Butch Patterson: Private Dick (1999– )

TV Series   |    |  Comedy

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22 March 2007 | tsnow4
| One of my favourite series ever!
This series is innovative and exceptionally clever, with most of the humor deep under the surface, mocking several genres and sacred cows at the same time. What first appears as extremely juvenile humor, reveals itself over time to be an insightful social and psychological critique with a chilling message: personal control and ambition may be the seductive mantra of the day, but they lead to a disconnectedness from others which can cause the ceiling to fall on you and the floor to drop out from below. And in this series, it happens to characters who are convinced that they are just about to grab the brass ring.

The acting is intentionally terrible--for some of the cast, this is a reflection of weak abilities (I had never heard of most of these players before this series and haven't seen them since), while for others it clearly has taken hard work and concentration to 'act down' to this level.

The main character, Butch Patterson, is a remarkable hero, someone who seems shallow and transparent, motivated by the most basic of male instincts. This is someone who everyone thinks they know and understand, both for the cast and for the audience. Personally, though, I have never met anyone like this and hope I never do. Underneath the irritating but beguiling exterior, revealing itself through incidents of 'unbelievable luck for such a dumb guy', is a deep, dark and calculating character who gradually sucks all of the supporting characters into a vortex of disaster. He gives most of them a chance for redemption until the final stroke but does not help them to achieve it. In a Biblical context, Butch is a Fallen Angel who lets self-assured people reveal just how spiritually naked they really are.

This series is well worth looking at again if you had negative feelings about it the first time.

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Release Date:

27 February 1999



Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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