Someone once said that the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.
Personally, I think the hardest thing is learning to do is my family’s laundry without having a repeat of the “Strawberry Shortcake incident of 2003” during which I turned a beloved t-shirt of my daughter’s into a tea towel.
But that’s just me.
Either way, there are plenty of reasons why human beings need a break from reality, a safe place where they can forget their troubles and decompress. And if they learn a thing or two about themselves and their environment in the process? Well, that’s a bonus.
On the surface Hudson & Rex is a Canadian “cop show”, based on the Austrian drama Inspector Rex, but in this nerd’s opinion Hudson & Rex is the cure for what ails humanity.
Not to oversell it or anything.
At any rate, here are a few reasons why you should tell your kids to make their own meals and free some time in your schedule to watch the episodic adventures of Detective Charlie Hudson of the St. John’s Police Department and his faithful k-9 partner, Rex.
1) Diesel vom Burgimwald as Rex. I dare you to gaze upon Diesel’s literal puppy dog eyes, that contain more humanity than 99% of working human actors today, and not pledge your immortal soul to his work like it was Beelzebub himself. Even cat people, with their wicked, frozen hearts are helpless before this canine thespian’s acting chops. He plays a cop, but this doggie dominates steals scene he’s in. And he may be a dog but Rex has more facial expressions than Donald Trump.
Okay, so maybe I missed the mark on that one. Moving on…
2) John Henry Reardon as Det. Hudson. JHR (I can refer to him in that manner because we’re that close) is one of those guys that people look at and say:
- “That guy should be an actor!”
- “I better keep that guy away from my wife!”
Yes, I love slammers. Shut up. My point is, JHR has a background in sports but he was born to be an actor. he’s slipped into the role of a reserved, slightly naive detective like it’s the full length coat his character is so fond of. Incidentally, the good detective’s coat, with it’s high collar, is reminiscent of Columbo’s weathered raincoat and has immediately become his hallmark.
3) The two leads fit together like two puzzle pieces that spell, “Death and Taxes”. JHR and Diesel have an effortless rapport that any pet owner (though it’s tough to say who “owns” who, really) can admire and aspire to duplicate. Rex is a multi-scent trained German Shepherd with an excellent ear for unique sounds and the show utilizes his talents to the fullest. This law enforcement puppy pulls his weight and has saved his two-legged partner on more than one occasion.
H&R even had its own Lassie-inspired “What’s that, girl? Timmy’s trapped in the well? Again?” moment and it was glorious instead of cheesy.
“Okay, try to look serious for The Hook’s ten followers, partner.”
4) This is the cleanest show on television, damn it! Seriously, television’s standards have been eroding faster than Trudeau’s approval rating these days; they’re even swearing on CBC these days. But you can watch this show with your evangelical grandma who still swears your mom was conceived by immaculate conception and she’ll love it.
5) It may be “clean” but they’re not afraid to tackle the BIG issues. A recent episode, “Over Ice” focused on the murder of a figure skating coach but at the midway point the episode took a turn no one could have seen coming. A female suspect,a young ice skater, was questioned abut illegal steroids that Det. Hudson (and the audience) assumed were meant to give her a competitive edge. But as it turned out, the drugs were intended to assist the character in her transition to the opposite sex.
You could actually feel the weight of the issue permeate the episode but to their credit, the writers and cast handled the storyline with the respect it deserved. This episode inspired this post and my eternal love for Hudson & Rex.
Other episodes have dealt with families torn apart by substance abuse and dark secrets. The H&R scribes are fearless and the show is stronger for it.
6) You’ll find the best guest stars on TV on Hudson & Rex. Exceptionally-talented actors like Michelle Nolden (Saving Hope, Murdoch Mysteries), Robin Dunne (Sanctuary), Lauren Lee Smith (she’s Frankie Drake!), Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea (if you don’t know who they are we have nothing more to talk about), and millions of others (my math may be slightly off) have visited H&R’s world and that alone is a testament to the show’s success. I mean, it’s not like actors just go where the paycheck is, right?
7) H&R is filmed in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Put on Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, get thee to Google Images, and prepare to fall in love forever. There’s really nothing more to say. You couldn’t ask for a more rugged-yet-civilized, serene-yet-overflowing-with-crime, locale for a police procedural drama featuring a human/canine duo.
8) The supporting cast is A+ – for a bunch of humans. Mayko Nguyen is Hudosn’s CSI and gal pal; the potential for a “will they, won’t they?” relationship is intriguing. Kevin Hanchard is Hudson’s boss, Superintendent Joseph Donovan who had a powerful storyline involving the effects of drug abuse on families that he deftly handled. And Justin Kelly is H&R’s IT specialist Jesse Mills, “the man in the chair” who cracks wise while feeding his allies all kinds of useful info while delivering lines like (but not exactly like):
“I ran the suspect’s credit card history and there are charges for a shotgun, shackles, ether, a chainsaw and a book series called ‘How To Slice Your Spouse Into A Gazillion Pieces And get Away With It.’ Though I’m just tech support, so I have no idea who the killer is.”
9) Hudson & Rex is co-produced by Shaftesbury Films. They produce Murdoch Mysteries. Do I need to say more? Because I’m not going to, so this could get awkward…
10) The H&R team are good people. How do I know this, you ask? While on set Diesel has full star treatment with his own trailer, chef and chauffeur. Let’s face it, this goes above and beyond; there are non-animal stars who get a scrap of crusty bread and a bowl of lukewarm water once a week. Yes, things really have gone downhill since Matt Lauer left NBC…
So there you have it, ten reasons why Hudson & Rex is deserving of your invaluable time. But if I’ve failed to convince you then feel free to return to your weekly lineup of Kardashians, cat videos, and biased news reports.
See you in the lobby, kids…