Death of Film/Beach Noir: Terriers on FX AKA Why Tumblr Sucks Too
Despite the drama, I do have a point. The fact is I have been using Tumblr for my non-political, nerdy rantings. Fine, and I'm sure you wanted to read them. (not). That said, the fact that you cant Google this shit, you can't even search on Tumblr, and the fact that Tumblr is so GOD DAMNED UNRELIABLE which gets nothing but a "fuck you" from its venture capital paid CEO means, well, guess what? AOL bit it, and I think Tumblr will bite the big one too. So for posterity's sake, here's the piece on my dead-to-me Movable Type install:
To my absolute non-surprise, FX announced the cancellation of “Terriers.” The ratings were low, and it suffered from a lot of mis-steps in the development and marketing of the program. Here’s a few:
1. The name. “Terriers.” Really? What do people think of when they hear the word “terrier?” Little yappy dog. That’s not quite a good description of Hank and Britt, our main characters. It should have been called ANYTHING ELSE. My suggestion would have been something implying “underdogs” (and f*ck the cartoon, this is Hollywood where a lawyer can do anything) or something bolder or tougher. This was, after all, old school Film Noir, done on the beach.
(On a side note, the naming of programs is key, and this is how Dollhouse f*cked up. I mean, you have a hot woman as the lead, a weird sci-fi/spy/whatever theme, and some cool co stars and guest stars, but really, DOLLHOUSE? Why didn’t they call it something cool? I mean, if I’m at the bar and I’m all “Hey guys, going home to watch Dollhouse” I might as well put a giant “kick me” sign on my back for the rest of the season. Seriously.)
2. Marketing sucked. Not a shock because the FOX constellation of sites can’t market anything that isn’t “Ow My Balls!” or some other stupid-ass show. The billboards and ads in NYC/LA had this picture of an ugly stupid dog. Again, not really creating the icon or the imagery of what the show was about. Idiots.
3. They needed one other “name” b or c level actor in the main cast , OR some cameos. Donal Logue is one of the most underrated actors out there, because after “The Tao of Steve” I think he got a bit typecast, and no one really appreciates how great he is. But he’s also not a household name. So, even though this might have cost some extra money, populating the show with either some well placed cameos of actors from other FX shows, or folks from genre shows who always have a following, or better yet a co-star woman who people have heard of, would have helped draw more attention to a show.
Think about it. The moment you cast someone from Stargate SG-1, any Whedonverse show, Star Trek Anything, Battlestar Galactica, etc., the fans on The Series of Tubes lose it and tell everyone to watch it. Law and Order: (insert surname here) has had all kinds of folks on their show who don’t cost a fortune and it generates buzz. (Stephen Colbert, anyone?)
4. FX wasn’t necessarily the best home for this show. If you look at most of the drama programs on FX (Sons of Anarch, Damages, The Shield, etc.), they tend towards an edgy, often violent or sharp plots and dialogue. “Terriers” was a bit toned down, and more subtle, and required some up front investment for the unfolding plots and side plots to develop. It’s hard to place it elswhere: USA produces cheap Sherlock Holmes quirky main character pieces, HBO has to be all high and mighty, Showtime wasn’t likely to pick it up either, and AMC is too busy with Mad Men and their few other shows (but hey, they canceled Rubicon, wtf, pick up Terriers, gang!) and so on. Any suggestions would be great.
Finally, I think it’s time for the creative types to realize that if you don’t have something that is super easy to market to the drooling masses, and requires thought and money to enjoy and produce, DON’T WORK WITH F*CKING FOX ANYTHING EVER. These are folks that cancel shows after 10 minutes in a premiere, so don’t expect anything but tears (got that Joss?) and deal.