Better Than Getting Bit By A Gator. Ish.

The Glades is a (fairly) new A&E crime drama. It may have slipped under your radar unless you are a constant visitor to that network. I forgot about it, myself – but that is why I have friends. They remind me of things, and then I watch them, and then I review them. So here we are.

If The Glades did escape your knowledge and this is the first time you’re hearing about it, you might as well move on, I’m not going to say anything that will encourage you to go out of your way. If you have heard of The Glades and have been curious/considering watching, well, read on and then make a decision – the short version is, it isn’t my cup of tea.

What it is is one of those crime procedurals. You know, the ones whose livelihoods depend almost entirely on the charm slash handsomeness of the lead characters (and by “lead characters” obviously I mean “leading men” because, women at the head of these shows?, pssh!, no-one wants that).

The biggest problem with The Glades is that it relies COMPLETELY on its lead, Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore)…and he kind of sucks. Passmore is reasonably well-qualified in terms of handsomeness – he looks a bit like a younger Kenneth Branagh to me, only less British – but he is definitely not handsome enough to make up for numerous character deficiencies.

Detective Jim Longworth is approximately the lamest detective ever. Detective Jim Longworth got fired from his Chicago job because his boss thought he slept with his (the boss’s) wife. He did not; but he did get shot in the ass for it (and then we had to look). So, Detective Jim Longworth moved down to a small town in Evergladesland Floria, planning on getting an uneventful job and spending 90% of his time golfing. (Let’s take a moment here to recall that the only thing more boring to watch than golfing is fishing, which he also does.) But Detective Jim Longworth, apparently, “just can’t escape murder” (paraphrase), so now he’s working Really Tough Cases and using his skills as an Expert Homicide Detective.

The problem is, Expert Homicide Detective Jim Longworth has yet to exhibit any actual investigation skills. So far, his process consists primarily of being unbelievably annoying to anyone he encounters and badgering them with completely irrelevant games of twenty questions, tromping all over crime scenes and contaminating evidence, and then having the answers to the real questions (which he has never asked) drop into his lap.

And when that doesn’t work, Expert Homicide Detective Jim Longworth turns to other people to find his answers for him. Specifically, Medical Examiner Carlos Sanchez (Carlos Gomez). If The Glades was a chick flick, then M.E. Carlos Sanchez would be the sassy Latina BFF. But The Glades is not a chick flick, so instead of being hot and spicy and young, Sanchez grumbles and snarks and very occasionally breaks out salsa dancing. He is a…fine…character. Nothing special. But he is a good match for Longworth, because he doesn’t do anything either. Pretty much any  real (read: helpful) answers come from the herpetology student/intern Longworth foisted upon Sanchez, Daniel Green (Jordan Wall)…who is also an incredibly unremarkable character. As for Wall, he is just the right mix of attractive-ish and weird looking to (given he grows into some more talent) have a successful character actor career playing stalkers and serial killers.

The non-crime-related part of The Glades is even worse. It basically consists of Detective Jim Longworth’s awkward relationship with Callie Cargill (Kiele Sanchez, who you may remember as background character/actress/diamond thief Nikki from the second season of Lost). It started out as Longworth being in the hospital going “Hey, attractive lady!” and irritating her into associating him (but of course it was really because he is Just So Irresistible). Now, Longworth spends his days pointedly not pressuring her into anything (which of course he wouldn’t need to because he is Just So Irresistible) and hanging out with her kid. And because all that would just be too boring, Callie is married…to a guy in jail…who she won’t divorce because a) she relies heavily on her mother-in-law and b) she doesn’t want to be The Woman Who Divorced Her Husband In Prison.

So yeah, snore. Let’s review. The Glades: the crimes are boring, the lead is irritating, the secondary characters are boring, and the non-procedural part of the plot is like a Harlequin novel but without any sexiness. Sorry A&E but the truth is, this is just a big unhot mess of epic fail. When the best moment out of three (okay, two and a half) episodes is the lead character almost getting his hand bitten off by an alligator, there’s just not much more to say than that.

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  • Lena  On August 2, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    I heartily disagree, but I suppose I’m glad you looked into it.

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