Terriers: A Love Story

Dear Terriers,

I hope this doesn't seem too forward. I know we've only been together for eight episodes. But I just can't keep my feelings for you a secret.

First, you should know that I don't take TV-watching lightly. I don't want to waste my time with tired sitcoms (S#!t My Dad Says) or formulaic procedurals (Law and Order: L.A.). And I refuse to live in the past and remain obsessed with the glory days of a show that's long been off the air (The Wire). I've been waiting for something new for a while now, for a show that breaks boundaries in a subtle and unpredictable way. And so far, you fit the bill.

I knew you were good on paper: You were developed by FX, a network that's known for both its intelligence and its ridiculousness. Plus, you're filmed on-location in San Diego's Ocean Beach, which I love for being quieter, moodier, more mysterious, and less "plastic" than it’s Southern California counterparts.

But then I watched you, and one look at your shooting style let me know you were keeping it real. You didn't try to impress me with fast camera work and fancy action sequences. You started off slow and steady, with your charming underdog characters Hank (Donal Logue) and Britt (Michael Raymond-James) chit-chatting about buying towels and senility in the cab of Hank's truck. Your approach is simple and straightforward, and I like that about you. You don't have to be flashy, cause you've got what matters: good stories told by believable characters with good senses of humor. You’re not trying too hard.

Which brings me to your excellent casting choices. Are Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James friends off-screen? Because their chemistry just seems so natural—Paul Newman and Robert Redford natural, like in their Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid prime. I’ve been a fan of Logue for a while: I loved him as Jimmy the Cab driver in those MTV promos back in the early 90's, and as the philosophy spouting title character in The Tao of Steve. But on television, I've never really seen him in a show that allowed him to tap into the nuances of a real person. He's just so ideal for the role of Hank, a man with a strong moral code and very tangible flaws. I love that he looks like someone who has lived a life with real problems. I even love your cosmetic choice to give Hank his tribal collarbone tattoo—it's such a great detail, a subtle reveal of his character that I like to think of an indication that he used to be a surfer, or at least as someone who once felt comfortable going shirtless. All of these details add up. They’re not lost on me.

, aside from brief moments on Grounded for Life,

And then there's Michael Raymond-James as Britt, Hank's endearing and mischievous partner in crime. I'm totally charmed by Britt the character, but I'm also always a little bit nervous that he's going to really mess up, considering his criminal past. He keeps me on pins and needles, which as a viewer is the perfect place to be.

Finally, while overall you're a show about two unlicensed, trickster detectives and their hijinx, you also beautifully handle their relationships with the equally complex and believable women in their lives. Thank you for creating female characters who are all fully realized. From Britt’s girlfriend Katie (Laura Allen), the veterinarian-in-training who is kind and driven and messes up in the most believable ways; to Hank’s ex-wife Gretchen (Kimberly Quinn), who seemingly has her life in order but can’t quite let go of her past with Hank; to Maggie Lefferts (Jamie Denbo), the new mother and hilarious no-nonsense lawyer who keeps Hank and Britt out of trouble; to Steph, Hank’s mentally disturbed sister, played by Donal's real-life sister (Karina Logue). All of these women are a far cry from the one-note characters on other TV series who serve only to deliver punchlines or act of flavorless eye candy.

All of this is (obviously) to say that I’m really crazy about you. During a season full of unfunny comedies and recycled plotlines, you've kind of restored my faith in television as a storytelling medium. There is no other show on right now that I more look forward to watching. I think you're the real deal, and I hope it doesn’t weird you out when I tell you I’m in it for the long-haul.

xoxo,
Ilana

P.S. I love your opening credits, with the twangy song and western-inspired font, more than I can say.

Terriers airs Wednesdays at 10:00pm on FX.

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A step removed from the rest, definitely. Brave casting, keeps me watching. The writing isn't as crisp as I'd like it to be and the suspense could be worked on, but it's definitely a breath of fresh air - with the best opening credits song out there. Here's hoping.
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Well said. This is my favorite new show, and I will be very disappointed if FX cancels it.
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I agree with you. I love this show. It's a real shame there aren't that many people watching it.
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I completely agree. The best new show for sure. I do hope they are going to continue with some bigger storyline though. Like all the Lindus stuff that happened in the first couple of episodes. Something that runs through each episode. But still an excellent show, the two lead actors are great, especially Donal Logue.
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Great show but the ratings are so low that I worry that it won't get a shot at a second season.
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I hope that theme get put on iTunes soon. It's a shame FX promoted it very poorly, as no one gets why it's called "Terriers"; too many thought it really was about dogs. This is just another in the trend of Donal Logue only being in things that are good.
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Great.

The radio silence about Terriers' awesomeness was starting to worry me. This needs to become the next big thing ASAP.
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My thoughts exactly. Best new show in a while! I can never figure out what it is that makes Terriers so great--it just is. It's like somehow everything lined up just right to make an excellent series.

P.S. The theme song was created for the show, but the extended version is available on iTunes. It's called "Gunfight Epiphany."
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The show is great, but I L-O-V-E the theme song. I've tried to get it, but found out it was only created for the show. So the one minute of excellence at the beginning of the show is the only thing we'll get. Sigh. I hope they make an extended, full song of the theme for us to enjoy.
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I would like to second this letter. It really is a great show. To Ilana, the one who I'm always expecting to mess up is Hank...Britt always seems to be in control. He just isn't afraid of anything, though Hank isn't really either. This show is outstanding b/c of the incredible dialogue, deep characters and exciting stories each and every episode.
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I agree with everything. Brilliant show. Loved every ep so far. Pleeeeease survive!
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Long live terriers.
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I'm so happy to see that I am not alone in my love for this show. This article captured it all. From the first episode, I too felt that there was great chemistry between Donal and Michael. It's like there isn't one huge thing that sticks out but when you add everything together it just fits so well. The addition of Donal's sister was the icing on the cake, I really hope she comes back.
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great show
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great show.i think the title throws off viewers.they might think it is a dog show of some sort.change the title,and you will get more people watching.love it though.
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Terriers is another example of the great shows on FX. I hope that we can help it survive. Hank and Britt are awesome.
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Love, love love Terriers! I only hope FX gives it a chance to gain viewers. I don't know why people aren't watching but I for one will continue to watch every week. Its the only show I make sure to watch live & then I re-watch my fave scenes later.
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Terriers has quickly become one of my favorite shows -- and definitely my favorite new show. I love this show.
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well said. i get soooo excited when its time for terriers. it has got such a natural charm to its story telling. endearing too. why are only less than 500 000 ppl watching it???

will FX realise its their own fault re: title and ad campaign. and give it a green light for season 2???

can't NBC, CBS take over this??? ie buy it??? seeing that it does work and it is good?
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great show.



casting for this show is so good, Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James are perfect for the roles.



the only bad thing - Gretchen character. so annoying. i wish someone (her child molester boyfriend maybe?) kills her really soon.
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oh how right you are. wih everything. especially the opening theme. i soooo love it.
great show. great review.
thanks for that
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I totally agree with you. Terriers is the one of best show on TV right now... The Story is original and have an excellent cast.
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I agree. I don't watch procedurals or crap sitcoms. But I love Terriers. I can say I haven;'t seen enough Donal Logue stuff, but what little I've seen I love. MRJ was great, especially on this weeks episode. Please keep this show FX.
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Agreed, the most real hour on television. Well done!
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she said...
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