Terriers is a classic example of marketing idiocy as a network tried to launch a show by giving the potential viewing audience absolutely no idea what the hell the show was about. (see first clip below).
Often referred to as a comedy, Terriers is a quirky, intelligent dramedy (one part comedy to two parts drama). Hank Dolworth (DONAL LOGUE) is a former cop and alcoholic recovering from a derailed career and a divorce from the woman he still loves. Working as a private investigator of sorts with his partner, Brit Pollack (MICHAEL RAYMOND-JAMES), Dolworth isn’t exactly the portrait of a high-functioning adult. He can be petty and juvenile, particularly where his ex-wife is concerned, but while on a case is relentless. In the hands of lesser writers, the show might falter with the character of Dolworth alone, because the character is remarkably complex, but the team working on Terriers and Donal Logue have created a character that’s both believable and distinct.
Dolworth may just be the greatest new PI to come along in decades.
This isn’t praise I dish out lightly, but there’s a lot about Terriers that’s refreshing. As Brit Pollack, Raymond-James plays a former thief with the ability to crack any safe or lock in record time. Britt is also on the verge of proposing to his girlfriend. He’s a young man who’s already realized how lucky he is and is determined to not let the best things in his life get away from him. Brit and Katie have an interesting relationship that ventures into territory most other shows wouldn’t dare touch, or if they did, couldn’t do it with anywhere near the same skill as the Terriers crew.
One of the highlights of the show to date, for me, came in the form of Steph, Dolworth’s sister. Played by Karina Logue, Donal’s real-life sister, the connection between the two as onscreen siblings was palpable. And Steph’s story, her unique genius coupled by her mental health issues, made her a complex and compelling character that added a unique dimension to Dolworth. His commitment to his sister and his concern for her adds a richness to Dolworth that sheds light on his commitment to the job and his struggles with his personal demons. Their scenes alone are reason to catch up on this show if you haven’t already.
I’ll admit, for the first few episodes of Terriers I wasn’t sold on the show. I needed some time for things to coalesce and to see how the show was sitting with me. I had the sense that it was either a show on the cusp of genius, or about to fall flat on its face, but the combination of a solid premise with a stellar cast and a great team of writers has put the show squarely in the win column.