Forwarded by Susan Bunting


Mountie gets a little southern exposure
9/22/94
by:  Susan Young

You can take the man out of Canada, but you can+t take Canada out of the 
man.

At least that+s the premise behind the good-hearted romp "Due South" 
premiering at 7 tonight on Channel 5 and 8 on Channel 10, which spoofs the 
differences between The Great White North and Baja Canada.

The classic fish-out-of-water tale hasn+t been this charming since 
"Crocodile" Dundee found himself washed up on the shores of New York. 
 Always-polite Canadian Mountie Benton Fraser (Paul Gross), who has been 
assigned to the Canadian consulate in Chicago, teams with abrasive police 
Detective Ray Vecchio (David Marciano) to right wrongs and make America 
safer.

There+s a little bit of everything in this buddy show -- mystery, action and 
tongue-in-cheek humor -- and it all works remarkably well.  The 
square-jawed, gorgeous Gross not only plays a great straight man to the 
gregarious Marciano, but he pulls off his own character without turning it 
into a comic figure.  Marciano, for his part, proves he can deliver better 
than Domino+s Pizza.

In the opening, Fraser has decided to move within walking distance to his 
job at the Canadian Consulate, a slum where even drug dealers are afraid to 
hang out.  While Vecchio warns that Fraser can+t walk to work without a 
police escort, it turns out that Fraser fits in just fine.

By the way, David Marciano+s mug may look familiar to anyone who dropped by 
the Kings X bar in Oakland during 1984-85.

"I worked as a bartender there while I was studying drama at the Berkeley 
theater," the New Jersey native said.  "I worked there about seven days a 
week for nine months and had a great time."

Nationally, the toughest competition for "Due South" comes from NBC+s comedy 
block, which begins tonight with two old standbys and two new offerings. 
 (For Bay Area audiences tuning into KPIX-Channel 5+s early prime, the main 
competition is with other commuters trying get home in time for the 
programs.)