'Terriers' review: An old dog with some new tricks

terriers-review-fx.jpgThere have been a lot of private detectives gracing the large and small screens over the years, but FX's "Terriers" take on the P.I. genre proves that you can teach an old dog some new tricks.

The strongest part of the 13-episode FX series is the relationship between main characters Hank ( Donal Logue) and Britt ( Michael Raymond-James). They started out on opposite ends of the law; Hank was a police officer whose drinking problem led to a dishonorable discharge. Britt was a thief whose girlfriend turned him away from his life of crime.

Together they sort of stumble into detective work. They don't have business cards, their office is a small pick-up truck. But they are dogged and smart, with enough humor thrown in that the show isn't overly serious, but not so much that it takes on a buddy-cop sitcom feel.

The first episode has Hank and Britt trying to track down the daughter of a friend of Hank's. In the process, they discover a several bodies and a city-wide business conspiracy, which is the over-arching mystery of the first season. Subsequent episodes return to that mystery, but also feature problems that are resolved within the hour.

The pilot is solid, but the series really builds on itself. If the first episode doesn't grab you, give it at least a couple more. The third episode sees the introduction of Hank's sister Steph, a brilliant manic-depressive MIT graduate. Watching the brother-sister dynamic is one of the highlights of the first five episodes, especially since Steph is played by Logue's real-life sister Karina.

Between that sibling relationship, the bromance between Hank and Britt and the colorful supporting cast that includes Hank's former police captain Mark Gustafson ( Rockmond Dunbar), Britt's girlfriend Katie ( Laura Allen) and Hank's ex-wife Gretchen ( Kimberly Quinn) and her new boyfriend Jason ( Loren Dean), the cases they solve are almost secondary. Almost.

"Terriers" is unlike any private detective series and it more than upholds FX's tradition of original programming with clever writing and solid acting. It premieres Wednesday (Sept. 8) at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

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Photo credit: FX

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