Friday, September 04, 2009

Republic of Doyle and the Beatles

So perhaps a quick post this evening. For one thing, it's Labour Day Weekend, which means hardly anyone is going to be coming by the blog anyway. They're trying to cram one last day of summer. But a few quick things anyway.

The first is a link to this CBC site with a video promoting a new show not debuting until January called The Republic of Doyle. My friend Geoff Meeker tipped me off to this on Facebook, and I'm reposting over here. I was hoping the video on this site would be up on YouTube by now, but if it is, I can't find it. It's a made-in-Newfoundland production down the line.

Now, the trailer looks promising, but of course, that's the purpose of trailers. And yes, I'm plugging it a bit here because I like to plug Newfoundland artists when I can. But understand I do so with a bit of reluctance. Newfoundland has some phenomenal writers, actors, musicians and other artists. But God help us, some of the recent television productions out of the province have been deeply, deeply mediocre. Hatching, Matching and Dispatching had its moments, but lord knows there was nothing extraordinary about the show. Then there were shows like Dooley Gardens or The Gullages which were also frustrating in their mediocrity. Actually, I'll do so far as to say Dooley Gardens was just plain bad.

As I said, there are a lot of talented people rattling around in the Newfoundland arts scene. However, if I have a criticism, I think there's an over-reliance on quirkiness. "Look at our show! We have quirky characters, with quirky plots and dialogue and it's set in Newfoundland which is, you know, a quirky place! Come watch us, we're quirky!"

However, somewhere among all that quirk they tend to forget to make things entertaining. Quirky is lovely and gets you a look. However, entertaining is what gets people to come back week after week. And lord knows an overload of quirk can be like overdosing on sugar. It leaves you with a deeply sickly feeling after awhile.

So I hope The Republic of Doyle manages to not fall into the quirky trap and produce something I want to watch. Although the show already has one thing going for it. Sean Panting is obviously playing some part in the show, and I'm a big fan of Sean's, although more for his music than his acting.

Anyway, it's coming out in January. Keep an eye out for it and pray for the best.

I guess the second thing I can think of this evening is that big Beatles blitz that's building. I believe this week is the 40th anniversary of Abbey Road and next week sees the release of the Beatles video game on Rockstar, plus the digitally remastered Beatles box set.

Alas, we are a Guitar Hero household, so as tempting as the getting Rockstar: The Beatles is, we're going to pass on that.

Then there's the box set. The cheapest place I've found it on my usual online haunts as been at Amazon, where it is a mere $189. Now, I love the Beatles. In fact, I love them so much I already own their complete catalogue, which routinely plays on my iPod. I'm also not a massive audiophile, which means I have my sincere doubts that even if I were in the financial position to drop $200 on the Beatles, I don't think I could tell the difference between what's playing on my iPod now and now the new set.

But even if I could tell the difference. Even if this was something I desperately had to have, the concept of giving the Beatles more money for essentially the same product....just can't do it.

You can argue the merits of downloading music and whether it is ethical and if it's stealing. I understand both sides. However, if there was ever a band made for downloading because you didn't want to give them any more of your money, lord knows it would have to be the Beatles.

I love them and all, but I think I'm done paying for their music at this point.

Last Five
1. Hello, my treacherous friend - OK Go
2. Don't fail me now - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
3. Morning is broken - Lloyd Cole
4. Tarry trousers (live) - Figgy Duff*
5. March into the sea - Modest Mouse


SRD said...

Going back to that consumerist thread, the thing I notice most about your blog is just that it focuses on stuff I don't even know (or care) about, because you do 'consume' that sort of thing. And I mean that in a really neutral way. I never know what new shows are on, and rarely follow series or buy DVDs. Ditto, the only 'BIG' anniversary I was aware of is the declaration of WW2 70 years ago. I presume the diff is just that you have time and interest in media, culture, whatnot which is pretty consumable - indeed dedicated to getting us all to do so. Which is why its kind of fun to read the blog, because it brings up bizarre, weird stuff that leads me to think 'why on earth do grownups spend their time on this sort of thing' (and how do they possibly find time to do so), alongside the fun political stuff!

towniebastard said...

Well, I've always had an interest in pop culture...even back to our time together in the Muse, I was the arts editor for a year and the movie reviewer for many years. I can't tell you exactly why I enjoy it so much, but I do.

I just try to keep things diverse on the blog. If I focussed on just one thing, I think I would have given up ages ago out of boredom. Plus, I think for people coming here, if they hate today's post, then there's always the possibility that tomorrow's will be of more interest.

Regardless, I'm glad you swing by and comment.

Anonymous said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with these Nfld productions. They try to go for this "over the top" quirkiness which is not Nfld and never has been. It is just plain bizarre. There are lots of characters in St. John's lore ranging from Johnny gluebag, Tex, Bucky King and Hobo Bill to politicians, fishermen, civil servants, businessmen, lawyers, and everyday folk. But these productions are way out of wack and not representative of any characters I know or are familiar with. The premise is always encouraging but the execution is horrible. It might have something to do with the fact that it is always the same actors involved. They must do their casting calls at the Ship Inn only lol. And if you are not part of that gang then you are not part of the production.

They need some fresh faces involved and tone down the outlandish material. And if they do this with Republic of Doyle then it might succeed on catching on.

Anonymous said...

As someone who is working on Republic of Doyle, I can personally promise you it will be nothing like Hatching. From its very initial stages, this project is a straight up, real look at urban St. John's with a fictional twist. The overly heavy Newfoundland accents that are often mocked on mainland Canada are not even present on this show. The word Newfie is never used, there are no men getting nasty with dead moose... instead, it's a smart, clever mystery comedy about a father-son private investigator team in St. John's.

The guest stars alone indicate how happy people are about this project and what it's doing for us.

Now, here's something you can do: Give it a chance. All because it's coming out of Newfoundland, doesn't mean it falls within the stereotype. Our writers are passionate about letting the true style of Newfoundland shine through.

Anonymous said...

And PS: If you're interested in being a part of the show in some capacity and you have no background in film, please join the Facebook group titled "Casting By Maggie;" they send out weekly calls for extras and even small speaking roles. We are very open to new faces :) Me being one of them as this is my first job in film!

tommy said...

Maybe it's just me, but I see no link to any ROD preview in this post. Can you direct me to where I can see it?

towniebastard said...

You're right. However, when I went to find the link I had been looking at, CBC seems to have removed it. I've no idea why, really. But there you go. No one ever accused the Mother Corp of being sensible.

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in areas where Republic of Doyle, I do not like being asked to move my car elsewhere when I have paid for more than one parking permit for myself and other tennants of our house. I also do not apprecaite myself or any of tennants of my house being asked to to go somewhere else while out for a smoke on OUR property or to not live in our neighborhood like we do everyday, walking places, or driving places.

You took over the old Torbay rec center to build a set, USE IT! To expect people to halt their daily routines or not drive, park or use their property for personal enjoyment is a bit much.

Newfoundlanders by nature are NOT over the top as another respondant said.

Republic of Doyle says it created opportunity. This is only true if you know someone, who knows someone either associated with CBC, or the creators of the series.

Now, excuse me while go out on the step and enjoy my smoke, while the Republic of Doyle crew glares on.