4 "Thank you kindly..."glengarryglenross | 30/10/2008 | See all glengarryglenross's reviews (26)Top 100 DVD Reviewer From the pilot episode (& be thankful it was included in the season 1 set, in America the pilot wasn't included until the 3rd season box set) you know that there's something special about Due South. When you consider it was created by Paul Haggis, a man who would go on to become a back to back Oscar® winner, well then it comes as no surprise. Only a mere handful of episodes later you know for sure that it was no fluke. Add to that he had on his writing staff none other than David Shore (the man who would go on to create House M.D.) & it's clear you're on to something.Constable Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) of the RCMP transfers to Chicago hot on the trail of his father's killer. As a result he alienates the entire RCMP in Canada & so finds himself with no choice but to stay in Chicago, where he is (albeit begrudgingly) befriended by Detective Raymond "Ray" Vecchio (David Marciano). While 'Due South' has its roots firmly in the buddy comedy genre, it can also be equated with your average dysfunctional family drama (Ray's family & the various oddballs found around the police department go a long way towards that conclusion). In later episodes Fraser is even haunted by his dead father. A brilliant and original twist, one that's been used since in some popular shows (see Six Feet Under or Ally McBeal for example). For a show about the good in people, one that gently mocks America's (& the world's) view of polite Canadians, the show is not without its darker moments.Season 1 is the finest & it does contain most of the shows highlights. 'Manhunt' featuring a great guest appearance from none other than that Canadian legend himself Leslie Nielson (his father was actually a member of the RCMP, & I should also point out that his guest appearances in the next two seasons make them worth having), 'The Man Who Knew Too Little' (in which we learn just how much Ray loves his car as he and Fraser are forced to transport Ian, a compulsive liar, across the border) , 'Victoria's Secret parts 1 & 2' (in which we see a whole new side of the Mountie) & the Rear Window type season finale 'Letting Go' (Due South was originally intended to be a one off 22 episode show, but due to popular demand a final episode was written to make season 2 possible)Season 2 has many highlights also: 'North', 'Bird in the Hand' (the man who killed Fraser's father makes an unwelcome return in the last episode written or directed by Haggis before he took a more backseat, Exec. Producer role), 'Starman' (Ian returns) and 'All the Queen's Horses' (Leslie Nielson returns in the first episode to be written and directed by star Gross). Season 3 (actually 3 & 4 combined) is the weakest. Due to a contractual obligation, amongst other things (playing second fiddle to the wolf for example), when the show was recalled, star Marciano decided not to reprise his role & had to be written out of the show. Callum Keith Rennie (perhaps most recognizable for his work on Battlestar Galactica) takes over. But the very foundation on which the show was based had now been altered (not a terrible thing, but the show was never as clever or witty once Haggis stopped nurturing it).All in all Due South is has its flaws, but with writing and characterisation this strong (even Fraser's deaf wolf Diefenbaker is more fleshed out than many of the characters in dramas these days) it would be churlish to point them out. For anybody out there who remembers watching this good natured & highly entertaining show on those lazy Saturday afternoons, its well worth seeking it out, you may even find yourself growing a whole new appreciation for it. As for those who are unfamiliar, I say go ahead, treat yourself to something special why not?