than anything in the show, the city was outstanding. Somehow, the characters did not seem to jell … but that could be my age…or maybe they will grow with the series. I will watch every week. As you said, it is a treat to see the city as it is today.

    • January 10 2010

      You might be right about the demographics thing! I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV, so I’m not realy sure what “works.” I’m hoping it’ll be one of those shows that become more and more appealing as the season goes on, y’know? It’s hard to make a good judgement based on the first episode. Thanks for dropping by!

  • January 09 2010

    Cool! I want to see this show to get a glimpse of your town. One of these days I’ll make it up there. There’s this sense of pride that happens when shows get filmed in your town. Wilmington, NC (where I live now) is the home of Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill and the set of lots of movies. While I haven’t watched One Tree Hill, I got addicted to Dawson’s Creek in the beginning because I would get the biggest kick out of seeing places around town. Come to think of it, I’m still addicted.

    • January 10 2010

      Ooooh, I didn’t know you lived in Dawson’s Creek??!!!! Hahaha, that is awesome. I went through a phrase where it was all I watched one summer. Totally awesome to see places you frequent on a daily basis!

  • January 09 2010

    I would absolutely watch this if I had TV, just to see what Newfoundland is like – not that you don’t give vivid descriptions in your writing. You should try to get a walk-on role or something, Candice.

    • January 10 2010

      Oh I wish the video clip worked, arrrg! I feel in love with my city all over again. I thought about it, hahaha, but I’m really the most awful person on camera.

  • January 09 2010

    As Nancy said there is something cool about seeing the place you live on TV. Getting excited when you see the place you eat at or work. I’ll have to see if I can find a copy of this somewhere on the great internet after Cailin got me onto Trailer Park Boys it only seems fair I watch something you recommend.

    • January 10 2010

      Hehehe, you’re watching The Trailer Park Boys?! Filmed in NS, close enough to NL! Good job!

  • January 11 2010

    they filmed part of a tv series in my city this summer, and it was so cool. but the series wasn’t actually based here, they just used it as a set. it would be so neat to see a show actually take place in the town you live in. i haven’t watched the republic of doyle yet, but i’m definitely going to check it out. i’m slightly fasinated with newfoundland.

    • January 11 2010

      Yes, check it out! Does the city justice for sure. One episode was filmed on my street, I can’t wait to see that one. :)

  • February 07 2010
    the duke

    Did you know that it’s not really the Duke in the show…. but a clever replica ;)

    • February 11 2010

      WHAT! I’ve been deceived! The Duke is my favorite. ;) Seriously, love it there.

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