Some have made their names and fortunes in politics, some in entertainment, some in the business world. There are not so many, however, who have given back so much, who have done as much for the image and collective morale of this province as Allan Hawco of the hit television series, "Republic of Doyle".
I consider any Newfoundlander who has not watched this series, who has not loved it, and is not caught up in the hype, as being unpatriotic. Call me wrong and all the other things you can call me for having this opinion, but I do! Unapologetically.
Allan Hawco stars in, writes, and is executive producer of "Republic of Doyle". His fingerprints are all over it, which meant he was either going to get all the blame, or all the glory, whichever way it turned out. I'm thrilled for him that he's gettin' the glory! And, boy, does he ever deserve it.
When I first heard that there was a local series being filmed, I had nauseating visions of another "Hatching, Matching & Dispatching" embarrassment. Some locals seem to think that unless there is blatant vulgarity and foul language at every turn, Newfoundlanders aren't going to enjoy it. WRONG.
When I heard the title of the show, before it had ever aired, I thought it was going to have a political premise, based on the word "republic", and how close we were back in 1949 to being exactly that. I had no idea that it was a private eye show, one styled loosely on the 1970's series "The Streets of San Francisco".
From Scene 1, Season 1, they've had me hook, line and sinker. That first season, I had to watch every episode at least 3 times. I was so distracted by how beautiful St. John's (and up-until-then unknown Allan Hawco) looked, that I had a hard time following the storylines! It was all about trying to figure out where each scene was filmed. All those involved with the production of "Republic of Doyle" made a gift to us of our beautiful city being the backdrop for a cleverly written, smart, funny, dramatic series, that just as importantly was not patronizing and did not play on the hateful stereotypes of our province and its people.
The cast is a wonderful blend of personalities that are so believeable and talented.
Sean McGinley, Allan Hawco, Krystin Pellerin, Lynda Boyd, Rachel Wilson, Mark O'Brien, Marthe Bernard
The guest stars they've featured over the past 3 seasons are proof that if celebrities of this caliber are willing to involve themselves in this production, then it must be good. They include:
Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea) and
Paul Gross (Previously starred in "Due South". Loved him in that!)
Victor Garber (with Allan Hawco). Previously starred in the movie "Titanic", as the architect Thomas Andrews.
Shannon Tweed. Something to do while hubby was performing at the Salmon Festival!
And, the biggest name of them all - Russell Crowe, who guest starred in the Season 3 premiere.
The really cool thing about that particular episode was that it reunited the four actors who played the Merry Men in the 2010 movie, "Robin Hood", in which Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea) played the role of Allan A'Dayle. The others - Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes and Russell Crowe.
There were many others featured as well - Shawn Majumder, Mark Critch, Seamus O'Regan, Pete Soucy, and other up and coming Newfoundlanders who will hopefully benefit by the exposure. There was even a scene at the Duke of Duckworth where the whole St. John's City Council and the Lieutenant Governor appeared. Anybody who's anybody is showing up on "Republic of Doyle", and that's perfect! Everybody wants to be involved, because it's such a positive, amazing ride.
But, back to Allan Hawco, himself. This show could not be as successful as it is without him. He plays the charming, devilish rogue Jake Doyle, but he's the brains behind the beefcake, no question.
I've seen him and heard him interviewed many times, and every time without fail, he is genuinely enthusiastic about how well the show is doing, and is grateful for the opportunity to do something he loves, that has done so much good for Newfoundland.
Alice & I saw him in person once, when we were dining at Raymonds restaurant last year. He came in to the dining room to speak with friends seated at a nearby table. Sadly, I resisted the urge to give him a big ol' bear hug and kiss. Another missed opportunity! As she and I have said to each other many times - if we were younger, we'd be haunting the filming locations all summer! They publicize them on the radio, so it's not as stalker-ish as that may sound!
As is becoming apparent, I cannot say enough good about Allan Hawco, and what he and his colleagues have done with "Republic of Doyle". All I know is that I hope it goes on for many seasons to come. The DVDs of the first two seasons are my 'go to' shows to watch. I never tire of the stories, the settings, the stars and the smarts of this excellent, excellent show.
I wish you every success, Allan Hawco. Thank you, from a devoted fan, who's admiration and respect for your talents and hard work is unparalleled.