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The Televisionist, Sept. 9 

'TERRIERS': Donal Logue and Hank Dolworth star.
  • 'TERRIERS': Donal Logue and Hank Dolworth star.

TERRIERS

9 p.m. Wednesdays

FX

If there's anything that American film audiences love more than a peek at the soft, white underbelly of society, it's getting a good, long look into the lives of the people who inhabit that place. It's understandable, then, that we've got a collective warm spot in our hearts for the private detective yarn. In many ways, the private detective — going all the way back to Sam Spade and threading through Jakes Gittes in "Chinatown" — is the ultimate outsider when it comes to the law. The private dick, we are told, is a man on the barest cusp of legitimacy and legality, using means both official and under-the-table to get information for his clients and often shuttling seamlessly between drinking with old cop buddies and hanging with criminals. Often a person who has turned his back (either by choice or by force) on the supposed noble calling of life as a poorly-paid policeman, the cinematic private eye is a thing as American as jazz, and often just as entertaining. Now comes yet another incarnation of the gumshoe, in the form of the new FX show "Terriers." FX in recent years has distinguished itself with shows like "Rescue Me," and it looks like "Terriers" seeks to do the same wry, dramatic/comedic job on private detectives that "Rescue Me" did for New York City firemen. Created by Ted Griffin, one of the brains behind the "Oceans 11" reboots, the show stars Donal Logue (hey, it's that scruffy guy!) as Hank Dolworth, a former cop who starts a "too small to fail" unlicensed P.I. agency with his friend Britt (Michael Raymond-James of "True Blood"). Just because FX has pleased us in the past, we're gonna give it a look see. You probably should too.

NIKITA

8 p.m. Thursdays

The CW

While some might read too much into this statement, I've got a soft-spot for movies about bad-ass chicks in black leather who beat the crap out of people. Given that, it's understandable that I'm a big fan of all the incarnations of the La Femme Nikita franchise that have appeared over the years. It all started with French director Luc Besson's 1990 film "Nikita" (released in the States as "La Femme Nikita"). If you haven't seen it, you should. In the film, a streetwise female junkie winds up killing someone in cold blood, and is sentenced to die for the crime. After her "execution," however, she wakes up to find herself in the clutches of a double-secret government program that churns out assassins. They give her a choice: get clean, learn weapons and kung fu, and kill for us, or we'll finish what the executioner started. Soon, Nikita is one of the aforementioned Bad-Ass Chicks. The film version wound up spawning a number of remakes on the large and small screen, including the 1991 Hong Kong action movie "Black Cat," a very entertaining 1993 American remake starring Bridget Fonda called "Point of No Return," and a television series called "La Femme Nikita," which was one of the top-rated shows during its four-year run at the end of the 1990s. Now, the CW is taking a bite at Nikita's poison apple. While the network's slate of young-'n'-buff fluff isn't usually my cup of tea, I'll definitely be tuning in for this one just to see what they can do with the source material. Action star Maggie Q ("Mission Impossible 3") stars as Nikita, who has been on the run for three years since jumping ship from the secret agency that trained her to kill. Pursued at every turn but seeking revenge on her former bosses for killing her fiance, the old girl looks just as violent, sexy and fun as she ever did. Check it out.

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