I’ve been slacking off this summer on episode recaps and weekly reviews. And with a flurry of season finales currently coinciding with a slate of series premieres, this seems like a good opportunity to chime in on how some series fared, and how some new ones look. Next up: “Terriers.”
There may be no such thing as a sure thing, but quality dramas on FX come close. The network has barely ever had a misstep; even “Nip/Tuck” was solid in its first couple of years. Its newest dramedy, “Terriers” (10 p.m. Wednesdays), bolsters that streak and is a worthy addition to the network that gave us “The Shield” and “Sons of Anarchy.”
What I liked: Um, everything. I’ll watch pretty much anything with Donal Logue (“The Tao of Steve,” “Grounded for Life,” “Knights of Prosperity”), the guy’s so affable. In “Terriers,” a buddy comedy/mystery, Logue plays Hank, an ex-drunk ex-cop with an ex-wife who works with an ex-con (Michael Raymond-James of “True Blood”) in an unlicensed private eye business. Well, “business” is a stretch — they work out of a pickup truck with a “Gomez Bros. Pool Cleaners” sign on it. No word on who the Gomez Bros. are. The look of the show is typical FX: gritty, dark and vaguely unsettling. But the tone of the show is decidedly lighter, with plenty of breezy banter and situational comedy. It actually reminds me a lot of the late, great “Veronica Mars.” No teenage girl detective this time, but the show’s setting — the fictional Southern California beach town of Ocean Beach — could easily be the next-door neighbor of “Mars’ ” hometown of Neptune, with the stark contrast between rich and poor and the underlying tension between the two. And like “Mars,” “Terriers” manages to deal with dead-serious subjects (like murder) with a wink and a tension-busting bit of snark. The dialogue is smart and snappy, no surprise coming from “Ocean’s 11” writer Ted Griffin. It’s got a terrific bad guy too, in Christopher Cousins (Ted from “Breaking Bad”), in the big mystery that’ll span the season.
What I didn’t like: Nothing. Really, it’s great.
Bottom line: Last week’s pilot was a legitimately fun hour, and this is the frontrunner for my favorite new show of the year. It had disappointing ratings (about half of what The CW’s horrible “Hellcats” got), but it’s not too late for viewers to get on board. This is a series that deserves to be watched.
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