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Wednesday, 16 of October of 2019

Terriers – “Pilot”

As part of the new fall season coverage, we’re doing what we call audition reviews for new shows. An audition review doesn’t necessarily mean the show will enter the normal rotation, but it will provide an initial reaction to a new series. Especially in light of time shifting practices, we think this is a¬†valuable¬†way to read brief reviews on new series to help you decide if you want to watch the show. For those who watch it live, it’s a good way to begin a conversation about a new series. These reviews will typically be shorter than our regular reviews, and may include thoughts from more than one of our writers.

FX’s Terriers is private eye show, as an ex-cop (Donal Logue) teams up with his best friend (Michael Raymond-James) to solve cases in a community near San Diego.

Nick’s Take

Maybe I’m a sucker for Donal Logue. I did watch Knights of Prosperity all the way through (as well as most of Grounded for Life) and I’ve always been intrigued what seems like a partial first name. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for shows that use older BRMC (as opposed to the ever popular “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” or something from a Twilight soundtrack) to play under a getaway scene. In any case, I think this show might just work out. I was surprised by the serial nature it’s going to attempt since I figured that this would be a PI procedural of sorts (new case every week, hijinks ensue) but there is a dark cloud hanging around as a seasonal arc that, seemingly, captures the attention of the protagonists every week (more than a footnoted music box seems to anyway). Hank and Britt have great chemistry (Hank trying to earworm “Close to You” by the Carpenters was a nice touch) and there is a lot to work with as far as their characters go. That being said, I’m not shouting raves from the rooftops either.

I’m afraid the show is going to have a problem with tone. For instance, the pilot vacillated between clever, self-reflexive/deprecating comedy and overdramatic scenes in horrible swings. I understand the death of a friend might bring about a different side of a person, but Hank’s switch from being a do-gooding schlub to a guy that threatens to destroy a small empire and the man in charge of it as if he was talking to Lex Luthor felt completely unnatural, almost antithetical to Hank’s (and Donal Logue’s) nature. It was uppity. Hank isn’t uppity.

But I’m going to keep watching it. It has potential and you can never really judge a series by the pilot alone (unless it’s Melissa & Joey). And I really did watch Knights of Prosperity all the way until cancellation so you know I have stamina.

Noel’s Take

What a delightful little show, and from FX no less. Terriers still works within FX’s masculinity in crisis mode, but the crisis doesn’t seem as overbearing in this as it has in Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, and It’s Always Sunny, but this could simply because I like the show’s neo-noirish vibe and solid chemistry between its two leads.

I have to agree with much of Nick’s post above, but I’m a little more optimistic about the show’s ability to balance the tone. Yes, it felt pretty Superman to Lex Luthor, but there’s an appeal to that, I think. It’s the scrappy detective against the mega powerplayer, which is a common enough trait in noirs in general, but neo-noirs especially. And provided the show balances the serial arc well (perhaps FX’s executive gave notes that read Follow Justified’s model (I’m told the show blends its episodic and serial beats very well)), I think Terriers will be a one of the best new shows on TV.


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