Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle, Ep.2

So let's be candid. I got a phenomenal amount of traffic coming through the blog last week looking for reviews or information about The Republic of Doyle. And while I don't think I'm going to see that level of traffic every time an episode airs, I'd be a bit silly to see if I can't bag some extra traffic reviewing each of the episodes as they come out.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do it every week. For example, I think I might be busy next Wednesday, but I'm going to try and we'll see what happens from there. Oh, also and apology. I didn't jot down some of the character's names, it's not on The Republic of Doyle website and my brain is a sieve for these kinds of things. So sorry in advance.

So what did we have on The Republic of Doyle this week? A decent enough open establishing a bit more about Jake and Malachy. That being Jake is the hothead who tends to rushing into things, shag things up, but whose heart is in the right place. Malachy is one who tends to roll his eyes a lot at what his son is up to and uses his brains to end up in the right place at the right time. Oh, it's a decent enough little scrap, but it does help to do a bit of character development. As I said last week, one of the show's weaknesses is getting me to believe the father/son dynamic. It still feels a touch forced, (although Malachy driving Jake nuts by saying "panties" was funny) but I wasn't expecting miracles in one week. We already have one this episode, let's not push it for two.

So this week's main story is a young woman showing up at the detective agency looking to find her missing father. She just has a photo, a nickname and a few other details. However, thanks to some technical wizardry from Malachy's better half, they quickly manage to track down the guy she's looking for...a man who made all of his money building strip malls in Mount Pearl. God help us all. I thing right there that's a nod to people from St. John's that you know this is a man "up to no good."

Except, of course, there's more to the case than meets the eye. The man denies having a daughter. Then the girl goes missing after being given the information about her father. And who is Bill, who shows up looking for the girl afterwords, leading to a marvelously silly foot chase across some fishing vessels?

Meanwhile, we have a couple of subplots going on. Rose s still trying to bond with Tinny, Tinny is flirting with Des, who decided to tag Doyle's car with graffiti, which means he's not exactly in Doyle's good books. Doyle is still trying to charm the good Cst. Bennett while dealing with his increasing erratic wife, Nikki.

So let's just say there's a lot of shit going down in this episode. But hey, it mostly worked. The story this week was much better. A lot more twists and turns to make it harder to figure out who the bad guys(s) were, and that had me guessing. If they can keep at this level and higher with the A level stories around the crime of the week to be solved, then that's good. Last week's mystery, come on, if bells weren't going off when you found out one of the characters was three months pregnant, you just aren't trying. So this is an improvement.

I like Rose as the technical wizard. One gets the feeling that Malachy and Jake are clever, but not exactly geniuses. So I like Rose being the clever one who digs up all the stuff they need online. Yes, it's skimmed over tech wizardry, but these type of shows are guilty of that all the time. Computers and the internet are the magic you need to get the information to keep the plot moving.

I'm not sure I'm going to like Tinny and Des, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of a doubt. And Tinny has a fine line to walk between being justifiably a bit annoying and just plain annoying. She's managing so far, but there have been a few wobbles on that tightrope.

As for this week's miracle, step forward Krystin Pellerin. I compared her to a zombie last week and yes, relatively speaking, she had nowhere to go but up. However, she was much better this week. The stunned eye glaze was nowhere to be found, but the smart cop who knows what Jake is, wants to avoid it, but is still kind of intrigued made an appearance. Thank god, because really, if her character continued to be a dud, the show was going to have a really problem. So yes, much better. More of this, please. I'm willing to believe what someone said last week, it might have just been bad writing and/or direction. There's considerable more spark in her performance this week.

The big worry this week Rachel Wilson's Nikki. It's not the acting, not like it was last week with Pellerin. It is, I think, the writing. Nikki is all over the place in this episode. Sexy one minute, crazy the next, rational for brief flashes. However, when you have all that happening in a 15 second span it just looks like the writers have no idea how to write crazy.

Look, there are some genuinely crazy women in Newfoundland. I know a few of them. It shouldn't be that hard to write a Catholic woman messed up by her failing marriage. In fact, the only reason I believe I know that is because I read the character bio on the Doyle web page. Might have been nice to have mentioned some of that a bit sooner on the show to explain some of this. And even so, it's still not a convincing crazy. It's an all over the place crazy. It needs to get more focused.

So yes, this is a step in the right direction for the show. They need to figure out Nikki, Jake and Malachy have to keep working on that father/son thing. Oh, and they need to figure out how to get more Walter (Sean Panting) in the show, because his scenes with Jake are always fun. The two of them have some of the best chemistry on the show so far.

Now let's see what they can do next week.

Last Five
1. Walnut tree - Keane
2. American Routlette - Robbie Robertson*
3. Emma J - Brandon Benson
4. What am I to you? - Norah Jones
5. The end - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals


Anonymous said...

Watching the "Republic of Doyle" second episode has not captured my interest. It's pale gray and the accent is not St. John's bye, by any means. There is an attempt to be Hollywoodish with Newfoundland women portrayed as being crazy and half drunk regarding men. Let's face it, St. John's is located on the Avalon Pennisula and is not the total sum of Newfoundland. The episodes could have encompassed other areas of Newfoundland. The story line seems to have been droned up from the 60's.....Rockford style with hints of Catholicism thrown in wid da Byeles, Dyeles and Baynetts. I give it a four.

colette said...

TB, you must have spavined yourself avoiding a gleeful reference to the crack at Mt. Pearl. That got the biggest laugh of the evening from Himself.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1: you give it a four... is that out of 100? 200?

Oh, Republic of Doyle... so painful. I've looked forward to this show for a long time as I thought the premise, actors & location shots would combine for an entertaining show. Instead, it has been dreadful. I understand chemistry takes time to evolve, but my God... its as though the scripts were handed out and the final cuts shot within minutes. And speaking of the scripts, could they be any weaker? Prime example from Ep.2: the girl is found dead & an investigator explains it appears a blunt, thin object was used. "Like a hockey stick, or crowbar?" the blond robot cop replies. I honestly thought the next line would be, "Similar, but it probably had wheels as well" C'mon people, give your audience some credit. If you want to dumb it down, why not show the crime being committed ala Columbo style?

In any case, after 2 shows Republic of Colin Farrell, I mean Doyle, has been ridiculously disappointing. I truly hope it comes around.

OH YEAH... last night wasn't a complete disaster... I did chuckle at the Sweating Bullets reference.

Winston Smith said...

I agree: this week's episode was much better than last week. I'm also surprised that you let the Pearl trash-talk pass.

This week was better because it was more complex in terms of both storylines and scenes. It finally felt like a TV series, not a government tourism campaign. Moving the scenes beyond the yuppyfied downtown helped, and I hope this trend continues.

Hawco's character offered some inadvertent humour when he made a big deal about the suspect's house (which looked like somewhere in King William Estates), because it's clear that the sharp downtown palazzo his family lives in would cost a freakin' fortune, and more than most East-End McMansions.

The problem with the cop character this week was her accent. She sounded like someone from Dublin, not St. John's. I guess the writers are going for a full Celtification makeover, though I didn't see the Catholicism cues that others seem to detect. It would, however, help if the cast had at least identifiable Prod. Or perhaps there are no Prods left in St. John's these days.

I liked Panting's character, and I hope his role grows. Most successful PI series have some sort of lawyer-type fixer who acts as a foil. And Panting didn't Irish it up like the others, which was a pleasant relief.

Given the successful debut of the series, I worry that it's only a matter of time before Danny Williams tries to take even more credit, beyond the press releases the government has already been busily issuing. And I hope that the producers can resist the pressure to features cameo appearances, because it's nice to watch something from Newfoundland that does not feature Rick Mercer, Rick Hillier, Mary Walsh, Greg Malone, or any of the 22 Minutes or CODCO alumni.

Finally, Hawco Snooked it up a bit more last night. His character was a bit greasier, less one-dimensional, and more entertaining. He still seems a bit light, and the best smack of the night was the one he received, not the ones he gave.

WJM said...

It finally felt like a TV series, not a government tourism campaign.

Wait until CBC starts contemplating cancellation, and the tourism advertising budget suddenly finds lots of money to spend in that time slot.

Anonymous said...

From Anon #1

Winston Smith said......

"And I hope that the producers can resist the pressure to features cameo appearances, because it's nice to watch something from Newfoundland that does not feature Rick Mercer, Rick Hillier, Mary Walsh, Greg Malone, or any of the 22 Minutes or CODCO alumni."

I have to totally agree with you on your estimation above. Cheers

Anonymous said...

This "review" is a bag of mixed dog sick.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
This "review" is a bag of mixed dog sick.

So..let us know why you haven't made one...dah!!

towniebastard said...

My friend Tara asked me to post this comment, as she was having problems.

"I think the accents are mostly authentic, so your argument is invalid. Malachy is played by an Irish actor though, so he has a bit of a hard time with it sometimes. And those of you who hate cameos are in for some major disappointments. This is Canadian tv, for heavens sake. You'll see a lot of familiar faces, as you do with any other Canadian show.
Anonymous's requirement that all of Newfoundland should be included in the show is just, frankly, dumb. It's set in St. John's, and most stuff will happen there. I, for one, find this to be lovely and refreshing. If you want to see Twillingate or Dildo or St. Anthony or whatever, then make your own series and set it there. OK thanx."

Anonymous said...

So touchy and always running through the tunnel. I don't happen to live in Newfoundland anymore and I can tell you, St. John's is NOT the be all and end all of Newfoundland and I did not say anything about how St. John's is presented in the series...dah!! The series as everyone is saying in Toronto, is referred to as Newfoundland but it is only one particular part of Newfoundland....get it? But then, why would you care because you don't. Take your so called accent and run it around in your boat.

Melodie said...

I missed the first pilot episode, but I did at least start from the second episode. So, for some reason I didn't really detect any 'Newfie' accents...only occasionally did I find someone pronounce something a little different. The cop was the only person who really stood out for me as having an accent.

But, funny thing is, I watched the third episode this week, and for some reason, all I noticed were the accents! lol. And the characters just said some 'strange' things that left me 'scratching my head in confusion'. I'm not from Newfoundland though, lol. But isn't that strange how I didn't notice any accents from one episode, and then the next, it was all I noticed? Did the actors put on more of an accent for the third show?


Anonymous said...

I have a question regarding Republic Of Doyle... How come the graphic for Rachel Wilson still appears in the opening sequence, yet her name does not come on screen like the other main cast members? Instead it appears in small print on the lower left of the screen under "starring" at the beginning of the episode. Is this a mistake or some other reason?