September 9, 2010

Show Reviews: TERRIERS

As the fall television approaches, cable channels tend to put their summer hits into hibernation for a few months, but a few will offer some counter-network options for viewers and FX just debuted one of their newest additions: Terriers.

Haven't heard of Terriers? Well based on the numbers, you were not the only one. To be honest, I wouldn't have even known this show existed if TV critics like Alan Sepinwall and Daniel Fienberg from didn't rave about it on their podcasts and blogs. I was hearing enough about the show's premise, an on the fringe buddy cop/P.I. show, to get me interested.

Most of the critics/bloggers I've read raved about the chemistry between the two leads, Hank (Donal Logue) and Britt (Michael Raymond-James), and the brilliant dark humor. While watching the pilot, I didn't see either. Now, I have to admit that I was only half-watching the episode, so I really cannot make a truly informed critique, but then again I was only half-watching because I wasn't pulled in.

I was expecting a little more humor than what was offered, and the jokes may have either been over my head or I wasn't paying enough attention to get them the first time, but the laughs just weren't coming. And I know this show isn't a comedy, but we all know that's not an excuse. Most shows nowadays are able to blend the humor with darker elements, and I wasn't feeling what Terriers put out there.

As for the chemistry, I could sense that it was there between Logue and Raymond-James, but it wasn't tangible, at least not based on what I can remember. To be fair, when I think of buddy cops, duos like Esposito and Ryan from Castle come to mind, and that kind of back and forth was what I was expecting from Terriers. Maybe that's not an apt comparison, but that was what my mind's eye envisioned. The much touted chemistry, like the humor, very well may have been present during the pilot but it could've been either too subtle or I missed it. Usually I'm a fan of subtlety, so I'm betting I just didn't pick up on these elements the first time around.

While I wasn't blown away by Terriers, I am willing to give the first episode another chance (with an improved attention span), and I'll tune in for a few more episodes to let it hit its stride. I really want to like this show, mostly because I want to be a TV snob too, but I also have to come to grips with the fact that I prefer network shows over cable ones (with the exception of Leverage and White Collar). There's nothing wrong with that, right?

UPDATE: I definitely liked the episode more the second time around, and the jokes actually landed after an additional viewing. Count me in for episode 2.


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