I decided, last-minute, to give FX’s “Terriers” (Wednesdays at 10 pm EST) a try last night with the first episode. It was created by Ted Griffin, who also wrote the films “Ocean’s 11”, “Matchstick Men”, “Killers”, and an episode of FX’s “The Shield”.
The new show, starring Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James, is about two unofficial private investigators in San Diego, California, a VERY beat-up but tenacious and efficient duo.
I gotta say, I really like it. I’m a fan of Logue and love detective/mystery stories, and the no-frills approach to the whole thing is something that I think is lacking in detective fiction these days. I heard writer Greg Rucka once mention on a podcast that he dislikes the new trend in detective fiction of having the main character have some sort of “trick”, be it being a vampire, psychic, being able to see ghosts, or anything like that that elevates them above the mold established in modern detective fiction by writers like Chandler or Spillane.
This made Greg write Stumptown recently, and I definitely see it reflected here in “Terriers”. Our two heroes aren’t independently wealthy or kung-fu masters or anything like that. We know that Logue’s character Hank used to be a cop, is divorced, and is a recovering alcoholic, but those are traits that can be applied to be almost anyone out in the streets.
With “The Shield”, “Justified”, and now “Terriers”, FX is definitely creeping up to AMC and Showtime levels of TV goodness. I’m excited to keep following this show and see where it goes, especially when despite you thinking that the season’s overarching storyarc has been established by the end of the first episode, previews for the rest of the season seem to indicate otherwise.