“Curiosity killed the cat.”
"Yeah, I heard that cat had that shit comin' to him."
Following the story of two not-so lucky in life private investigators in San Diego, FX's Terriers sounds like the type of program I would never usually check back with on a weekly basis. Only this time around it was the names attached to the crew that caught my attention.
Created by Ravenous scriptwriter Ted Griffin and backed up by former Whedonverse writer/directors Tim Minear and Shawn Ryan, Terriers was put on my must watch list for 2010. Much to my dismay and legions of other followers, the show was canceled after it ran it's 13 episode first season.
In what should have been a career-defining performance, Canadian actor Donal Logue steals half of your heart as the recovering alcoholic ex-cop P.I., Hank Dolworth. His younger partner, Brit Pollock, an ex-crook who is also trying to get his life back together is played by Michael Raymond-James who steals the other half of your heart. Together these guys have the best-buddy chemistry down so well I could swear they've known each other for years. There was no need for Logue or Raymond-James to really have to show off with emotional schmaltz, they just had the chemistry from the very get-go, which is a rarity in television.
Terriers' perfect blend of VERY dry humor, emotional turmoil and plot twists galore gave it an unique feel completely different from most crime dramas. I will admit the only episode that turned me off was the generic pilot episode, so I beg you to not give it up on it so quickly.
Fortunately with it's short run, Griffin was able to wrap the show up with a perfect ending that could act as both an acceptable open-ender or a gateway to a complete make-over had the series continued. So don't be worried that you'll be left with a jawdropping cliff-hanger.
With it's near perfect writing, direction, acting, cinematography and scene set-ups it's a colossal shame this show never got the chance to continue. Or perhaps we're lucky Terriers never got the chance to lose any of it's superbly executed quality.
We'll never know.
MUST SEE EPISODES:
1x03: CHANGE PARTNERS: a perfect blend of what this show is all about.
1x05: RING-A-DING-DING: emotionally engaging and huge character arcs
1x11: SINS OF THE PAST: ex Angel writer/directors Shawn Ryan & Tim Minear do what they do best...a flashback episode
EPISODES TO AVOID:
1x01: Really, it's the only weak episode in the bunch...but it's also the one that gets the multiple stories running.......so.....yeah. Watch it anyways.
Sadly, Terriers is not available for home viewing and there's still no sign of a release. However, even though they've canceled it, FX is still playing reruns every week.
4½ Gunfight Epiphanies out of 5