Butch Patterson: Private Dick (Series) (1999-2001)

Butch Patterson: Private Dick
Butch Patterson: Private Dick is a modern-day series steeped in the classic noir of the 1940's. It's a fast-paced comedy full action, deceit and enough hard boiled, rapid-fire dialogue to make Dashell Hammet spin in his grave with jealousy and a longing for proper grammar.

Drawing its inspiration from the pulp novels issued by Ace Publishing, Harlequin and Dell books, Butch Patterson follows the shocking exploits of a man truly out of touch with his times. He's a hard drinking anachronism eking out a tired living on the fringes of some cesspool of a city. Given to cheap cigars and a sucker for those of the feminine persuasion, Butch emerges as a hero for our times. Well, sort of. That pretty much depends on how high your standards are.

In the vein of Steve Martin and Carl Reiner's Dead Men Don't Wear plaid, Butch Patterson: Private Dick is full-blown send-up of the noir genre and all its clichés and characters, Nevertheless, it fully embraces the narrative tone and visual structure of such classics films an the Maltese Falcon, Naked City and the Big Heat. The series includes such features as the down-on-his-luck gumshoe, the femme Fatale, cops gone wrong, a virtuous newspaper reporter and a host of other seedy denizens all set against the backdrop of a cold heartless city that couldn't give a damn if it tried.

Butch Patterson: Private Dick plays out in soap opera fashion with an on-going of intertwining subplots that weave through the series, coming together as the show steam rolls towards its stunning conclusion. These sub-plots are the backdrop for the weekly central plot wherein our master sleuth is enlisted to solve yet another in a seemingly endless series of cases.

Butch Patterson: Private Dick is a comic mix of wordplay, slapstick and parody that appeals to a wide taste of comic sensibilities. The narrative construct and visual execution ensure a series that will retain its impact over the years. The fast-paced dialogue the visual humour and the unique story telling structure make for a series that viewers will want to watch several times.

Greg Lawrence .... Butch Patterson
Vivian Burns .... Blanche DuMaurier
David L. McCallum .... Tommy Rubella
Susan Brooks .... Debbie Hitler
John Ng .... The Swede
Sarah Van Diepen .... Jasmine Griffen
David Elver .... Vance Van Vandervan
Tori Hammond .... Morgan
Thomas Michael .... Emcee
David Younger .... Frank
Gabrielle MacKenzie .... Barmaid
Carol Levie .... Butch's Mother
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For an in-depth look at CBC programs (1952-82),
Blaine Allan's directory