Surf's up -
Several weeks ago, when the sheen on "Republic of Doyle" was still fresh, a Toronto-based friend of mine and I were exchanging e-mails, and she wondered whether St. John's was genuinely like what the show depicted. She's never been here before, poor duck, and was intrigued with what she saw.
I told her there are wonderfully colourful houses (but not quite the intensely saturated hues in the opening and in some scenes), that the sun does indeed shine in the sky (although not with the apparent frequency that it does in the program) and that, happiest of all, there really is a Duke of Duckworth (although it's much more comfy and lived-in than the replica built for a set).
Republic of Doyle
The official program area on the CBC site is the place to go to see episodes you might have missed, or revel in the dialogue that seems to spin off catchphrases each week. A head's up: the site is geocached, which is a fancy way of saying that users outside Canada probably won't be able to watch.
Take a look around the site for special "webisodes," including a recent one called "Graffiti Moron," which features Mark O'Brien's scampish character, Des. If you're trying to place some of the songs heard in the show, click on the Music tab; it has credits to a mix of artists, including local favourites like Bill Brennan, Joe Belly and, of course, Sean Panting (who does double duty, playing Jake's randy lawyer). Meanwhile, if you'd like to download full Doyle episodes to keep, look for the iTunes link on the landing page. I signed up for the season pass.
It didn't take long for fans to respond to the show. I like the premise of this site, set up by Jon D. Rowe, which mashes up plot points from episodes with Google Maps. In other words, you can see where specific scenes were set (and, when outdoors, actually shot).
The above is the hashtag for a lively conversation that pops up online during each broadcast, via Twitter. A hashtag, for the uninitiated, is a type of keyword that helps Twitter users track what's being said. In this case, they're reactions and comments on each episode, in real time. Plugging it into search.twitter.com will get you there fast on Wednesday nights.
Doyle on Facebook
With 40,000 fans and counting, the official Facebook page is the pre-eminent gathering place online. I might have expected a bit more dialogue among the fans, but that hasn't necessarily been the case ... at least so far. In any event, it's a great way to connect and to keep up with the latest.
Doyle on Twitter
The show's Twitter feed, though, has been much more informal - and informative, to boot. And, given the conversations that have sprung up, it's also been pretty interactive with the fan base, showcasing a tone that's funny and a little cheeky. Wonder where they got that ...
Elsewhere this week
It's not Pac-Man, but it does feature an omnivorous creature that moves around the screen, gobbling up what it can. The catch is that you position your kitty over a pile of food, and let physics, or at least the physics in the game, run its course.
Home Sheep Home
We're big fans, in our house, of Shaun the Sheep, the animated little animal and his barnyard fans, as produced by the stop-motion geniuses behind Wallace and Gromit. This is a game that rewards problem-solving, as your job is to get the sheep (usually three of them) from one place to the next, including across the odd chasm. It's very clever.
Decades after I saw them, I can still recognize the themes of plenty of old TV shows, including plenty I'd be happy to forget. (Thank you, "Love Boat.") This site celebrates theme songs, and collects them as well. If you like what you hear, get it e-mailed to your phone as a ringtone.
John Gushue works with CBC News in St. John's. Twitter: @johngushue. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com