Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Coronado Bridge peeking out from behind Catherine Zeta Jones in “Traffic.” A mustachioed Will Ferrell bear-dodging at the San Diego Zoo during "Anchorman." Mary Louise Parker shacking up with a Tijuana drug lord on “Weeds.”
America’s Finest has racked up some major screen time these past few years, and maybe it’s me, but I still find it secretly thrilling (if not a little unnerving) to see my hometown in a leading role. Nowhere is S.D. more plot-prevalent than on FX’s new hour-long detective dramedy “Terriers,” dreamt up by screenwriter Ted Griffin (“Ocean’s Eleven”) and strongly rooted in Ocean Beach.
In it, the infamously mellow surf community doubles as a complex crime scene, and neighborhood-centric storylines and characters, like a deplorable developer in La Jolla and a bank-robbing Goliath from La Mesa, lead to infinitely amusing plot twists. (And possibly parallels… readers, is that developer based on anyone in real life? C’mon, dish!)
The show tails Hank (Donal Louge), a dishonored ex-cop turned moonlighting P.I. After being booted from the Ocean Beach Police Department (though we don't yet know exactly why), Hank partners up with Britt (Michael Raymond-James) to tackle any crimes thrown their way – the bulk of which consist of rescuing English bulldogs from custody battles. Their pup-saving heroics quickly dissipate as they stumble upon a body, a sex tape, and a gun.
Fans of “True Blood’s” crazy-eyed Renee may be thrown by actor Michael Raymond-James’ appearance as “Terriers'” soporific Britt, who worships his dainty blonde girlfriend and wants to joint-adopt a Daschund as training wheels for a toddler. Not exactly the bloodletting psychopath we know and adore from "True Blood," but boy, does he look good in a baseball shirt.
Perhaps some of the show’s magic comes from its ability to place yourself amongst each scene. Unlike “Weeds,” whose San Diego-centric season was filmed in parts of L.A., “Terriers” was shot on location, and dozens of local landmarks make cameos, from Hank grabbing coffee with his ex-wife at Zanzibar Cafe in P.B. to shuffling a doe-eyed fugitive to the Santa Fe Station (and was that...Cucina Urbana?) No need for pseudonyms here (a la “Weeds’” fictional “Ren Mar”); instead, Chula Vista, Del Mar and other neighborhoods are frequently called out.
Culture Lusters, did you spot any other local places we may have missed? And which ‘hood do you think would make for a good storyline on the show? Tell us in the comments below.
You can catch “Terriers” Wednesdays on FX at 10 P.M.