Terriers from Creator/Executive Producer Ted Griffin (Ocean’s Eleven, Matchstick Men) and Executive Producer Shawn Ryan (The Shield), is a comedic drama starring Donal Logue (The Tao of Steve) and Michael Raymond-James (True Blood). It centers on “Hank Dolworth” (Logue), an ex-cop, who partners with his best friend “Britt Pollack” (Raymond-James) in an unlicensed private investigation business. – F/X
7 out of 10
Two weeks ago, my Dad was bemoaning the fact that there weren’t any private eye shows on television any more. He doesn’t have cable any more so he hasn’t seen Monk and he misses shows like Magnum P.I., Simon & Simon, Hardcastle & McCormick, Remington Steele and The Rockford Files (which I’m sure he’ll be happy to know is coming back). Well, if you like original private eye shows ike my Dad does, then Terriers is your type of show.
Terriers, on the surface hearkens back to the by-gone days of the classic buddy-detective shows but once you start getting into it, you realize it’s got a lot more going on with it than the classic procedural who done-its.
Hank Dolworth is a former detective for the Ocean Beach, California Police Department who was “dishonorably discharged” (I put that in quotes because it was mentioned in an episode but I don’t think they use that phrase outside the armed forces… whatever.) for reasons not mentioned as of yet, but one can assume it stems from the same issue that caused his marriage to end: his alcoholism.
This is important to note because Hank being a recovering alcoholic is an integral part of the character. We learn a lot about his personal character because of this skeleton in his closet that as any recovering will tell you, stays with you forever. Hank seems like he’s on a continuous journey of redemption with everything he does.
We see this in his approach to justice, where he often severely bends the rules to see that the right bad guys are put behind bars and it’s obvious that he is trying to make up for what he sees as his failings while he was with the police. From almost the opening scene of the pilot it’s obvious that he still deeply loves his ex-wife, Gretchen (Kimberly Quinn) constant attempts to make things right with his ex-wife , even going so far as not only buying the house they lived in together so that she could move on, but even knocking down the wall between the family room and the dining room that she had asked him to do five years earlier. It was a pointless gesture, because he has just moved into the house and she was moved out but it was obvious that Hank is trying to make amends for everything, even for that.
Now, on to the lighter side: Hank’s partner, Britt, is there for one reason and one reason only as far as I can see it: to provide some kind of balance to Hank and comic relief for the audience. Despite how the show is being billed, it’s not a comedy at all. It’s a decent crime drama but what keeps you coming back is the back-and-forth between Hank and Britt. The dialogue is very clever and all of the characters are very well-written and what’s refreshing is the often “shades of gray” approach to all of them, even some of the bad guys.
All in all, Terriers grew on me by the second episode and it’s the type of show that works perfectly on a network like F/X with only 13 episodes per season.
Watch full episodes of Terriers, here.