Friday, December 2, 2011
Remembering - Terriers
FX and I go way back. I remember back when they got into the "original programing" game. The Shield was certainly a game changer both in terms of what basic cable could show and how a network branded itself.
I've pretty much given every one of FX's hour dramas a shot. Some I loved (The Shield, Justified) some I loathed (Dirt) and most I just tolerated (Lights Out, Rescue Me.) But most left me heartbroken because they ended too soon (The Riches, Thief.)
One year ago yesterday Terriers wrapped up it's first and final season.
I don't really know what I knew about Terriers before I started watching it via hulu. I don't have cable, so I missed any promo FX did for it. I imagine I saw some ads in Entertainment Weekly and probably read a write up they did for the show.
Actually I know I read something in EW about Terriers. The write up and my devotion to FX original programming made sure that I'd watch the show. But there was another factor; Donal Logue.
I'm old enough that, not only do I use phrases like "I'm old enough that..." but a part of me will always see Donal Logue as "Jimmy the Cab Driver" from the MTV promos of the 90's. It's genuinely been the last couple of years when I saw him in something that thought "there's Donal Logue" and not "there's Jimmy the Cab Driver."
Donal Logue has been in quite a few shows that I've loved and were short lived. He was in ABC's hilarious Knights of Prosperity. He also came aboard the second season of Life (aka one shows NBC canceled so that Jay Leno could have a primetime show weeknights.) So, I've got a shot spot in my heart for the guy.
Terriers hooked me in the first episode. The dialogue was crisp and had a unique rhythm. And the characters of Hank (Logue) and Britt (Michael Raymond-James) were two of the most charming and vibrant character I'd seen on tv in quite some time. They were funny and fallible, witty and likable, with a pinch of grime. They were not only characters I'd want to hang out with, but they were characters I could possibly become.
Hank was a recovering alcoholic ex-cop who was still deeply in love with his ex-wife. Britt was mildly dim, mildly hot-headed with some dirt in his past. If I'm being 100% honest, they might be my favorite partners and private investigators, passing Frank Pembleton/Tim Bayliss and Jim Rockford respectfully.
I'm not going to go too much into detail because Terriers is actually available for streaming on Netflix and hopefully you'll read this and be prompted to check it out. Terriers is a show that manages to be both episodic and serial or at least does a fine job balancing the two. There's an overarching mystery, but there are also stand alone episodes.
There's also laughs, tears, suspense, heartbreak, joy and violence. In addition to being of my favorite shows last year, Terriers also landed on several critics lists.
But didn't pull the viewers that FX wanted, so they pulled the plug, five days after the first season ended. It's certainly something I'll never forgive FX for.
The real tragedy is that, like other FX shows Thief and Lucky (as well as TNT's Saved and the second season of Showtime's Huff) Terriers isn't on dvd and doesn't appear to be coming any time soon.
There's a grassroots effort including the hashtag #terriersdvd and an online petition. If you want to do something nice for me, feel free to spread the word or sign the petition. There's even a blog Terriers on DVD. You could also call Fox Home Video at 888-223-4369 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell 'em Skip sent you! It'd make a great x-mas gift for me.
Just thinking about Terriers is bittersweet. It's a great show and I'm glad I got to see it, but the fact that it only got one season just makes me sad.