Sometimes you need the bark and bite, which is what Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James bring to the new FX private eye series TERRIERS which airs its season finale tonight.
TERRIERS is one of those truly great shows where you can lose yourself in its world, which feels authentic and yet just a bit weird. Created by Ted Griffin, who executive-produces with Shawn Ryan, TERRIERS concerns a pair of extremely low-rent, unlicensed private eyes plying their trade in San Diego, California, where the series is filmed on location.
The show takes its name from the dogged determination of its characters, who, like terriers, are small in the grand scheme of things, but never let go. Hank Dolworth, played by Logue, is an ex-SDPD cop who has been sober for eighteen months when the story starts, while his partner Britt Pollack, played by Raymond-James (known to TRUE BLOOD fans as serial killer Rene Lenier) is a reformed burglar. The pair work individual cases while spending the season trying to pin down the man responsible for the death of Hank’s old friend.
There’s a danger TERRIERS may not return after its first-season finale tonight and a fan campaign is underway to save it. Stars Logue and Raymond-James are among those who devoutly hope the show will come back, because they love it so much that they admit they get a little tongue-tied discussing it in this AXclusive interview with ASSIGNMENT X.
DONAL LOGUE: I told Michael – I’ve never been less capable of talking about a show that I’ve done. It’s so hard for me to articulate, in a weird way. I’ve never felt more like it explains itself when you see it. Otherwise, it sounds like this self-aggrandizing, “Oh, our chemistry’s amazing.”
MICHAEL RAYMOND-JAMES: [laughs]
LOGUE: [Other] people may feel that way. I’ve got a friend for life in Michael and I have a suspicion that when you have that kind of bond with someone you’re working with and you care about what you’re doing that it will reveal itself in the work that you’re doing, and I’m excited for people to see it to help me confirm whether that’s true or not. So it was a really good experience. It’s about two friends who, regardless of whatever the circumstances, are there for each other, which is kind of how we are in our lives.
AX: Is the relationship what attracted you to the script, more than your specific character?
LOGUE: At first, it was the character. I didn’t know Michael was involved in it. Especially with television – it could be a cop show, it could happen in a hospital – what’s more important is who the people making the story are and in this case, it was Ted [Griffin] and Shawn [Ryan] and Craig Brewer, who directed the pilot, and those were people that I wanted to work with and I wanted to play that part. Who Britt was going to be was something that we had to figure out after I got on board. The fact that it was Michael, the fact that Michael showed up and came in for it, that just put all the pieces together.
AX: Hank starts the show in a state of free-fall that he keeps trying to get out of, and it seems like Britt sort of exists in a state of free-fall, even before his relationship with his almost-fiancee Katie [Laura Allen] went south.
LOGUE: You know what? I think [Britt] is trying to build himself up. He doesn’t want to be in free-fall any more.
RAYMOND-JAMES: Yeah. I’ve sort of stabilized, but what you just said reminds me of the Jeff Bridges song from CRAZY HEART – “It’s funny how falling feels like flying for a little while.”
LOGUE: Oh, yeah, and I convince him to come fly with me. We’re tied to each other because we work together. When you meet us, we’re already partners. It’s the kind of thing where, on [Britt’s] side of things, his girlfriend, who [wanted] to get real and get serious is like, “Look, we’re younger, we have a shot at having a family life that this guy [Hank] has never had. And now it’s clearly never going to happen, and let’s not let him take us into the trajectory that he’s on.” And because [the Hank/Britt] relationship is so tight, it’s almost impossible for that not to happen, if that makes any sense. I mean, even though I love [Britt and Katie as a couple] to death, there’s an element that is a little bit dangerous to their domestic stability in what we do and who I am, and I don’t need to twist his arm much to go in that direction.
RAYMOND-JAMES: I’m just so proud of [TERRIERS]. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.
LOGUE: I hope people feel the same way we feel about it, because everything that you say [about the show] just sounds like you’re waxing so self-aggrandizing about yourself. “It’s fantastic, it’s amazing …” People are like, “Really? I’ve watched it and I don’t know why you felt the way you felt.” [laughs] This is the hardest job for me to ever talk about, because I feel like I’m so proud of this, when people watch it, it will define itself the way it should, and if not, we gave it a good crack, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had and it’s the best opportunity I’ve ever been given in this line of work that I’m in, so I hope people feel the same way.