I mentioned over here that I bought a few items at Barnes and Noble's recent clearance sale (thanks, Pete!) and they threw in a bonus item, a paperback book touting an upcoming A&E series, The Glades. The book included the script of the pilot episode and a few publicity stills. This weekend, I actually watched it.

It was kind of interesting to see a script come to life -- and, as it happened, I lost the book before I finished reading it, so I was genuinely surprised at the solution to the murder mystery, which had to do with a Jane Doe found dead in a swamp by a young guy and his underage girlfriend who were there because he tried to get lucky but was too drunk to perform. Said Jane Doe had been partially eaten and decapitated by an alligator, so a big part of the mystery was just finding out who she was.

Our lead, Jim Longworth, is a transplant from the Chicago P.D., who left The Windy City because his captain shot him in the belief Longworth was sleeping with his wife. Longworth maintains he wasn't, but he was the only guy who wasn't. In any event, a cash settlement and some careful investing set him up in sunny Florida around small-town cops who just don't measure up to his brilliance.

He determines the Jane Doe's identity by demanding various forensic tests that don't seem to make sense -- tests on skin condition (to learn if her tan was uneven and thus natural, indicating she's a local, or even and thus from a tanning booth, indicating she's a tourist), examination of her clothes (purchased online, indicating her level of wealth and social standing), and the fact that the alligator left a tooth in the corpse, leading to a consultation with a zoologist about what kind of beast it is and how slow is its digestion. In the kind of coincidence that only happens in detective shows, Sherlock Holmes stories and Batman comic books, this particular alligator isn't native to the area, so he sets out to find it -- and kills it, thus finding the head.

All this while trying to get to know the pretty nurse who treats him for an alligator bite -- she's got a 12-year-old son and a husband in prison -- and playing golf with a partner in the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) who keeps telling him to get serious about his work. Our guy nominally works for the FDLE, I think; it wasn't clear because he never wears anything but jeans and a T-shirt, and wants to break 80 on the golf course so much that he has crime scene tape put around the hole he's playing on when he's called on a case.

We're supposed to think of this guy as a charming rogue, but he comes off as -- and is written as -- insufferably smug. After a false lead is ruled out -- that the Jane Doe is a substitute teacher at a local high school -- in the climax we learn that she's the wife of another FDLE cop, who did her in during an argument. Confronted by Longworth, who lays it all out, the cop draws on him, and you almost want him to put a cap in Longworth, because he's just so, so condescending; he thinks these Florida cops are dumber than the GEICO cavemen.

The Glades is meant to be light entertainment like USA shows like Burn Notice and Royal Pains, and it hits its target, but the lead is too unappealing for me to invite him to my home week after week.

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I read a review (of both this show and Syfy'sHaven) that said "when you're doing a fish-out-of-water show, you have to make sure the fish and the water are interesting."
Rob Staeger said:
I read a review (of both this show and Syfy'sHaven) that said "when you're doing a fish-out-of-water show, you have to make sure the fish and the water are interesting."

Shouldn't that be 'the air/dry land is interesting'?

The fish is out of water after all...

Pedantry is a heavy cross to bear.

We're supposed to think of this guy as a charming rogue, but he comes off as -- and is written as -- insufferably smug.

Simon Baker's character in The Mentalist is exactly like this. He especially loves being smug and condescending around people whose nearest and dearest have just been horribly murdered.

It's his thing.
Hrmm. Guess you're right!
Rob Staeger said:
I read a review (of both this show and Syfy'sHaven) that said "when you're doing a fish-out-of-water show, you have to make sure the fish and the water are interesting."

I just caught a bit of The Glades; not enough to judge. But I've seen the first two episodes of Haven, and I like it. Not nearly as much as Warehouse 13 or Eureka, but it's pretty good. At least it's not another godawful Syfy "reality" show.
It's definitely got that going for it.

I doubt I'll be checking out Haven -- too much other stuff to watch, even in Summer -- but I did like Stephen King's The Colorado Kid, the book on which it's based.
Figserello said:
Simon Baker's character in The Mentalist is exactly like this. He especially loves being smug and condescending around people whose nearest and dearest have just been horribly murdered.
It's his thing.

Also, like Simon Baker, the actor who plays Jim Longworth, Matt Passmore, is Australian. His American accent is okay, although he doesn't even try to sound like he's from Chicago.
I've read The Colorado Kid, and I've seen the first two eps of Haven, but the only place they really converge (the lead character's possible mother was on the scene/a witness for the Colorado Kid case) seems, to me, to be a setup for solving the mystery of the Colorado Kid, which entirely misses the point of The Colorado Kid.

But this thread isn't about Haven, so that's all I'll say about that. I've not watched (and don't particularly plan on watching) The Glades, so....I guess that's all I have to say. :)

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