Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Terriers: The Best Show We Never Saw

"Later, let's talk about that really painful thing that happened to you once... 'kay?"

Like everyone else in the world, save one million very smart or very lucky people, the FX show Terriers wasn't even on my radar until it had nearly disappeared over the horizon, never to return.  Mrs. Schmoker, however, was one of those lucky (err... smart) one million.  She had watched it almost from the beginning, and about halfway through the run she told me that she "got a ride with a trickster in a Javelin, man, to a town down by the sea"    and she made sure I understood that I was fucking nuts if I didn't join her there.  Thus I really had no good reason not to start watching Terriers before it was gone; I merely procrastinated until it was far too late.

Of course, not that my watching it would have mattered.  Watch, don't watch, watch over and over again all night, every night, lying in a heap of discarded fast food tins and a puddle of your own urine, it really would not have mattered a mouse fart to FX unless your family's last name just happened to be Nielsen.

(By the way, who are these fucking Nielsens, and how did their family get so fucking huge?  And why is it again that they get to decide for the rest of us what stays and what goes?  That must be one racially, sexually, politically diverse (and stupid) family.)

Thankfully for me, Mrs. Schmoker saved every episode on our DVR until I finally got around to clicking play (and now you know why I just love Mrs. Schmoker).  It was then that I finally discovered the best show I've seen at least since Lost was at its best, and more probably since Firefly was gracing our presence for those wonderful few months back in 2002.
The show started slowly and quietly, drawing me in bit by bit, mainly by making me chuckle from time to time. But by the time the fourth episode rolled around I was hooked, and by the time I got to the 10th.... well, I was so emotionally invested that I actually held off on watching the final three episodes for several months because I just could not actively participate in any activity that would bring me any closer to the time when there would be no more new episodes of Terriers in my future.

But then came the day when I caved and it finally was over for me, and it was worth the sadness I felt at its passing.  Somehow the Shawn Ryan and Tim Minear managed to end the show on their own terms, bringing the story to a graceful, funny, and extremely moving conclusion that will left me satisfied even as I entered a brief period of mourning.  They obviously knew their show was not long for the world (perhaps they watched it and realized it was good, thus ensuring its certain doom), so in the end they broke their stories down so the show as a whole stands up wonderfully as a 13-episode mini-series. 

And thankfully for you, FX still has the first five episodes available online.  Additionally, in these wired times no show ever truly goes away.  There will be DVDs eventually, Netflix streaming has finally added it to their library, and there is always the old illegal download (but I only ever recommend that route for hugely successful shows which have already made enough money for everyone associated with them to be wearing gold-plated diapers to bed every night. A show like Terriers deserves every dollar we can throw its way if the creators are ever going to be able to buy even a single pair of gold plated diapers.).

(What?  Other people don't wear diapers to bed?)

So, listen to me, people: Go watch this fucking show somehow, some way.  This is the internet, people; you're smart guys and gals; you'll find a way.  And if you then get into it, go and buy the DVDs should they ever come out, because people who pour their heart and souls into a show that can make us laugh and laugh (and laugh) before, in a span of about three seconds, they turn those laughs into a sort of moving gurgle that chokes straight up into our throats     well, those people deserve our money, even if they do already get to work in show business every day of their lives.


  1. Sigh. I'm not sad I watched it, but I do sure miss it. It wasn't a procedural, and it wasn't exactly serialized---it was its own unique thing. And it was fun! I don't hate FX for canceling it. I simply hate you and the rest of America, especially those Americans named Nielsen, for not watching it when it could have made a difference.

  2. I sure hope she heard "You were right, dear." ;-)