Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doyle follow-up

So, something that I thought of after posting up the review last night that I found interesting. Somewhere between episode five and six of the show Jake and the Constable hook up and have sex. And I couldn't help but think that if Republic of Doyle was an American network show, that never would have happened. Instead, they would have tortured out the sexual chemistry between the two of them, turning it into a "will they or won't they?" that would last a half dozen or more seasons.

It's one of the things that drives me nuts about American network shows. Some of my favourite programs have gone beyond all reason to make sure their two leads never hook up. Chuck has Sara and Chuck. House has Cuddy and House. The worse offended on air right now is probably between Bones and Booth on Bones. It's completely insane they haven't slept together yet.

I fear another of my favourites, Castle might do the same thing. I hope not. They're only 1.5 seasons into the show, so there's still hope.

The problem can all be traced back to a show in the 80s called Moonlighting. If you're under 35, you might not remember it. However, it had Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis as co-owners of a detective agency. It was a great show, lots of fun and had great chemistry between the two leads.

The show eventually fell apart and was cancelled. And the reason why people thing it was canned was that in the third season the leads slept with each other. Shortly afterwords the show went off the rails, rating went into freefall and it was cancelled. So the lesson everyone picked up from that was "don't fuck with the sexual chemistry of the leads by having them actually, you know, fuck."

They kind of skip over the part where the writers couldn't produce a script on time to save their lives, thus it was months between shows sometimes. Or that Willis and Shepherd grew to hate each other. Or that Willis became more interested in his music and movie careers than the show. The fact the two leads hooked up in the show didn't destroy the was well on its way to self-destruction before then.

But no, instead we've lived through a generation of writers and show runners who live in fear of the hook-up, figuring they can just keep torturing the script into generating new contrivances to keep the leads apart, rather that doing the hard work of coming up with ideas of how to make the show work, and the chemistry continue, after they have come together.

All of this is a long winded way to say, good on Republic of Doyle and the writers for not doing that. I admire the courage to pick up the gauntlet, have Jake and the Constable sleep together, knowing this is going to make things more complicated and be a bigger writing challenge than just teasing the relationship forever. They still have to pull it off, but I have faith they will make it interesting at least.

Last Five
1. If you knew - Neko Case*
2. Merchants - The Idlers
3. You, me and the bottle makes three - Big Bad Voodoo Daddies
4. Stranger things have happened - Foo Fighters
5. Happiness is a warm gun - The Beatles


tanker belle said...

Bones tried putting the two leads together during the coma - and jesus it sucked. I don't think it had to because of the two leads, the whole episode was poorly conceived and executed, I cringed the whole way through. Aside from Shrek, I don't think Hollywood writers can do the what comes after "happily ever after". The Angela and Jack thing was going along really well, and they just had to tank it, that was a loss. And yet they are still stringing it along too.

It's like Hollywood and adding to the family, a new baby on a sitcom starts the deathwatch.

Adam Snider said...

I thought about this yesterday, too. I suddenly realized, on thinking back to this week's episode, that they hooked up pretty quickly (in TV terms). Ultimately, I think the show will be better for it, as long as the writers don't completely screw the pooch.

nadinebc said...

I don't think they should have gotten them together at all. Period. Most shows have them all do the nasty anyway, the message is all men and women will succumb eventually. They would have done well not to give in to that.

I do like the show though, it is getting stronger.