Due South: Season 2

Season two is disappointing compared to season one. I was surprised and pleased to find that I could actually label season 1 as ‘good television’. Season two can justifiably have the label of ‘entertaining television’ but has lost some of the sheen and soul that made season one great. There’s a higher concentration of episodes and scenes that are just daft and irritating. In the first season the two lead characters have depth and subtleties, but this largely evaporates in the second season and the whole thing feels like a step backwards.

DVD Special Features
They’ve dredged up some old promo pieces, mostly location pieces for promotion on Canadian morning shows. They’re fun to see but the video quality is pretty poor. The weirdest thing I’ve seen in a long time though is the clip of Noel’s House Party with Paul Gross on it trying to deliver lines with a straight face.

Due South: Season 1

This was a hugely popular series when I was at school, I had them all on video and must have seen them half a dozen times over. Then I forgot about it for 15 years until I saw the first season dvd on special offer and decided to grab it. I was nervous it would destroy my memories – would it still be funny or would it now just be silly? Could the Mountie really be as cute as I remember? I’m so happy to be able to say my memory was not at fault it is still funny and he is still that cute.

This series is actually good, not just cheap and easy Saturday evening family viewing, but directed with style and written with a lot of heart. It does drift a little too far into tedious moralising occasionally, but they keep it down a bit and surround it with jokes and car chases so it’s ok. I think what stood out most was the amazing music they use, some beautiful songs partnered with some unlikely action scenes that work wonderfully and make me want to hunt out a soundtrack album.

The other thing that works well are the two central characters. While both appear stereotypical on the surface the writers and actors carefully maintain depth and reality through glances and throwaway lines. In the best tradition of buddy cop pairings, they’re apparent opposites who compliment each other perfectly and form a believable bond very quickly.

I really was delighted at how much I enjoyed re-watching this series, even if I did remember huge chunks of each episode as soon as I saw the first scene. After watching 2 episodes I ordered season 2 to watch next.