Saturday, 30 July 2011

LandL - The Greatest Show You've Never Seen - Terriers

So, there's this amazingly funny show that has now completed it's first (and only) season run over in the good old U.S. of A.

It's a natural for the first in my Loved and Lost series

It was hard hitting, unafraid to tackle uncomfortable truths and realities head on, had two incredibly likable - if not necessarily trustworthy characters as leads - and a quick-fire pace - moving from topic/issue/interaction in a more intelligent manner most of the other drama's I've been watching, especially in recent years!

It was also a network show that felt like a cable one. Not particularly foul mouthed or graphic; it more had a very adult vibe, with no compromises in either the intelligence of the story or the pace of the show.

It's called Terriers (I don't know why, have to assume after the tenacious little dogs), and chances are, you won't have been watching it. Heck, you might not have heard of it - except for in our delectable podcast.
But if you like good TV, you really really should give this one a go!

"Our life expectancy is between that of a fly and a fly with a heart condition."

Hank Dolworth (Donal Logue) used to be a police officer.
He used to be an alcoholic.
He used to have a wife.
Now...well... now... he has a best mate.

Britt Pollack (Michael Raymond-Jones or Rene from True Blood) used to be a thief. Now he and Hank are partners in an unlicensed private investigation business, based in Ocean Beach, California.

As with all private detectives, they rely, abuse and generally pester the local police force, most notably Detective Mark Gustafson (Rockmond Dunbar), Hank's former partner in the force, before the latters ignoble descent and subsequent firing. He also used to be a smoker, and remains, despite all the difficulties both a good cop and Hank's friend.

Now, no great men are complete without the support of great women, but as neither Hank nor Britt could described as great, their domestic set ups aren't necessarily idyllic.

Britt is dating Katie Nichols (Laura Allen), a veterinary student. She is understanding, has a bit of a wild streak and sometimes makes very foolish decisions while drunk (shocker that).
Gretchen (Kimberly Quinn), Hank's former wife, divorced him when his drinking took over. Though she still clearly has feelings for Hank, she wants someone to rely on, so instead becomes involved with Jason Adler (Loren Dean), an architect. Hank and Jason have their ups and downs, but turn out to have very similar moral codes, and end up working together on some of Hank's cases.

Additionally, Hank has a crazy sister, Stephanie, portrayed by Donal Logues sister IRL Karina Logue. She is a genius, with an unstable streak, and shows up on occasion, usually wrecking havoc. Her first appearance in the show is awesome - she is literally the shadowy figure, seen behind Hank, climbing down from the ceiling - living unbeknowest to him - in his attic!

The final member of the crew is Maggie, Hank's occasional employer and lawyer. Her rational and organised life is frequently disrupted by her client's shenanigans (I NEVER get to use that word. *beams*).

So, anyway, that's the set up. The first couple of shows focus on a 'monster of the week', a specific crime, criminal, and investigation. However, once the show hit its stride, hints of an overarching criminal foe and longer term relationship arcs became the order of the day. But more than anything else, this was a show that was determined to make every dialogue line count - there isn't a single throwaway remark. Every note is designed to prove a point, capture your imagination or make you laugh. 

As good as the show was, that's how low the ratings have been. If FX had decided to renew the show (and they really really were thinking about it), it would have purely been out of love, not any commercial value. While I would love to see more of the duo's adventures, Terriers has also managed to achieve the near impossible - a practically perfect first season. The final moment of the final episode - in an episode with some truly moving and dynamic scenes - is perhaps the most poignant.


Then you can thank me with chocolates!

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