Just watched the first episode of the new CBC comedy-drama 'Republic of Doyle' on my PVR (haven't watched live TV since I got this thing, hence haven't seen a TV ad since then either. The fast forward button is your friend.)
The show is set in St. John's Newfoundland, one of my favourite places - thanks largely to Targa Newfoundland, but a scenic setting it is too. Just don't know when they found so many sunny days to shoot it.
It's not bad, actually, if somewhat predictable - OK, so it was just the first episode.
Apparently, the star, head writer and producer Allan Hawco was a big fan of The Rockford Files.
You can hardly tell.
Hawco, playing Jake Doyle as a Private Eye with his father, even drives an old Pontiac, just like Jim Garner (Rockford) did, except this time it's a 1969 Pontiac GTO instead of a Firebird with the dead chicken on the hood.
So yes, this is why the show gets a mention in an automotive blog.
Another reason - actually, the main reason?
Not a seat belt to be seen, anywhere.
The GTO comes screeching around a corner, in a hurry to catch a bad guy or get to the pub or whatever.
Father and son leap out. No belts. No worries.
Come on, people. This is now the year 2010. Belt use has been mandatory for decades now, and Newfoundland's usage rate according to the most-but-not-very-recent (2004) statistics ranks pretty close to (actually, slightly below) the 90 percent national average.
Why is it so hard for TV people to show how the real world works? Especially since these people are playing current or former police officers? Wouldn't you expect them to know better?
I have come to expect this sort of idiocy from American TV shows, although you do occasionally see people buckled up there.
But you'd never see a character smoke a cigarette any more. Sets a bad example for the kids, dontcha know.
So why the hell don't they buckle up?