Matt Passmore stars as incredibly likable Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Jim Longworth in the new A&E television series The Glades. My wife and I caught the first episode last night and really had a good time with it.
Longworth is kind of a Jim Rockford character, smart and savvy, but really laid back and a believer in taking things easy, even though he’s dedicated to getting the job done. If Longworth’s mysteries stay as entertaining as last night’s, the series could become a staple for a few years.
The show is set in Florida and is filmed there. The setting is beautiful and definitely user-friendly to the television cameras. I loved the colors and the greenery and, of course, the golf courses. Given the people that traipse through Broward County on any given day, Longworth is going to have his hands full of criminal cases that will interfere with his golf game.
His history is interesting. Once a Chicago homicide detective, he was shot (in the butt) by his captain, who thought he was sleeping with his wife – Longworth insists that he wasn’t. But he’s obviously a fantastic investigator who won’t let go of any thread that presents itself.
The show’s pacing last night really drew me in. The mystery was spread all over the place and brought Longworth into contact with a lot of people. I thought the 16-year-old girl who loved a guy that was tragically killed, then tried to replace him with the brother, was touching and a well-done lead. I liked the fact that Longworth recruited a college student who knew a lot about alligators and caimans (a subfamily of alligators) to figure out what happened to the murder victim’s missing head. I really love the fact that the college student is evidently going to be part of the show’s ensemble.
The relationship Longworth has with Carlos Sanchez, the county medical examiner, is a hoot. The high school competitive thing they have going on between them is great and makes for some interesting screen time, on the golf course as well as in the medical lab.
The relationship Longworth has with Callie Cargill is a given, but there are plenty of stumbling points along the way. She’s a single mom, still married to her convicted husband, and struggling to get through college as well. Plus, she doesn’t really seem to like Longworth’s self-assured and confident ways. Her son Jeff is totally cool, and a lot more together than his mother wants to believe. The bond between Jeff and Longworth should be one of the best points in the series, if handled properly. The writing in this episode was nice and tight. The rapid-fire dialogue was a joy to hear and it's fun to watch Longworth playing the wise-ass.
The series is a no-brainer for anyone interested in crime television. There’s enough action to keep the pot simmering, and a definite mystery with puzzle elements. Last night’s solution caught me looking and I felt guilty that I hadn’t figured out who the murderer (and the victim) was earlier. All the clues were there, and they were dangled in plain sight. Really well done.
“You’ve reached Jim Longworth. I’m either out seeking justice or trying to break eighty.”