The good ones always get cancelled

I watched “Terriers” (2010) in 24 hours – the whole season, every episode, back to back. With some people that would be a sign of a really, REALLY great show and this is a good show, but I am putting up a disclaimer:

At the moment, my choices for the day involve choosing either:

A: Thinking, dealing and/or organising my large, unconfirmed move back to the city where I will be taking up part-time possibly non-recurring work after leaving my well-paid, full time job.

or

B: Watching a cool new TV show.

So, while I did in fact watch this whole show in 1 day and I did in fact really enjoy it – my options were a tad limited and my desire to keep watching was propelled by less than pure motives.

My eldest son recommended “Terriers” last time he was visiting. He described it as ‘pretty cool’ and having brainwashed raised the boy myself to have a solid history of film/TV and to know the difference between say “Friends” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia”, I am always fairly confident that I can trust something he recommends.

As it turned out, the very second “Terriers” opened it was vaguely familiar – I must have spent a different holiday watching it (it’s scary that I didn’t have that recollection – either I have watched so much in the past couple of years that they are all blurring together or, I am slowly losing my mental faculties). As I am loathe to let something as simple as already having seen a show interfere with my viewing pleasures (I have for example, watched BtVS 12 times in its entirety – ok, not S1, but 2-7) I decided to nestle in because what I could remember was that the show was definitely worth watching – and it was.

The premise of “Terriers” is nothing special or new; a disgraced ex-cop and a cheeky ex-con buddy up to become PI’s. Both men are fighting their respective demons which the viewer learns more about as the season progresses and both men are charming and although a bit rough around the edges, can be relied on to be moral, upstanding guys when push comes to shove – and it comes to shove a lot. Starring Donal Logue (“Grounded for Life”, “Confidence”) as Hank Dollworth and Michael Raymond-James (the bad guy from True Blood s1) as Britt Pollack, there is mucho charm to go around and the guys are supported by the women in their lives in the form of an ex-wife, a current girlfiend and for a little while an insane but intellectually gifted sister who lives in the roof and a lawyer who throws the boys a bone every now and then and helps them out of some scrapes. There is also the obligatory ex-partner cop who helps out now and then and believes ex-partner Dollworth to be untrustwothy, manic and possibly corrupt.

Season 1 – and there is only season 1, (when will the TV execs learn to allow a show to percolate, to garner some audience attention before ripping off the air – have they learned absolutely nothing from Firefly?) – is based around one major, ongoing case with some weeks also bringing in a standalone to solve. This works really well as it rewards the viewer for regular viewing, allows for a complex case to develop in a natural timeline and with some complexity. Episode one opens with Dollworth’s long-ago, now-alcoholic ex-partner to come to him asking for help. His daughter has contacted him in desperation for help but ex-partner isn’t quite up to the task. What our heroes initially find is a dead body, a seemingly corrupt local business man and after rescuing said daughter, a dead ex-partner. This sets up the main case for the season and soon we get to meet Dollworth’s ex-wife and her new fiance (there’s something dodgy about him right?) and Pollack’s current girl, bringing together the main cast for the season and the show works hard to explore these relationships while always maintaining the buddy-cop feel to the series.

It’s a shame there was never a season 2 and when you consider the amount of crud around, it’s mystifying when a decently written, well acted, well produced show like this gets canned after 1 season – such is the mysterious universe of television funding.

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