Lately, summertime TV has proved to be as good or better than the stock shows that the networks turn out in the fall. Shows like Rookie Blue, Longmire, Suits, and Common Law join elder summer statesmen The Closer and White Collar as shows that have a way of grabbing our attention and hooking us as fans. And then there’s the quirky mystery/romance The Glades that has allowed A&E to put itself on the fiction map.
Matt Passmore’s displaced Chicago homicide detective finds himself knee-deep in swamp stuff as Jim Longworth, the sassy, charming fellow who busted his own partner in the first season and currently woos the nurse Callie (Kiele Sanchez) in the third season on A&E (Sundays at 10 p.m.). But on the second season, now available on DVD, he’s tracking down murderers and trying to figure out how to keep Callie’s attention from straying back to her criminal (ex) husband.
As an officer of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Passmore finds himself embroiled in significant murders, as well as love problems. He’s dealing with the Cuban mob one day and a snake-handling church on another. He’s trying to woo Callie, and dealing with the emergence of an old flame, Samantha Harper (Raising the Bar’s Natalia Cigliuti), who tracks one of their old cases from Chicago to Florida.
Thankfully, Longworth has Carlos Gomez’s medical examiner Dr. Carlos Sanchez to keep him company, whether it’s on the golf course, a NASCAR racetrack, or in a town full of circus folk. Their witty repartee probably keeps me the most engaged, while the romantics will dig the Longworth-Callie interplay. Callie’s son also allows for some funny bits, as the show does keep it light even if murder seems to be the centerpiece.
I’ve recommended the show to friends, and would certainly urge buying or renting the first season before diving into this one. You’ll need to understand the dynamics here, and the special features, like “Love Triangles: Relationship Complexities and The Glades” may actually help you get there. The show does actually bring other special features, including deleted scenes, an extended episode, a gag reel, and some commentary, but the other feature is “Jim Longworth’s Guide to Police Work.”
I dig Longworth’s fish-out-of-water bit, and the deductive reasoning certainly seems to go along with fans of real murder mysteries. The romance is an equal-opportunity pleaser, and in the end, the show brings a bag of entertainment that has a little bit for everyone. Longworth is a tactical assault of smart aleck, bent on righting wrongs and bringing villains to justice, even while he’s trying to figure out how to love Callie and her son, and stay sharp in the face of the political game. I guess two out of three isn’t bad.