Television history is littered with fantastic shows that no one watched. Perhaps my favorite of these is Homicide: Life On The Street, which somehow managed to earn enough acclaim (and awards) to survive in a Friday 10 PM timeslot for seven whole seasons despite being regularly underwhelming ratings. Alas, though, the collection of amazing television shows that only lasted one season (which includes fan favorites like Freaks and Geeks and Firefly) has seen its number swell by one, as FX recently announced the cancellation of Terriers, arguably the best new show of the television season.
Terriers suffered from a pretty damn poor title that failed to explain anything about the show. I mean, Terriers? Does that say "scrappy private detectives eking out a living in San Diego" or "reality show about dog groomers"? Given the option, would you rather watch something called Justified, Sons of Anarchy, or Terriers? Name aside, Terriers was a terrific show, featuring some great acting from Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James as a pair of private dicks, trying to make their way on the mean streets of SD while dealing with the various personal conundrums that such a job entailed. This show seemed to be inspired by the SoCal writings of Raymond Chandler in its attention to language, which nabbed me pretty early on, but the character work was also excellent, especially when the middle of the season came around and the interpersonal relationships started to get more intense.
Terriers, you were a fine show, but perhaps you were doomed from the start by the inclusion of Tim Minear as a producer; he's an amazingly talented writer who's been fated to work on a series of quickly-canceled shows. Firefly, Wonderfalls, Dollhouse, The Inside, Drive, etc. Mr. Minear, hopefully your luck will turn around sometime soon. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the Terriers DVD set when it comes out. (And there'll almost assuredly be a more thorough Resurrecting The Canceled before that comes out.)