Archive | 1:00 pm

Ranking the Shows I Watch – 10: Terriers

27 Oct

I several times almost forgot about the existence of Terriers when working on this list as it was crushingly cancelled after its 13 episode first season  on FX in December, 2010.  The best new show of last fall’s TV season by a long shot, it gained traction with critics, but never with audiences and fans like myself were left wondering whether the terribly non-descriptive name played a significant role in preventing people from tuning in.

Earlier in this list, there were a number of USA shows. USA shows, as previously mentioned, are good, but due to the strictures of the network, they genrally have a ceiling.  Terriers is at its heart, a USA show, with the strictures removed.   Donal Logue plays an ex-cop who is a recovering alcoholic and is partners with Michael Raymond-James (Renee from True Blood), an ex-con, in a private detective business in San Diego, California.  The two solve week-to-week cases while working on occasional long-term projects and deal with each other’s personal life – Logue’s troubled sister and the marriage of his ex-wife and Raymond-James’s possible engagement to his long-term girlfriend.

The primary two actors are where the core of the show lies and their chemistry is the engine that keeps Terriers moving.  The show maintained a relatively sunny disposition, giving it that great USA easy-watch feeling without the sometimes forced famed USA Blue Skies mentality. Things don’t always exactly work out.  Logue and Raymond-James were the underdogs you loved to root for (maybe that’s where the Terriers name comes from?).  With such a promising first season, it’s depressing to think where the show could have gone if it just had more time.  The concept sounds incredibly generic but the execution is pitch perfect.  When I read about it at first, it didn’t sound all that great, until I actually watched it and I was hooked.

Why it’s this high:  The actors are great by themselves, and the relationship between Logue and Raymond-James at the heart of the show is strong – about as good as a largely procedural show can be

Why it’s not higher:  This is pretty fucking high for a show with one season which is cancelled already

Best episode of the most recent season:  It’s hard to remember exactly, having watched the show almost a year ago but I’ll choose “Fustercluck” partly because I just remember it better; I don’t think there were any one standout that was so much better than the pack.  In this episode, a character they helped put in jail asks Logue and Raymond-James to steal back $250 thousand of his own money in exchange for allowing them to keep $100 thousand of it.  They take the case, but follow him after he’s bailed about because they’re suspicious of his motives.  They then learn a little bit more about the season’s long local conspiracy plot.