(A & E) The Glades Season 2 Premieres This Sunday, June 5th At 10:00 p.m.

We’re a little late on the draw on this, but dammit, upfront week was flippin’ tiring and we’re trying to catch up.  A&E’s hit summer series from last year The Glades (which we loved) roars back like a hurricane this Sunday night, June 5th, at 10:00 p.m.  Good times indeed.  Here’s the trailer for the new season and a little sneak peek at what we have to look forward to with Detective Jim Longworth and the rest of the characters:

Via Press Release:

A&E’S HIT SCRIPTED DRAMA “THE GLADES” SEASON 2 PREMIERES

SUNDAY, JUNE 5 AT 10PM ET/PT

SERIES STARS MATT PASSMORE, KIELE SANCHEZ, CARLOS GOMEZ AND MICHELLE HURD

NEW YORK – April 21, 2011 – Season two of the hit A&E original scripted drama series “The Glades,” starring Matt Passmore, Kiele Sanchez, Carlos Gomez and Michelle Hurd premieres Sunday, June 5 at 10PM ET/PT. The second season will feature thirteen one-hour episodes.

In its first season, “The Glades” became the most-watched drama series in network history, averaging 3.1 million total viewers. These ratings propelled A&E to ad-supported cable’s number one network on Sunday nights among total viewers.

In “The Glades,” Passmore stars as Jim Longworth, an attractive and brilliant Chicago homicide detective with a reputation for being difficult.  When his captain wrongfully accuses him of sleeping with his wife and shoots him, he is exiled and forced to relocate. He lands in the sleepy, middle-of-nowhere town of Palm Glade, outside of the Florida Everglades, where sunshine and golf are plentiful and crime is seemingly at a minimum. But Longworth soon finds out this town isn’t quite as idyllic as he originally thought, when murders keep piling up. Each case pulls Longworth off the golf course and reluctantly into his element as one of the sharpest homicide detectives to wear a badge.

In the season premiere, the daughter of a notorious Cuban mobster turns up dead in a Little Havana alley, and Longworth and the rest of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement must solve her murder to prevent an all-out war between two rival mob families. Meanwhile, Callie (Sanchez) prepares for her husband’s release from prison.
“The Glades” is produced by Fox Television Studios for A&E Network. The series executive producers are Clifton Campbell (“White Collar,” “Profiler,” “21 Jump Street”) for Innuendo Productions and Gary Randall (“Saving Grace”) for Grand Productions, Inc. The series is created by Clifton Campbell.

About Fox Television Studios
Fox Television Studios produces scripted and unscripted programming for US broadcast and cable networks, and international broadcasters. In addition to “The Glades,” hit series include “Burn Notice” and “White Collar” for USA, and “The Killing” for AMC. The studio also is in production on the pilots “Outlaw Country” for FX, “Three Inches” for SyFy, and “Wild Card” and “Over/Under” for USA. Fox TV Studios also produces the reality hits “The Girls Next Door,” “Kendra and Holly’s World” for E!, and will launch this summer the late-night comedy series “In the Flow with Affion Crockett” for FOX.

About A&E Network

A&E is “Real Life. Drama.”  Now reaching 100 million homes, A&E is television that you can’t turn away from; where unscripted shows are dramatic and scripted dramas are authentic.  A&E offers a diverse mix of high quality entertainment ranging from the network’s original scripted series, including “The Glades,” to signature non-fiction franchises, including the Emmy-winning “Intervention,” “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” “Hoarders,” “Billy the Exterminator” and “Storage Wars,” and the most successful justice shows on cable, including “The First 48” and “Manhunters.”  The A&E website is located at www.aetv.com.

The Chicago Code (FOX – Monday, 9:00 p.m)

THE CHICAGO CODE, the compelling new police drama from critically acclaimed creator Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”), follows the Windy City’s most powerful and respected cops as they navigate the city’s underbelly to fight crime and expose corruption within Chicago’s notorious political machine.

Set and shot on location in Chicago, THE CHICAGO CODE is a fast-paced series centered on JAREK WYSOCKI (Jason Clarke), a local legend and a larger-than-life veteran of the Chicago Police Department who wields considerable power thanks to his relationship with TERESA COLVIN (Jennifer Beals), his ex-partner and the city’s first female superintendent, now in charge of a 10,000-member police force. While Teresa diplomatically governs amidst the complicated landscape of Chicago politics, Jarek works the streets on a crusade to clean up corruption and crime and avenge his brother’s murder. Along the way, they will stop at nothing to bring down their powerful adversaries, including ALDERMAN RONIN GIBBONS (Delroy Lindo), a building-magnate-turned-politician who has ruled his ward with a velvet glove for over two decades.

Joining Jarek on the street is CALEB EVERS (Matt Lauria), an eager young detective trying desperately to prove himself. Also in Jarek’s charge is his niece, VONDA WYSOCKI (Devin Kelley), a rookie beat cop whose father – Jarek’s brother – was killed in the line of duty when she was young. Jarek keeps close tabs on her and is less than thrilled with the risk-taking ways of her cocky hotshot partner, ISAAC JOINER (Todd Williams). Also in the mix is low-life LIAM HENNESSEY (Billy Lush), an Irish thug who blends in with the gritty world of local crime. – FOX

8 out of 10

So here we are asking ourselves again, why, oh why, do the best scripted dramas always wind up on FOX?  They are only going to canceled when FOX inevitably pisses their pants after a couple of episodes.  The Chicago Code is eerily similar to Lone Star in that it’s a serialized, well-written, well-casted and well-acted dramatic series… that probably won’t last a single season because FOX has no patience for shows like this.  For the sake of this review, though, let’s pretend that FOX won’t cancel it before the end of the first season.

The Chicago Code is everything it claims to be and perhaps a bit more.  Jason Clarke (Brotherhood) is brilliantly cast as the down-to-earth, old-school detective who is used to thinking unconventionally and using unorthodox methods in order to effectively do his job.  Beals, is his former partner and newly appointed Police Superintendant who has recruited him to help her to clean up the corruption in Chicago.  If you think you’ve seen this before, you have.  This is almost the exact same scenario as in Brian De Palma’s 1987 classic The Untouchables when Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) recruits Jim Malone (Sean Connery) to help him take down the corrupt politicians, corrupt police department and Al Capone.

Watch this scene to understand The Chicago Code:

… and THAT’S The Chicago Code.  There is no sugar-coating it.  This is a modern-day telling of a classic story of crime and corruption and Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit) is not even being subtle with his homage to The Untouchables.  Good for him because he’s a brilliant writer and he’s smart enough to know that if you are going to use someone else’s source material for inspiration, use only the good stuff.  What made HBO’s Deadwood so good was the fact that it was Shakespeare set in the Old West.  It’s no different with any good drama and The Chicago Code excels in exploiting its predecessor.

Ryan’s no slouch, either, when it comes to stories about corruption having been the creator of F/X’s hit The Shield which lasted for six seasons which revolved around a group of corrupt detectives in the L.A.P.D.  And like The Shield, The Chicago Code does something that we absolutely love and we praised it before in our review of A & E’s The Glades; it uses the city itself as not just a backdrop, but as a living, breathing character.  One gets the feeling that they know Chicago as well as the residents do by watching The Chicago Code and that is a key factor that makes the show compelling and worth investing in for audiences.  It’s also beautifully shot and is a visual pleasure to enjoy in high-definition. Unfortunately, though, as previously noted, we don’t think the show has much of a chance at survival.

To be fair to FOX, and as much as we rip on them, there is a big problem with The Chicago Code that has nothing to do with bad management at FOX: it’s a serial.  Serialized television has no place in major network schedules any more.  It just doesn’t play with this generation of viewers who are inundated with 300 plus channels of cable television, the Internet, and reality television.  This generation of television viewers expects everything to be immediate with their entertainment and they simply have no patience for a story that doesn’t effectively conclude itself at the end of the hour.  This isn’t a criticism, this is just a fact and if you’re wondering when the end of serialized drama on network television officially occurred, it was May 24, 2010, which is the day of the series finale of 24 and the day after the series finale of Lost.  It’s getting more and more difficult to put any effort in writing reviews for serialized drama on network television because we are kind of at the “what’s the point?” stage as we expect every serialized drama on network television to be canceled no later than the end of its first season.

Now, that being said, we believe that FOX has made the same mistake with this show that they did with Lone Star and that is airing it on FOX instead of F/X.  F/X has been consistently able to support to serialized dramas and The Chicago Code would be a perfect fit there.

Of course, we certainly hope that we are dead-wrong about the lifespan of The Chicago Code on FOX but the numbers were only OK for the premiere (2.4 rating for 18-49) and the tendency for serialized shows is to lose audience after the premiere, not pick them up.  So we’ll keep our fingers crossed but we aren’t very optimistic about any long-term success for this show.

Watch full episodes of The Chicago Code, here.

‘The Glades’ (A&E – Sunday, 10:00 p.m.)

The Glades stars Australian actor Matt Passmore as Jim Longworth, an attractive, brilliant, yet hard to get along with homicide detective from Chicago who is forced into exile after being wrongfully accused of sleeping with his former captain’s wife. Longworth relocates to the sleepy, middle-of-nowhere town of Palm Glade, Florida, where the sunshine and golf are plentiful and crime is seemingly at a minimum. But this town outside the Florida Everglades isn’t quite as idyllic as he thought, as he finds people keep turning up murdered. Each case pulls Longworth off the golf course and reluctantly into his element as one of the sharpest homicide detectives in the field. (A&E)

8.5 out of 10

I’ve been watching police procedural shows for years and I hate most of them that people seem to drool over.  I gave up on the entire Law & Order franchise years go, I was never a fan of NYPD Blue (although I concede that it was occasionally entertaining) and I absolutely hate the inane CSI franchise and question the intelligence of the millions of fans who think that it’s actually any good.  I could go into my hatred of CSI all day but I’m reserving that for a separate post.  Needless to say, for a police procedural to really get my attention it has to be unique and well-written, but most importantly it has to be character-driven as opposed to event-driven which is what most of the generic police fare is.  A few of the shows that really stand out in this genre and meet those standards over the last decade for me are The Wire (HBO), the short-lived but brilliant Boomtown (NBC), The Shield (FX) and most recently, one of my favorite new shows, Justified (FX, review forthcoming).  Well, add The Glades to that list.

Like its predecessors, The Glades weaves excellent storytelling around and a well-written group of complex supporting characters with a central character that not only brings it all together but stands out as the reason to come back week-to-week. 

Passmore is brilliantly cast as Longworth, which is really no small feat because the truth is that the character could easily come off as the clichéd cocky, big fish/small pond, I’m-smarter-than-all-of-these-small-town-hicks cop who every week learns a little lesson from living in small town America that gives him a greater appreciation for his colleagues. We, of course, have seen this more than once in TV and film and of course we’re bored by it.  Instead, though, Longworth, cocky as he is, is cocky for a reason: he’s a really good cop, knows it, but isn’t arrogant about it.  It’s just kind of a matter-of-fact deal with him but he respects his fellow colleagues who are competent and though he’s tolerant of his unmotivated colleagues like his partner, he recognizes their weaknesses and just goes about his business to make sure that they don’t impede his work.  The point is that unlike other clichéd cops on TV, Longworth isn’t all up in anybody’s face about how good he is and how bad anyone else is, he just does the job and does it well.  The character is witty and sarcastic and as a viewer you appreciate his ability to think outside of the box to bring clues together from unexpected sources.

Another reason why I put The Glades into the category of unique police procedurals is because it does something that most cop shows really don’t do: it makes the town of Palm Glades, Florida as important of a supporting character as anyone else in the cast, as opposed to just a backdrop for the drama.  All of the other shows I mentioned all have this in common.  The Wire with Baltimore, The Shield and Boomtown with Los Angeles and Justified with Leland, Kentucky.  I always appreciate shows that understand that the locale is an integral character to any good story.  It provides a depth to all of the live characters and their perspectives and it acts as a device to truly engage the audience, giving them a sense that they too, truly know what it’s like to be from Baltimore, L.A. or even Leland, Kentucky, even though they may have never even been there before.  This approach has been done in film for decades but it is a relatively new concept in television and almost non-existent on network television.  That being said, it’s entirely refreshing that a central character of The Glades is the Glades itself.

The pilot was excellent and the writing near flawless, albeit a bit rushed at the end because it’s obvious that they were trying to cram character development/establishment and a complex plot all into one hour (NOTE TO A&E: If a show is as good as The Glades is, a two-hour pilot will keep our attention).  The story takes us on Longworth’s journey to connect clues and if you blink, you might miss something which is of course the true sign of a good mystery.  The twist at the end is brilliant and of the quality you would expect from premium channels like HBO or Showtime (again, I just wished it wasn’t so rushed) and believe me, unlike everyone spoiling Shutter Island by telling you there’s a twist and ergo you expected it (and like me, probably figured it within the first 20 minutes), it is highly unlikely you will expect this particular twist even though you know one is coming.  I just hope that they keep the twists coming like this every week.

You can watch the entire pilot episode right here on A&E’s website if you missed it or don’t have cable (make sure to scroll down and choose Pilot as the latest episode will automatically play when you click the link) and in fact, it looks like you can catch all of the episodes online (yay!).