I have talked a lot about how much I enjoy TERRIERS and think it’s one of the best new shows of the Fall. After last night’s fantastic 6th episode, I am ready to declare it as the best new show of the Fall. Once again the tone was different, which is amazing, since it changes every week. Some weeks it’s more comical. Some weeks it is more dramatic. Sometimes there’s more of a buddy comedy vibe. I would categorize the tone of last night’s episode as melancholic.
The beauty about last night’s episode was that if you had never seen the show before, you would not have been lost. For viewers that have watched the previous 5 eps, we were rewarded with more layers being peeled off these characters we have come to have deep affection for.
I’d have to say that there was a theme of loneliness pervading the entire episode, which began with Hank and Britt attending Gretchen’s (the love of Hank’s life) engagement party to her new beau, played so well by Loren Dean. It’s so brilliant how Shawn Ryan and Ted Griffin have created a real human being here. Yes the audience is supposed to sympathize with Hank longing for Gretchen and we should be more invested in him. But Gretchen’s guy is not a bad guy (like in life). He actually seems like a really good guy and as he tells Hank they’re gonna get married “This will happen”. Hank realizes this to be fact as well and you see his hurt and loneliness and regret about letting Gretchen go, through the entire hour.
It builds to a climactic scene of beauty played by Donal Logue and Lauren Allen. I have seen Laura before in shows like THE 4400 and DIRT but I have never seen her more impressive than last night. Without giving too much away (you should check it out for yourself on FX), that scene, conveyed real loneliness and showcased some of the self sabotage many of us do to ourselves as we’re on the cusp of happiness because we feel we don’t deserve it. Or we’re scared. Basically it highlighted how many of us, in our own fucked-upness, can’t get out of our own way. Then it expressed the pain that comes from that. It was an aching, heartbreaking scene beautifully played by two wonderful actors and it felt so authentic. I can’t get it out of my head this morning. The pain on both of their faces left an indelible impression, and I feel for both of them.
That’s what TV is supposed to do, right? Well good TV anyway. Make you feel, relate, care. There’s not many new TV shows this Fall that are eliciting that from me. It’s an even bigger shame that TERRIERS has far too few viewers and its fate is not assured. This is shaping up to be probably my Favorite FX show ever. I hope the Emmys do not forget about this gem come July. I know that BOARDWALK EMPIRE is expected to be tremendously lauded. That show is well made and there’s lots of good to say about it. But even inferior HBO shows get nominated for EMMYS, so I’m sure Martin Scorcese and Terrence Winter’s names, plus that mega budget will help its chances. (Hopefully there will be room for both). It’s not really fair to compare these two shows because they’re apples and oranges and they both merit accolades. But they have been the 2 most critically acclaimed new shows this Fall and I have to say that in the 4 BOARDWALK EMPIRE episodes that have aired thus far, I don’t remember thinking about them the next day. I can’t get last night’s TERRIERS out of my head.