Greetings to the New Series: “Terriers”

One hates to fall back on the hoary old “if you looked up such-and-such in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of (INSERT NAME HERE)” cliche if it can possibly be helped, so rather than bringing up the topic of character actors and plugging the name “Donal Logue” between the parentheses, can we at least agree that there are precious few individuals who are so readily identified as “that guy who was in that thing we watched that time”?

I mean, seriously, God love you, Donal, but it takes a real character actor to be able to headline two seriously funny sitcoms (“Grounded for Life” and “The Knights of Prosperity”), one of which ran for five freaking seasons (that’d be the former), and still be known as “that guy who was in that thing we watched that one time.”

Still, my fingers are crossed that Logue’s latest series, FX’s “Terriers,” will be the one that finally cements his name in the collective consciousness of today’s TV viewers…and, for that matter, let’s hope it also helps out his co-star, Michael Raymond-James, because these two guys have got some great chemistry going on. Fortunately, with a trio of executive producers that includes Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”), Ted Griffin (“Ocean’s Eleven”), and Tim Minear (“Angel,” “Firefly,” and “Dollhouse,” as well as several series not created by Joss Whedon, including “Wonderfalls”), it was always a given that “Terriers” would capture the attention of the critics, and by virtue of being on FX, the chances of the show surviving long enough to build a decent-sized audience are pretty solid.

Oh, and did we mention that it’s also really, really good?

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Alien Raiders

Direct-to-DVD releases are tough to gague. Are we supposed to grade them using the same criteria that one would use for a theatrical release because a movie’s a movie, or should we cut it some slack because by the very fact that it’s being issued straight to DVD. even the studio knows that it’s B-grade material at best? Either way, despite the familiarity of the material and its dreadfully generic name, “Alien Raiders” is a decent little flick for fans of monster sci-fi. Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida on “24”) leads a group of well-armed renegades into a supermarket in the middle of rural Arizona in order to stop an alien infestation, and once their “spotter” is killed, the group has to use less pleasant methods in order to determine which hostages are infected. It’s basically the plots for “The Thing,” “The Mist” and “The Negotiator” thrown into a blender, though it’s wisely but frustratingly stingy with the details on the alien species they’re battling. The acting is actually pretty decent (though a little of Rockmond Dunbar’s bluster goes a long way), but the story is rather thin, leading to the predictable “shocker” finale. Still, we’ve seen far worse movies than this at the multiplex.

Click to buy “Alien Raiders”

  

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