In the first episode ofÂ Terriers, I thought this was a show about dogs and technically, it kind of is. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ Terriers.
Hello, friends! I am glad I had no idea what I was in for because WHAT THE HELL.
If this is your first time here at Mark Watches, hello! Take some time to read these basic rules first before participating, and enjoy the experience.
1) Spoilers are not allowed in any form on Mark Watches. Please refrain from ever posting (in normal text) any sort of spoiler or reference to future storylines or developments while commenting on this site. This rule is probably a lot more strict than youâ€™re used to, so if youâ€™re warned about spoilers or if your comment is edited because of it, trust me. This is for a reason. Please visit theÂ Spoiler PolicyÂ for guidance.
2) You may, however, post spoilers in rot13.Â You will inevitably see what looks like gibberish in the comments. We useÂ rot13Â to cipher all possible spoilers so that yâ€™allÂ canÂ still have a conversation about each episode if youâ€™ve seen the entire show. Please cipher all spoilers.
3) Please read the Site Rules before commenting. My group of moderators and I try to make Mark Watches an exception to the rule when it comes to online conversations. This means that moderation is more evident here than other places. Please review the rules, as this is your only warning.
4) Mark Watches videos are attached as a link at the end of the post.Â They are $0.99 each, and you can download each video 15 times, meaning you can send them to friends or anyone else for free. The system is built to handle free downloads, so download away. The lovely folks over at Mark Spoils run a place called theÂ Black MarketÂ where you can find extra downloads of videos in case you cannot afford them or donâ€™t want to pay for them. Itâ€™s totally sanctioned (and adored!) by me, so go ahead! Test them out. Itâ€™s basically me sitting and yelling at my TV, and I cry a lot because reasons.
As far as I can tell, this is the first non-genre show Iâ€™ve watched for quite some time. Itâ€™s refreshing, and the pilot forÂ TerriersÂ is an odd beast because of it. Thatâ€™s not a criticism, either. I remarked on video that in the span of forty-odd minutes, this story oscillated between wacky humor, emotional heartbreak, and suspense, and it never made it feel like I was watching anything but the same show. Itâ€™s a comedy as much as itâ€™s a drama, and I think the writers achieve that by grounding the comedy in characters who are real, not caricatures.
Which doesnâ€™t mean that Hank and Britt donâ€™t do ridiculous, hilarious things. The cold open in â€œPilotâ€ establishes them as desperate, but for different reasons. Hank is divorced; he struggles to make alimony payments; heâ€™s no longer working for the police; he used to be an alcoholic. He is, in many senses, a mess. Britt is a mess, too, but in an entirely different way thatâ€™s slightly more charming. Both of them, as partners in an unnamed private investigator scheme, take whatever jobs they can get, even if the payment is free dry cleaning for two weeks.
That job? Stealing an adorable dog away from the ex of the person who runs the dry cleaning.
So thereâ€™s the humor and thereâ€™s the tone, all in one scene. Or at least IÂ thoughtÂ that was the case. As silly as the opening scene was, I was even more amused by the pair using Winston to gain entrance to Robert Lindusâ€™s property to investigate the missing daughter of Hankâ€™s old drinking buddy. I figuredÂ thatÂ was the show I was getting: two friends exploiting awkward social situations in order to solve mysteries. And you know, thatâ€™s stillÂ probablyÂ whatÂ TerriersÂ is. But as Hank and Britt delved deeper in Eleanorâ€™s disappearance, things gotâ€¦ decidedly less funny? Thereâ€™s still a humorous vibe to the show, often in the form of Michale Raymond-Jamesâ€™s comic timing, but divorce? Losing the house you had with your wife? FINDING A DEAD PRO-GOLFER IN A LIFEGUARD SHACK ON THE BEACH?
For every joke the show tells, it also piles on the intrigue and the tragedy. Itâ€™s a great bit of material for Donal Logue, who I always recognized as a more of a comedic actor, but NOPE. Heâ€™s incredibly versatile here, able to convey sadness and joy in the span of seconds. And his character is already shown to be flawed rather than merely an underdog. Heâ€™s brash and impulsive, which isnâ€™t exactly helped by Britt, since Britt is pretty damn impulsive himself. They makeÂ badÂ decisions here, like not calling the police after finding a dead body. Or not calling the police after Eleanor shows up at Hankâ€™s house. Or not calling the police whenâ€¦
I think you get the point. I found myself oddly compelled withÂ TerriersÂ because about halfway through the pilot, literally nothing went as I thought it would. As soon as Hank, Britt, and Eleanor were attacked by Lundusâ€™s henchmen, I felt like the show had become something else entirely. That was no laughing matter; the threat to their lives wasÂ real. (Except I canâ€™t lie: Britt backing into one of those dudes was funny.) Sending Eleanor off to a safe house on Catalina seemed like a good idea, but I started to get a strange suspicion: where was this show heading? Was this show highly serialized or episodic in nature? I couldnâ€™t tell, which kept me guessing. Where would thisÂ specificÂ plot end?
Yâ€™all, I could not fucking believe the last fifteen minutes or so of this episode. Look, I still donâ€™t know all that much about the show or what kind of stories theyâ€™re going to tell, but the double whammy of Mickieâ€™s death and Hankâ€™s shocking threat to Lindus (AT HIS OFFICE, OH MY GOD) jettisonedÂ TerriersÂ into a whole new ball park. I had been wondering if this show was about corruption, both political and the personal, and then Hank is swearing to â€œdestroyâ€ Lindus, and then THEY LITERALLY DO SO IN FIVE MINUTES. IN FIVE MINUTES WORTH OF SCREENTIME, THEY RUIN HIS LIFE. Impulsive doesnâ€™t even cover this, yâ€™all. Theyâ€™d already lied to Hankâ€™s old partner, Mark, and they were in way over the heads with the whole development fraud, and these two goofballs give not a single fuck. Theyâ€™re like a sloppier, more petty version of theÂ LeverageÂ team, yâ€™all.
IsÂ thatÂ the show? I donâ€™t know whatÂ TerriersÂ is. I want to see more of Katie and Gretchen and Mark, and I completely dig the San Diego/Ocean Beach setting. But I feel like this episode threw me in the deep end, and that is pretty exhilarating thing to feel.
The video for â€œPilotâ€ can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards.
– IÂ will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often.Â My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
-Â Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook!Â I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!