Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Foot: Review of FX's Terriers--Pilot

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="480" caption="Terriers airs Wednesdays at 10PM on FX."][/caption]

Terriers is the newest series from FX, executive produced by Ocean Eleven's Ted Griffin and The Shield creator Shawn Ryan. The series stars Donal Logue and Michael Raymond James as Hank Dalworth and Britt Pollock, two private investigators who run their own unlicensed private investigation business. Hank is an ex-cop who was thrown out of the force because he used to be a drunk while Britt is a former thief. Hank maintains communication with his former partner and another detective--the only two who communicate with him after Hank's departure from the force for being a drunk. Along with his cop friends, Hank has his truck, his buddy and their extreme persistence to succeed and do what's right.

I wrote last night that one cannot accurately determine a series by the pilot alone, which doesn't mean that I hate every pilot. A pilot needs to establish the foundation for the story to come and what a foundation for Terriers. Ted Griffin establishes the personal world of Hank and Britt as well as he establishes the world of their business.

They're two guys with maturity issues. Hank has been drifting around Ocean Beach, CA with no clear direction after his divorce while Britt doesn't want to pursue having a child with his girlfriend, Katie. Not too many people think much of Hank or Bitt as private investigators nor as responsible young men; however, by episode's end, Britt made the first step towards responsibility by asking Katie if they can get a dog while Hank used the money from the Lindas job to put a down payment on his ex-wife's house. Hey, it's a house.

The episode opens with Hank and Britt on a job: they need to bring someone's dog back. It's a far cry from what the deep water they find themselves in by the end of the episode, after committing to taking on the rich and powerful Mr. Lindas. Mickey, Hank's drunken buddy, asks he and Britt to search for his daughter who went missing. His daughter, Rachel, worked for Lindas. He hires them to retrieve an incriminating video of he and Rachel in hopes they sacrifice morals for money because they're two "small-time" private investigators.

Soon enough, they find a guy's head blown off in a lifeguard tower. Lindas is a corrupt and dirty individual. Once Rachel finds Hank, we find out Lindas had her boyfriend killed; however, since she and her boyfriend spent a week hiding in the tower, the murder's tied to her and Lindas wants her dead because of what she knows. The video reveals that Lindas isn't exactly being honest with the money he's using to develop housing projects.

Hank and Britt eventually get to see Lindas brought away in handcuffs by the police but this certainly won't be the last time they deal with Lindas. Hank could've walked away from the Lindas case but Lindas had Mickey killed. Hank wants to destroy Lindas and he swears he will. Lindas has many powerful friends who aren't afraid to kill a problem to get rid of it. And they send Rachel safely, with the money Mickey gave her, to Mexico where Lindas' people can't hurt her. Hank and Britt are going to make mistakes and screw up but they're good guys.

Hank even ends the episode on good terms with his ex-wife. She decides she wants Hank to buy the house because the decision symbolizes a new direction for Hank; however, he's taken aback when she tells him about her plans to re-marry. He still loves her.

The relationship between Britt and Katie is nicely done. She's a sweet woman who will cook for Hank as well but they'll have their struggles as well.

This show is pretty much in my wheelhouse. While I dislike procedurals and cop dramas like L&O, I'm a fan of this kind of show. In ANGEL, he and his friends were private investigators and Veronica Mars is one of the best shows of the aughts. Veronica and her father were private investigators. I like these shows about good people trying to do good things while being on the fringe of society. The chemistry between Donal Logue and Michael Raymond James is terrific. Every actor is Ted Griffin wrote the pilot and Craig Brewer directed it.

In the weeks to come, when I'm more familiar with the show, the 'other thoughts' section will return. You'll recall I wasn't sure if I'd commit weekly to Terriers but I'm on board. I loved the pilot. Tim Minear's writing for the show (and hopefully directing too). Shawn Ryan's one of the most respected writers in television (and a former ANGEL scribe).

I'll be back in a bit with my write-up on the latest Man Vs. Wild.


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.