Monday, March 13, 2017

Republic of Doyle

Alan Hawco and Sean McGinley.
Premise:  Jake and Malachy "Mal" Doyle operate Doyle and Doyle, a father-son private detective agency in Newfoundland. Mal (Sean McGinley) is a respected retired police officer who occasionally calls on his old colleagues for favors. Jake worked briefly for the police, too, but his independent ways--and lapses in judgment--undoubtedly caused clashes with his superiors. How bad are those "lapses in judgment?" In one episode, Jake (Alan Hawco) sleeps with a client's wife--whom he's supposed to be investigating for cheating. Mal's second wife, Rose, runs the business end of Doyle and Doyle and also does research for their cases. Mal's 16-year-old granddaughter Tinny (short for Katrina) lives with him, Rose, and Jake. Rose hires a young graffiti artist named Des--who defaced Jake's 1968 Pontiac GTO--to help out at the agency. At the start of the first season, Jake is in the process of getting divorced from his wife Nikki and becomes romantically interested in police constable Leslie Bennett.

Running Time: 44 minutes.

Status:  Republic of Doyle ran for six seasons comprised of 78 episodes, beginning in 2010. Seasons 1-2 are available on DVD in the U.S. The series can be streamed on Acorn TV.

Production Notes:  Star Alan Hawco co-created the Republic of Doyle, wrote some of the episodes, and is listed in the credits as an executive producer. Hawco played one of Jake Doyle's ancestors in a 2013 episode of  the TV series Murdoch Mysteries, which is set at the turn-of-the-century. Murdoch star Yannick Bisson returned the favor in 2014 by appearing as one of his latter-day descendants in an episode of Republic of Doyle. Prior to co-starring in Republic of Doyle, Sean McGinley played a crooked pub owner in the Irish detective series Single-handed.

Our Review:  Republic of Doyle is a conventional detective show that relies on its agreeable stars to compensate for its lack of originality (although the crossover with Murdoch Mysteries was an inspired idea). Hawco and McGinley make the formula work well enough in most episodes. If you're a fan of "buddy action films," you'll enjoy Republic of Doyle. Just don't look for engrossing mysteries.

Grade: B.


  1. I'm assuming that you know the series is set/shot in St. John's, Newfoundland Canada and not Britain?

  2. To finish my previous thought, so how would this be considered a British TV series? I'm not being snarky, I genuinely would like to know how it would meet the definition of a'British tv series' or 'detectives.' Thank you.

  3. We cover the "British TV detective" genre, non-U.S. detective//mystery/legal TV shows that share common attributes that originated from the Brits. Note that we have reviewed detective series made in Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. And some shows, like INJUSTICE, are more mystery than detective series.

  4. I stand corrected:) Of course, I should have paid a little more attention. Thank youfor the explanation.