Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Back to Florida


Summer time has long had a dearth of television excitement, because all the major network shows are in rerun. Not that I have anything against reruns overall, but it is a little sad when I would like a new story to enjoy.  But, as I think I’ve probably mentioned before, the cable networks swoop in to save the day.  USA will begin its summer run of most of its original programming very soon (undoubtedly there will be more about that later), there are a couple of TNT shows I watch that will also return in June, and just yesterday, A&E aired the season four premiere of The Glades.

glades 5-28-13

Like the vast majority of shows that I watch, The Glades is a cop show.  But, of course, all cop shows have to have their own little hook, right?  For this one, its that the lead detective, Jim Longworth, is a smart-ass, ignore-the-book, prefer to work without a partner type of guy.  Only these days, that’s not enough differentiation.  So, let’s make Longworth a difficult Chicago cop, shot in the butt by his old commanding officer for philandering with the CO’s wife, who collects a hefty settlement for his trouble and then moves to Florida.  Oh, and let’s also make him someone who’d almost always rather be golfing, so it makes perfect sense for him to routinely carry around a golf club.  That ought to just about set him apart from all the competition.

As you might have guessed, if you’re looking for high-brow, intellectual crime solving, this probably isn’t the place to find it.  But, if you want to spend an hour with some mostly likeable characters, enjoy a few snarky remarks, and like to watch some scenery (including some of the human sort), then this is a show you could add to your list.

Longworth is played by Matt Passmore, one of many Australian actors who camouflage their natural, lovely accent to pass as their American character.  He’s a cutie, and the twinkle in his eye is enough to make you cut him some slack for the detective’s smarty-pants attitude.

And what’s a cute detective without a girl to charm?  Longworth has Callie Cargill, a nurse working her way through medical school as she raises her teenage son alone—first, because dad was in the slammer, later because she had sense enough to divorce him, and then he ended up in witness protection.  Callie is played by Kiele Sanchez, who many people probably recognize from Lost, though I never really watched that particular juggernaut.  She’s cute and smart and feisty, and more than a match for her policeman paramour.  Honestly, in real life, such a girl probably wouldn’t put up with a guy like Jim, because she’s responsible and stable and he’s got this streak of capriciousness that could drive a person crazy, but they’re a cute couple. 

The other major character is Carlos Sanchez, the medical examiner at the department.  Though Longworth prefers not to have an actual partner, he still likes to drag Carlos into the middle of his investigations.  It’s an endearing quirk. 

Rounding out the rather small ensemble cast of characters is Daniel Green, a young intern at the police station; Jeff Cargill, Callie’s aforementioned son; and Colleen Manus, the obligatory tough-but-fair commanding officer, who recognizes that it’s worth putting up with Longworth’s quirks because he’s a top-notch detective. 

So, no, The Glades isn’t really breaking any new ground anywhere, but it’s doing a good job at breathing life into what could be a pretty tired routine.  It’s light-hearted and fun, with enough interesting characters to keep the murder mysteries lively.  It’s perfect summertime viewing, and you can find it on A&E Monday evenings, at 9/8Central.