December 6, 2010

Terriers: One and Done

God dammit.

That was my first reaction when I read that Terriers had been cancelled. In case you’ve never heard of this show, (and judging by its poor ratings, I’m assuming you haven’t) Terriers was an extremely poorly promoted yet brilliant neo-noir set in the Southern California town of Ocean Beach on FX. It starred Donal Logue as Hank, a former alcoholic police officer and now and unlicensed PI with his partner Britt (played by Michael Raymond-James), a former small-time, yet very talented thief.

I was hoping this cancellation wouldn’t happen. FX even allowed viewers to email them pleading for the show to be renewed. I sent in emails several email myself from different accounts but apparently they fell on blind eyes. Sure the ratings were low, but it was one of the most critically acclaimed new dramas of the fall. However, as we all know, it’s all about the money in the good ole  USA and if people aren’t watching, ads wont be rolling in and when the ads go, so does the money.

It pains me to think that a show like Two and a Half Men is the highest rated show on TV right now and Charlie Sheen, a horrible drug/sex addict and possible rapist/sexual assailant gets paid a million bucks an episode. I dare you to watch two episodes of that show at random and let me know if you can tell them apart. Every episode is nearly identical. The only thing that has changed throughout the course of the show is the “half-man” has grown up making him more of a three-quarter man. I will admit the first season or two were entertaining and I did tune in most weeks, but then I realized there was no story, it was just Charlie Sheen fucking some hot young girl, Jon Cryer getting upset about how pathetic his life is and the kid making some smart-ass remarks. Disgusting that millions of people voluntarily watch this every week.

L-R: Raymond-James and Logue as Britt and Hank, Respectively

This brings me back to Terriers. Everything I wrote about Two and a Half Men, well think the opposite and you have Terriers. The show had a few season long story lines that blended in beautifully with the crime-of-the-week plots that drove each episode individually. Terriers had characters with faults that we rooted for every week. Their lives are hard like ours. They’re out there trying to make a buck fighting “the man” and any other powers that happen to be standing in the way of justice. Hank and Britt are small time heroes that exemplify what it is like to be in the shrinking middle class of America. Not some rich guy with a house on the beach and an array of women waiting to sleep with you each day (coincidentally, this characterizes several of the main villains of the show).

So please, when the show comes out on DVD, rent it, buy it, steal it. Whatever. Just watch it. It does the body good to watch a program that is thoughtfully constructed, well written, beautifully shot, expertly directed and amazingly acted. All around this was one of the best television shows I have ever watched. An to think, due to FX’s poor promotion, up until I watched the first episode, I thought the show was about a dog on a beach. I’m glad I was wrong.

One more thing, for the fans of the show, here’s the perfectly fitting theme song for the opening credits:

“Gunfight Epiphany” by the show’s composer, Rob Duncan

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