Category: Canadian Television

Republic of Doyle (2010-2014 CBC)

3 Kernels

Making my way through the fourth season and having peeked at the last episode of the series, I’ve been hooked on the Republic of Doyle, a CBC Canadian television series, for the past few weeks. The show quickly sucked me in, wore me out, regained interest, and keeps me going eventually through seasons five and six.

Meet Jake Doyle, the womanizer private detective, in business with his father. Set in the colorful St. John’sNewfoundland and Labrador location, you get to ride along in a few terrifying road trips in Jake’s classic GTO car.  Between the women and the cases, it’s filled with interesting and terrifying characters that keep your interest.  The comedy of the show is intermixed with family and others who make up the eclectic cast that often goes and comes in episodes.  A surprise episode with Russell Crowe is thrown into the mix. Nevertheless, the basic family core is pretty much the same throughout give or take a few siblings.

One question remains unanswered, however.  How often can a person get hit in the head and knocked out before there is brain damage? Since this happens to Jake and his assistant, Des, multiple times, you begin to realize it’s just part of the writer’s ploy to make it ridiculous.  If you can get past that often irrational plotline, you will enjoy Jake’s blue eyes, six-pack abs, and interesting character.

As far as the cases go, they are sometimes repetitive but usually interesting. Jake breaks the law more often than not but his romantic love interest on the police force is his saving grace in many ways.

To be honest, after season one through three, I got a little burned out and had to recoup by watching season two of No Offense. I quickly binged that with the six forty-five minute episodes and have returned to the Republic.

If you’re into PI shows, you will probably enjoy this one via Canada.

 

Bomb Girls (Canadian TV Series 2012 – 2013)

Stars: Jodi Balfour, Charlotte Hegele

I was becoming a little discouraged on Netflix because lately I couldn’t find a new series that looked interesting.  Oh, I know there are a bunch out there that are more of the modern storyline (Dexter, House of Cards, and many others).  I can’t tell you the countless ones I’ve watched the pilot for the series and decided not to continue on. 
Just as I was about to flip over to Amazon Prime for something more interesting, I landed on Bomb Girls.  Well, wouldn’t you know it!  I’m back in the 1940’s, which is my mother’s generation, and watching an intriguing show about a group of women in Canada making munitions for the boys on the front.  The show starts pre-Pearl Harbor, so the US isn’t in the war just yet until the end of season one. 
The show is a mixture of characters from the rich girl, who feels her duty to help serve against her parents’ protests, and many others from various backgrounds.  Each girl has a bomb of a past, so to speak, from abusive over zealous preacher fathers to a woman who hides her sexuality with women.  There are affairs and other shenanigans going on, all of which makes the series interesting.  To add to the drama, building bombs wasn’t exactly a safe profession, and there are a few accidents to characters to make that point.
I’ve always been a sucker for WWII war stories, mainly because my own parents lived through that era.  My father shipped off two days after Pearl Harbor and didn’t come back home until four years later.  My mother went to work in a radio factory, which was filled with female workers.  She lived like many other women, dreading to hear about whether their husbands were coming home. To top it off, my brother was born two days before Pearl Harbor and didn’t meet his father until after the war.
I’ve just finished the first season (after watching it all weekend) and am about to start the second.  It’s a good series worth the watch and reminds us what others have sacrificed for our nations in the past to bring victory over tyranny.  Women manned the factories, played baseball games, and took up the jobs during the war that men were not around to fill.  Of course, I love the fashions of the day.  The hairstyles, padded shoulders, nylon stockings, slips, and the fact most everyone wore a nice dress to work before changing into their work clothes.  
Okay, I’m off to see the second season!  Bye! 

Flashpoint (Canadian TV 2008-2012)

4 Kernels

Television 2008-2012

 Stars:  Enrico Colantoni, David Paetkau, Hugh Dillon, Sergio Di Zio, Michael Cram, Mark Taylor and Ruth Marshall. Amy Jo Johnson

I’ve been through quite a few series on Netflix, which I watch more than current television.  Probably it’s because I’m not bombarded with commercials and can get through an hour-long show in 40 minutes.   I had seen reruns of Flashpoint a few times, but never got into the series.  Once again, after the fact, I’m tuning in and enjoying the show.

Let me preface this article by saying that personally, I am not a stranger to law enforcement.  My first marriage happened to be with a Detroit Police Officer, and my last boyfriend happened to be a County Coroner in California who wore full uniform and carried a gun. I’m acquainted with weapons, uniforms, badges, and the difficulty of loving someone on the force and how that can effect a man who risks his life everyday to keep you safe. I’ve even spent hours ironing those damn police shirts, too!

Flashpoint, for me, resurrects some of those memories, but frankly I think I’m just drawn to men in uniforms, bald or not.  Enrico Colantoni, who plays Sgt. Parker looks very much like my Coroner friend, who broke my heart I might add, as well as my first husband.  Quite strange.  :slaps self back to reality:

Anyway, on with the show.  I’m giving this tune-in a four-star rating, because I find it enjoyable, enjoy the characters, and am enthralled with the suspense. Canadians do a good job, as well, with television drama. I’ll add to those four stars that I have skipped over some episodes because of the content, such as an abduction of a child, the rough and tough drug lords, and the mean and lean boys on the streets. I gravitate more to the stories, which frankly are so true to heart, of men and women who come to that “flashpoint,” if you will, where they lose it due to their own stress and heartaches in life.  The breaking point comes when injustice has occurred, their lives have been tragically altered by another crime, or their love for a family member drives them to desperation.  They all tug at your heart.  Of course, the stories we don’t like to hear, are the psychopaths, who like recently, have gone over the edge and selfishly killed the innocent young.  The reality of those situations is heartache enough, and I don’t need to watch it played out on screen.

The team, is a mixture of personalities.  They all have private sub-plots of their lives integrated into the show, whether it’s their family, love life, or past heartaches.  However, they are a team when it comes to work.  In spite of their existence off the job,  they are a cohesive force to be dealt with when entering into a situation that calls for police intervention.  They are trained to talk-down rationally the individual who has gone over the edge, rather than saying “Scorpio” and killing them because there is no alternative to the situation or another life is in immediate danger.  However, there are times the word is uttered and one of the team takes them down.  It’s not a moment they enjoy, which I think adds to the heartfelt theme of the show.

The show is set in Toronto and all of the actors are Canadian, except for Amy Jo Johnson.  They play their parts well, their skills on the set are pretty awesome, and the guys look great in uniforms. What can I say?  I’m a sucker.

All of the seasons are great, however, the last one was probably the most moving of all.  Frankly, I cried at the last episode.  It was hard saying goodbye to Team One.  I felt “neutralized” after it ended, if you get my drift.

If you’re looking for a police show, this is pretty good one that you might enjoy.  Now that it’s ended, I’ll be back to surfing Netflix for another program to get sucked into.  That’s my life on my green recliner with my Sony television and Comcast cable when I should be working on my next novel!

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