Welcome to Pilot Season 2010! It's the magical time of year when the networks roll out all their new programming hoping to capture the world's attention, but sometimes end up with our scorn. First up: the new FX show Terriers.
The Pitch: Terriers is the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice crossed with a little Burn Notice and a dash of Moonlighting thrown in, too.
The Set Up: Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James (from the first season of True Blood play small-time private detectives who stumble onto a large case. They each have various personal baggage issues as well, Logue's character is a recovering alcoholic, ex-cop who isn't over his ex-wife and Raymond-James' is a Peter Pan-like manchild who refuses to grow up and fully commit to his dutiful girlfriend.
These guys realize that they're ill-equipped to deal with something like this but won't leave the case because, well, that's just the kind of fellas they are. A visit with their lawyer makes clear the stakes they're dealing with and the show's wit.
Cringe Factor (out of 10): 1. This is a great pilot and a hopefully it will turn into a great show. It's got the right amount of darkness balanced with the right amount of wit. The characters are strong and so are the performances. Best of all, Hank (Logue) and Britt (Raymond-James) are just crazy enough to make the show something besides just another piece about hard-boiled guys forced to work outside the law. Like this scene from late in the pilot, when they've had enough beating around the bush from the scumbag who hired him, but they'll still take the money.
Over/Under for Cancellation: 3 years. FX runs season by season, so we know that Terriers will probably get to air i's full collection of 12 episodes, and hopefully it'll continue to have a slot in the schedule.