Sometimes I like to share my opinions on things, and I hope that they don’t sway you one way or the other – they are merely MY opinions, so take them with a grain of salt. Because I am not a paid critic, I cannot be bought or persuaded to give favourable reviews – these are my honest feelings, with little to no filtering. If a professional opinion is what you are seeking, this is NOT it! ;D
Let us begin…
I don’t normally watch tv commercials, I just whiz by them with my handy dandy pvr remote, but sometimes I will stop at something that catches my attention. Recently, Jason Priestley has been stopping me in my tracks!
For the past week or two, every time I watch my soap (Y & R) I see the advertisement for the new show “Private Eyes”. I’ll stop and watch it every time – even though I never watched Beverly Hills 90210 (I was in my mid-20s when it started and in my mid-30s when it ended, and my own daily drama was aplenty!), I have always had a mild interest in Jason. Perhaps it’s because he’s a local boy, and his Canadianness shines through; more likely, though, is that he’s just friggin’ hawt! I like my men short-ish and with boyish charm. He fits my type perfectly!
Today, my husband and I had a few rare, spare hours while the kids had a friend over. I suggested we give this new show a try and he was very into it – he had also seen the commercials and said it looked good! We were both eager to find a new show since our favourites had lapsed – Survivor’s season was over, and hubby’s interest in Castle had waned. (Note: MY interest in Castle has merely wavered but not dissipated- since they put Castle and Beckett together it’s been kinda meh – but I still watch it when I get a chance.)
Private Eyes is a Canadian-made dramedy (drama interlaced with comedic bits) based on a novel called The Code. It stars the handsome (and boyish at 46!) Jason Priestley as former hockey star Matt Shade and the beautiful, 38 year old Canadian, Cindy Sampson as a strong, independent private eye named Angie. The commercials made it look funny. I like funny! The fact that it’s produced by Corus Entertainment boded well.
Hubby immediately searched for Private Eyes on our android box and was able to find it without trouble. The listing showed 10 episodes of the show, so we chose the first one – best to start at the beginning as that’s where they put the most OOMPH to hook their new audience. We settled in with hopes high, but as this is Canadian television, I prepared myself to hate it. I was right!
Here are the 5 reasons I hated it:
1: the opening soundtrack – the outdated Hall & Oates song “Private Eyes” opens the show. Because we are from that era, we recognized it immediately, and started to sing along to it – at first, earnestly, and not long after that, mockingly. With hundreds of famous Canadian artists and song writers to choose from, WHY?! Certainly they could have written a whole new song with the same title. Were they hoping to entice the older crowd via nostalgia? Sure, I loved that song back in the day, but I’ve moved on. It was a turn-off.
2: the mood music – it’s too obvious! It should be in subtle, evoking emotion under the surface, unnoticeable to the captivated audience. The fact that I noticed it and it was in my face just annoyed me. It portended what was meant to be heart-rending dialogues and looks, but ended up evoking my hackles instead. This indicated that I was not as captivated as I should’ve been.
3: predictability – I think that word pretty much speaks for itself. There was nothing new here. The most interesting scenes were already shown on the previews, the other scenes were mediocre, the lines I could speak before they opened their mouths, and the storyline was as old as the hills.
4: similarity to Castle – this is uncanny! Castle works (and has chemistry with) a hot investigator; Shade works (and has chemistry with) a hot investigator. Castle is a local celebrity; Shade is a local celebrity. Castle is a single father with a teenaged, clever daughter; Shade is a single father with a teenaged, clever daughter; Castle lives with one of his parents; Shade lives with one of his parents. Castle is a charming ladies’ man; Shade is a charming ladies’ man. Castle is not trained in the criminal field but solves crimes; Shade is not trained in the criminal field but solves crimes. Huh. Private Eyes IS the Canadian Castle!!
5: The reason I hate it the most: I can’t NOT watch it! Damn it!! Despite the four aforementioned reasons why I hated it, I simply MUST watch more! We watched another episode immediately after the first (because I’m ALL about second chances!!) and nothing had changed. The music still bothered me, it was predictable, and I kept comparing it to Castle.
BUT! But, but, but. Here’s the thing: despite its oh-so-Canadian-tv-ness, I am oddly drawn to it. The scenery helps – just knowing that it’s filmed in a Canadian city makes me like it more (it’s filmed in Toronto). Cle Bennett’s swagger as Detective Nolan is beyond sexy – he stole every scene he was in. Cindy’s portrayal of the lonely, broken, and fallible PI is endearing and, more importantly, not overdone.
And Jason. In the first five minutes of the first episode, hubby and I were even questioning if that WAS Jason – he barely looked like himself in those ice rink scenes. Perhaps he’s allergic to cold – his face looked distorted. We literally watched the credits to make sure it was him! After we were assured it was him, I enjoyed almost all of his scenes (though his smarminess doesn’t come off quite as naturally as Nathan Fillion’s).
It seems odd – even though it’s likeness to Castle was one of the things I hated about it, it’s this likeness that draws me to it the most. Castle has been cancelled, and just like after a particularly harsh break-up, I’m in the market for a replacement distraction. It may stick, it may not. But for now, it’s keeping my mind off the other. Soon, I will forget the other (though it will forever hold a special place in my memory banks!) and the new one will fill the gap. Temporarily or permanently – that’s up to them! Keep me interested or I’m moving on.
So far… I’m interested!