I’ll admit it. One of my favourite shows is one from CBC. Oh, I don’t mean one of the news type comedy shows that CBC has been doing great for years and it’s true that the Dragon’s Den is a no-miss show for me, but I mean a dramatic show from CBC. One with a plot. I say that because for a long time, I didn’t like many, or probably any, of the plotted shows CBC would offer us. They were, well.. boring. Not all, of course, I can’t say every single thing was boring but except for the occasional over-the-top comedic offering, there wasn’t much to keep your interest. But in the past couple of years CBC has gotten much better at providing us with shows we care about and want to follow. Little Mosque on the Prarie, for instance, is an international success and Being Erica is one of my favourite shows. I remember seeing the previews for Being Erica and thinking that it would be a cliche-driven, predictable show. But it’s not. It’s vivid and thoughtful and touching and funny and suspenseful and what more could you want in a show? So, I have great hope for Republic of Doyle, but I’ll get back to that in a minute.
I think part of the reason for these new and interesting shows is that new people–actors, directors, writers, and producers–are joining the process. For the longest time, I could look at any show on any network or any movie anywhere and know right away whether or not it was filmed in Canada, because the same half dozen or so actors and actresses were on it and it was like a big, blaring flag that it was a Canadian product. It’s a natural thing when there’s a small pool of people who excel at their field (or seem to, according to the right people) as is the case in Canada. But more and more there are excellent shows and movies coming from Canada, with Canadians at the helm and in the starring roles, who are not from that small pool. And a new generation of creative forces are coming into play. Then comes along Allan Hawco who pitches the idea of Republic of Doyle to CBC then creates, writes (along with co-creator and co-writer Perry Chafe), and stars in the show about a private detective in St. John’s. Newfoundland. The trailers make this show look great so I have high hopes for the show, as do so many people around here who are getting work on the set. It looks like St. John’s is a big part of the show in that the beauty and unique characteristics of the place can’t help but catch your eye, rather than that Hawco spends his time jumping around saying “look, b’y, I’se a Newfoundlander here on da rock”. The show starts tomorrow night on CBC and you should check it out. It could very well become one of your new favourite shows. And if you miss it, CBC will no doubt have it on their website.