What does Socrates have in common with Columbo? The science of the bummy genius. Those people that can break down complex things about human behavior and easily figure out the motives of others but don’t care about the basics of dressing themselves presentably for the public eye. Socrates was considered the greatest of all the philosophers to walk the earth ( check Inspecktah Decks opening bars of “Triumph” to see how far Socrates influence reached ) but he lived his life in poverty, dressed very plain and walked the streets of Athens barefoot. Columbo deduced many crimes on his show but the character was as famous for his rumpled appearance as he was for his detective skills.
What the fuck does that have to do with Terriers? The show carries on that tradition. The two main Characters Hank and Britt solve crimes and help people in Ocean Beach but between the both of them seem Incapable of mastering the art of shaving or popping tags. One of the people in the show sees Hank and says “You know I thought you were undercover but now I realize you just dress like that” Wit like that drives this show to be one of my current favorites on TV.
Hank is a recovering alcoholic ex cop and Britt is a thief that Hank catches but eventually sees the good in. They both start a private investigation agency and combine their streetwise natures to help the people that hire them. Sure, shows like “White Collar” ( another favorite of mine ) have explored the idea of crook and cop working together but while that show is more high society this one is more gritty. Consider this show the Frank Miller’s“The Dark Knight Returns” to that shows Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” both exploring the non pretty side of heroes but placed in different settings and with differing levels of darkness and grit. One theme that runs through the season is Hank and Britt’s relationships with the women in their lives. Hank has to watch ( not idly mind you, he goes all out to stop her wedding any way he can ) as his ex wife Gretchen moves on even though he still has strong feelings for her while Britt deals with the fact his love of his lady Katie scares him ( mainly the thought of settling down and growing up ) as much as it keeps him going. Hank also deals with the relationship between him and his sister Stephanie. A mentally unstable genius whom he feels especially attached to when post divorce he finds her secretly living in his attic. Her companionship filling a void left by his ex wife.
Now as the good guys, these dudes don’t believe in the straight and narrow. They frame somebody for revenge when they cant legally prove him guilty, they break into buildings, sneak in and out of the border and at one point ( maybe two ) Britt becomes a fugitive. These aren’t your typical dashing, morally upstanding citizens more two guys raised on the age old practice of ”kicking ass and taking names” Along the way they meet various members of Ocean Beaches underbelly and even find themselves neck deep in issues with a Mexican kingpin. Old friends and foes pop up to threaten the little semblance of normalcy they try to build and the biggest obstacles they tend to face are their own penchants for self destruction. But DAMN, They stay saying slick shit. This is one of those shows that has dialogue so ILL that you find yourself laughing at what the characters say as much as worrying about them. One episode finds them pretending to be thugs shaking down a tarot card reader for protection money in order to draw out her fugitive boyfriend. They threaten to trash her place if she doesn’t pay when they come back. When they show up her boyfriend, her VERY FUCKING BIG boyfriend kicks their asses up and down her living room, knocking over all her furniture and after he throws both of them out the window Britt says “Well we did say we would trash the place” I bust my ass laughing.
I cant recommend this show enough. The first season kept me hooked and when ever I missed an episode I would catch it online even though I hate watching TV shows online ( I don’t know why that shit just irks me. If its a TV show I like to watch it on TV damnit ) The season ended up on a very crazy cliffhanger that had me going “REALLY?!? How the fuck they gonna end it like that?” But best believe I will be tuning in as soon as it comes back. This show is great and I bet if you ask Socrates or Columbo about it they would say the same thing.