November 16th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
I started off this TV season with high hopes for a bunch of new shows. Two months later, I’m down to just one: "Terriers." It’s the best new show of the fall… but I might be the only one watching it.
Here’s the two-sentence lowdown: Hank is an ex-cop and recovering alcoholic. He and his partner Britt are low-rent private investigators who often find themselves in just a little over their heads.
There are just two episodes left in the show’s first season, and it may not be back for a second. So why should you be watching "Terriers"? Glad you asked, because I've got five reasons:
First, it’s a cop show that’s not a procedural. (OK, PIs technically aren’t cops, but work with me here.) Read that description again. Screams crime drama, right? Every episode is a stand-alone with its own case? Yes, that happens sometimes, but there are longer story arcs at work, too, and they don’t wrap up cleanly at the 55-minute mark of every episode. Plus, the show spends as much time focusing on the personal lives as it does on the crime stuff.
That brings me to reason two: This is a drama… and a comedy… and an action show… and it’s good at all three. Not to be too cliche, but you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll come back for more. Or at least, I did.
Third, it has a good pedigree. Executive Producer Shawn Ryan is the same guy who brought us "The Shield."
Fourth, the performances are outstanding. Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life," "The Tao of Steve") gets top billing, but Michael Raymond-James ("True Blood") steals most scenes as Britt, an ex-thief and pseudo man-child. Britt’s girlfriend Katie (Laura Allen) has put together some powerful scenes as she struggles with her commitment to Britt, but even she’s been outdone by a storyline involving Hank’s sister, Steph (Karina Logue – yup, Donal’s real-life sister). I won’t spoil it for you, but at the conclusion of that one... well, let’s just say there was an overabundance of dust in the room.
Finally, and most importantly, this really is the best new show of the fall TV season. It’s well-written, well-acted, well-paced, and… I don’t know a better way to say this… it feels REAL. You know these characters, you can relate to them. Plus, the show’s an original. In a fall when shows based on movies, retro programming and Twitter feeds have all been picked up for a full season, an original show that’s this good deserves some attention too.
"Terriers" airs on FX Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Catch it before it disappears, and maybe help keep it from disappearing.
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