A couple minutes into the pilot of Terriers, and you know exactly what this series is: a couple of charming low-rent not-quite-licensed private eyes with their canine sidekick will go through some shenanigans en route to solving a crime each week, and yet will never quite be able to profit off of their success. Charming, light, not very serious, and reruns well – something you might see on the USA Network, like Monk or Psych.
But then you keep watching.
Then there’s the scene where the one p.i., the formerly-hard-drinking-cop with his lovable roughness, meets up with his ex-wife. And she’s neither a shrew nor someone who is ready to come back into his life if only he lived up to his potential. Yes, he does something a little TV-ish with the sense that he’s trying to get her back, but he doesn’t expect her back, and when he sees her moving on from him, he’s not happy about it but he’s not shocked nor crushed into craziness. He’s human. They’re human.
And then you get to the end of the episode, and yes, some things are tied up, but it is clear that that story is not over, that there’s a bigger case that will be evolving, that Terriers is a serialized story rather than a series of stories. And it’s all done pretty well.
This one caught me off-guard. FX shows have not generally won me over. But I’ve put this one onto the weekly record schedule for now.