Is Due South a comedy or a drama? Is it a crime show, or an exquisite analysis of cultural difference? Is it a buddy series or a supernatural? In many ways, Due South brings the best of all these worlds together.
It _is_ comedy: the gentle teasing, wry banter, and occasional full physical farce are very, very good. But it doesn't suffer from the low budget sit-com approach that beset everything from Friends to Frasier. Due South is shot on the magnificent canvas of Canadian wilderness, and the powerful, grim streets of Chicago. The comedy, however, never interferes with the crime and thriller aspect. There are a couple of stories which are primarily played for laughs, but the serious stories are never cheapened. Dramatic, poignant, at times brutal, but also liberating and uplifting: this is a powerful series which resonates on a dozen levels all at the same time.
A lot of this flows from the strong premise: Canadian comes to Chicago on the trail of the men who killed his father, and then stays to work with Chicago police despite enormous cultural differences which are never resolved. The gradual impingement of the supernatural adds to this as it goes, along with the occasional development of love interest.
Despite the strong premise, Due South had to do some pretty swift footwork when David Marciano failed to return for the third series. This is solved really rather excellently, and sets up the final episode rather nicely.
Most US comedies run until (by British standards) they are completely worn out. Perhaps the US - Canadian nature of the collaboration helped the producers to call time long before it was too late. Perhaps it was also down to the rather quirky nature, which must have kept the networks guessing about its saleability all the way through.
This is a superb series to own, and it's worth owning it complete, since, once you've seen a couple of episodes, you really will want to watch it all the way through. Don't start watching late in the evening, though, at least, not if you have to be at work in the morning.
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