Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

“Terriers” Premiere Review

Posted by Marlo Stanfield on September 8, 2010

Hank (Donal Logue, Left) and Britt (Michael Raymond-James) star in "Terriers"

Ah, San Diego – my favorite city weather-wise in the United States.  On the likelihood that I’ll sound biased off of the locale, I quite enjoyed Terriers.  It has enough comedy and suspense to carry me through at least another episode, probably more.

However, it walks a fine line of becoming trite and predictable.  The buddy cop theme works, and it will probably thrive on TV’s browork  (netbro?), FX. This is a stale genre though, and I’m not sure Terriers has enough layers past the relationship of Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James to survive.  And I’m not too keen on the tension between Hank and detective Mark Gustafson (Rockmond Dunbar) – the former partner status fight is unsurprising.

Terriers is about ex-cop Hank Dolworth and his best friend/ex-criminal Britt Pollack who partner in an unlicensed investigation business in Ocean Beach, a community in San Diego, CA.  Logue, from Grounded for Life fame, plays the divorcee PI for hire, Hank: a la Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.  His friend, Britt, (Michael Raymond-James of season 1 of True Blood) plays the somewhat bumblish friend.

Rounding out the cast is Kimberly Quinn as Logue’s ex wife, Gretchen, who walks the fine line of civility with Hank (In case you didn’t know, divorcees aren’t allowed to get along according to TV logic.), Laura Allen as Britt’s girlfriend Katie, and Jamie Denbo as Maggie Lefferts, Hank’s attorney.

In the beginning, Hank and Britt begin their fun by pretending to be pool cleaners to claim a pitbull that is owned by Britt’s drycleaner.  Or so Hank thinks.  They steal the dog after being chased by the muscle-bound owner and as far as I can tell, that’s the best reason the show’s title is Terriers.

The pilot centers on a drunken ex-cop’s missing daughter, which leads to multiple dead bodies and a citywide conspiracy involving a wealthy businessman with a mansion that I could only dream to live in one day.  This seems to be a plotline that they return to multiple times in the season, and I’m behind it.

The acting is pretty solid throughout.  Logue provides enough dry wit and every-guyness that will carry the show; Raymond-James is able to pull off the best friend without being a stereotype. Script’s not perfect, but I found myself laughing out loud a couple of time, adding a nice touch of humor from what could be another procedural cop show.  My final verdict of the show is a positive one: I’m definitely hooked enough to watch a second episode, although I’m weary of how long it can last.  Terriers is certainly not breaking new ground.

Grade: B-

I take it down a notch because Detective Gustafson was speaking with a cigar in his mouth. Multiple times.  I hate that.

He did it better

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6 Responses to ““Terriers” Premiere Review”

  1. Mr. Feeny said

    Awesome review. Excited to have you on board! And based on that review, excited to watch “Terriers.” A mix of humor and serial in my cop show is the way to go.

  2. CJ Cregg said

    What’s your deal with talking with a cigar in the mouth?

    I tried to watch this during my lunch break, but FX has not posted it. This weekend, perhaps.

  3. Mr. Feeny said

    I agree with your review, Marlo. This was an enjoyable premiere. The PI thing is nothing new (“Simon & Simon,” “Magnum,” “Monk,” “Psych”), nor is the buddy concept. But it feels very genuine here. It’s a somewhat gritty show, much more than any I mentioned. I loved Logue’s heartfelt anger and distress toward the end. And the fact that they’re using this as a season-long arc is very appealing. Similar to “Justified,” which had a great first season on FX. Might be becoming my favorite cable network, over USA.

    Grade: B+

  4. CJ Cregg said

    I need DVR! This show still isn’t up online… I promise I’m not slacking off on my reviewing!

    • CJ Cregg said

      Wow. This show was waaaay better than I thought it would be. Perhaps it was my low expectations going in, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the pilot. And I agree with Feeny that the whole thing felt genuine. The dynamic between the two main characters was believable and awesome. Also, it was way funnier than I thought it would be. For example, Hank tells Britt he needs a partner that can keep up with him mentally, and gets the bulldog out of the car. Heh.

      Grade: B+

      I’m not sure if I’ll keep watching because there’s so much else I want to try out, but this certainly isn’t a bad show. If only there were more hours in the day…

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