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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Republic of Doyle: Season One'

Dennis King Published: May 5, 2014
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This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Republic of Doyle: Season One”

When it comes to quirky detectives on TV, the British seem to be reigning masters of the genre. But Canadian TV has its fair share of humorous gumshoes, and one of the best is the often-hapless Jake Doyle, whose witty Newfoundland-set series, is now in its sixth season. “Republic of Doyle: Season One” is due out on DVD Tuesday.

That first season, which aired in 2010, introduces us to Jake (Allan Hawco) and his ex-cop father, Malachy (Sean McGinley), who run a detective agency in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Their rugged, picturesque little seaside town has more than its share of intrigue and crime, and some of their cases – involving everything from cheating spouses to bank robberies to murder – require that our gumshoes occasionally tip-toe around the law.

But the gist of the series is largely character-driven, and complications often arise from Jake’s roguish ways. He has a mad ex-wife (Rachel Wilson) that dogs his every move, and a beautiful new local constable (Krystin Pellerin) that he has the hots for. Jake’s amorous ties just keep getting him into trouble.

In addition, he usually clashes with his hardnosed father over how to handle cases, which often find the unarmed Jake dodging bullets or getting beaten up by various offenders. Much is made of the close-knit Irish family that surrounds Jake, and his slightly screwball relationships with the women in his life and with his curmudgeonly dad. The crimes involved are no great shakes, but the folksy characters of the Doyle clan are indeed pleasant to hang out with.

“Republic of Doyle: Season One” is not rated and features 12 episodes on three discs. It’s being released by Acorn Media.

- Dennis King