Pilot Watch is a brand new, not at all often, feature on FSR where we ‘ll sit down and give you a heads up on all the hot new stuff coming to your boob tube.
In this edition of Pilot Watch we have the brand new FX series, Terriers. The show is the tale of ex-cop Hank Dolworth and his buddy Brit Pollack as they start up their own PI agency. It stars Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James and comes to us from the Matchstick Men and Oceans Eleven writer, Ted Giffin. I had the privilege of checking out the pilot for this one, and this is what I thought.
What can work: Donal Logue is damn good in this show. I’ve been a fan of him ever since I started watching Grounded For Life reruns on ABC Family. But I never knew he had what it takes for an FX style drama series. And on that note, this show is typical FX. Very gritty, and real style. Which is funny because the show takes place in one of the more shiny locations (San Diego, California) to ever be featured on an FX series. It’s obvious by now that FX wants all its shows to have a certain tone and look to them. Similar to the way USA handles their shows, in terms of using a consistent style that is, god knows USA and FX are complete opposites.
The show is very witty. Similar to the kind of wit we’ve all come to know on the now ending, Rescue Me. The opening scene consists of Logue’s character Hank Dolworth and his partner Britt Pollack played by the talented Michael Raymond-James talking about how crappy Hank’s life is. But in that charming way. Oh, and they also steal a dog.
I also like that the pilot isn’t suffering from the “to much money syndrome.” The thing about pilots you gotta remember is that, that episode costs about 3-5x the amount of a standard episode. But the way Terriers is portrayed in the pilot, is done in a way that can easily be pulled off on a cheap budget week to week.
Another one of the shows best aspects comes from its supporting cast. Including Hank’s ex-wife Gretchen and his former partner on the force Mark Gustafson, played by Prison Break alum Rockmond Dunbar. They, as well as many others give the show a much bigger flair in addition to what Logue and James bring on their own.
What needs work: There doesn’t seem to be any on going story in this series. Of course one could pose the question of why Hank left the police force, but I bet we’ll know that by the end of season one. As opposed to other FX dramas like Sons of Anarchy, Rescue Me, and Justified, Terriers just seems to be more episodic than what is usual for the network. Which is fine, but I just wanna make sure that’s what the writers intend to stick to.
Final thoughts: A very gritty procedural with a lot of charm. We’ll see how it ultimately plays out as the season continues.
Airs: FX, Wednesdays, 10pm
To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.