"Too small to fail."
Alcoholic disgraced ex-cop HANK DOLWORTH (Donal Logue, left) teams up with fellow slacker, drinking buddy and allegedly reformed thief BRITT POLLACK (Michael Raymond-James, right) to launch a down-scale, under the table detective agency in grimy, colourful Ocean Beach, California (near San Diego) in Terriers, a short-lived 2010 television show from FX.
Like the CBC's recent Republic of Doyle, the show was a conscious effort to emulate the golden age of character-driven 70's television eyes like The Rockford Files, Harry O, Cannon, Banacek et al. The show's creators and producers certainly had distinguished pedigrees: Ted Griffin (Ocean's Eleven) was the creator, with Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Tim Minear (Dollhouse) acting as executive produciers.
It was entertaining enough, I suppose. But I had problems with it from the beginning. I just couldn't can't buy Hank as an ex-cop. A washed-up ex-member of The Beach Boys, maybe, too prone to crying jags, too watery and wimpy for me to buy as a cop, never mind a seasoned homicide dick. What made matters worse is that much of his moping was done in the name of his ex-wife -- a plot device we'd seen a zillion times before.
Far more credible and entertaining was ex-thief Britt, who had a weasely affabilty and a pragmatic -- if erratic -- sense of self-preservation. And he, at least, seemed to be capable of having a solid relationship (well, until the apparently inevitable soap opera elements kicked in).
My other gripe is that these guys, like too many other contempoary TV private eyes, just seemed to stumble into cases, rarely being actually hired by any actual client to do anything. And the obligatory complex underlying story arc -- some sort of real estate boondoggle conspiracy -- that allegedly tied it all together and add a sense of urgency to the proceedings really didn't.
Whatever happened to private eyes who just solved cases?
Still, I watched it faithfully. It showed plenty of potential, and in the home stretch of its first season it actually showed signs of possibly reaching that promise, finally manning up, taking an unexpectedly dark and nasty turn, with Britt actually facing serious jail time.
Who knows? If it had been allowed to come back for a second season -- and they'd boldly followed Britt down that rabbit hole -- it might still be running.
But as it stood, it certainly wasn't worthy of the breathless hyperbole and drama queen histronics with which it was defended by its cult of devoted followers when Fox pulled the plug after one season, citing poor ratings.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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