Terriers isn’t like any other TV drama I watch, which basically means that it isn’t heavily serialized and the main characters aren’t antiheroes. No, Terriers is a fairly episodic PI show about a pair of funny guys who solve a mystery every week in Ocean Beach, the type of show that if I had seen the promo for it on CBS I would have rolled my eyes and laughed (then asked myself why I was watching fucking CBS). But the promo wasn’t on CBS but on FX, a channel whose programming I will always give a chance to (though, speaking of CBS, FX is now running reruns of Two and a Half Men – the fuck’s with that?).
Now I am a straight-up fan of the show, but in a different way than I am of shows like Breaking Bad or Mad Men. I watch Terriers not to see how the writers will challenge me as a viewer or brilliantly fuck with my expectations (though the show does occasionally do both those things in small ways), but to simply hang out with characters I love. The show could just be Hank and Britt giving each other shit for an hour each week and I’d be down for it, no problem.
But instead of “Hank and Britt’s Bullshitting Hour” being the format, the two solve cases every episode, something that could turn me off for its potential disposability, for how each week could essentially be like hitting the reset button as in most procedurals. Instead, every case reveals something about our characters, the writers always opting for simple mysteries with emotional payoffs instead of clever ones. And like your favorite PI novel series, the mystery plot may get you to buy the book but the characters are what make you read the next one.