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TV Review: Terriers – Yet Another Quirky Crime Show?

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FX has television’s newest crime show, Terriers, though I’m sure it won’t hold that ‘new’ status for long. Why are crime dramas the most common type of series on television? Sure, I get the draw of a few of them. Bones, for one, has a very eclectic cast played by extremely talented actors, so I watch it. Plus there is personal development and arcs that last through multiple episodes. FX has delivered two unique shows that can barely be called crime shows: Damages and Justified. I am fans of both of those as well. But with the huge overpopulation of the CSI and Law & Order franchises, as well as the failure of most crime investigation shows to break a procedural mold, I am by and large against them. USA is the one network that strikes a delicate balance, winning and losing in almost equal parts.

I can’t tell from the pilot which side of the coin that Terriers lands on. On one hand, there was one case that was solved in the hour. On the other, there is a very interesting character in Hank Dolworth, a recovering alcoholic pining over his ex-wife. He is played by Donal Logue (Life). I have seen Logue before, but certainly never with this much depth. It is a role of a lifetime for him. He is a former cop who now goes around with his best friend Britt (Michael Raymond-James, True Blood) and, while sometimes getting in the way of the cops, finding things that are lost. Or at least, that’s how they’re described in the pilot. I liked Raymond-James better in his last series. He plays the dumb sidekick here, but not as well as plenty of other actors have played it.

The only other notable star is Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break) as Dolworth’s former partner, Detective Mark Gustafson, who is still on the force. Dolworth’s lawyer, Maggie (Jamie Denbo), is okay, and might possibly have potential. Both Britt’s girlfriend Katie (Laura Allen, Dirt) and Dolworth’s ex-wife, Gretchen (Kimberly Quinn) don’t really add anything new to the mix. The question is, will these side characters become important, or will the entire series be about Dolworth? And if it is, can television support another single character-driven procedural? I’m thinking not.

I’ll give the show another chance, given the excellent network it airs on, but at this point, I’m not optimistic. If you’d like to check out Terriers, it’s on FX Wednesdays at 10pm, and the pilot will surely rerun this weekend.

The show:

Donal Logue:

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com
  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Damages isn’t a crime show, it’s a law procedural. I skip it too.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/jeromewetzeltv/ Jerome Wetzel

    Legal and crime go hand in hand, at least in my opinion. That’s what Law & Order does: captured both sides of the legal and crime areas. They’re highly related. But I love Damages. It’s brilliant.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/jeromewetzeltv/ Jerome Wetzel

    And I would also argue that Damages is not a procedural. Procedurals are the shows that do a new case every week, where the story is based on their procedures. Damages is a serial, which is the type of show I like, where each week gives you another piece of the puzzle, but you have to watch a series of episodes to get the story.