(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.

Fall 2010 Post-Game Wrap-Up (Tuesday)

Welcome to part three of the mid-season 2010 – 2011 review. In this post we’ll be discussing Tuesday’s programming.

8:00 p.m.

 

ABC – No Ordinary Family

We’re sad to say that as much as we were excited after the pilot of No Ordinary Family, the show has turned out to be, well, pretty ordinary and it’s suffering in the ratings because of it. In our review, we noted that one of No Ordinary Family’s greatest assets was the focus on the Powells as a family. Well it’s turned out that this aspect of the show is becoming its greatest liability. This is supposed to be a live-action Incredibles which means at the heart of the series, it should be a superhero show first. It hasn’t worked out that way. This show is far more focused on the dysfunctional nature of the family and each character’s individual neurosis than it is in crime-fighting.

To make matters worse, they go through this charade every week about how “it’s too dangerous to use these new powers so we won’t use them” and then they go ahead and use them. That’s getting pretty stale and it’s frustrating for audiences because it’s like they haven’t come up with a premise for the show, yet. Are they crime fighting superheroes or what?

The next problem is Michael Chiklis and not him per se, but the casting of him in this role of police sketch artist, Jim Powell. In the beginning we felt that his talent and presence would carry this show, but again it’s not working out that way  because of how the character is written. To put it bluntly, we don’t mind sensitivity in a male character, but Mrs. Powell has more balls than Jim. We can’t remember the last time we saw a protagonist as completely emasculated as Jim Powell and it’s even more striking considering Chiklis’ last lead role on The Shield. Quite simply, Vic Mackey needs to grow a pair.

It’s not looking good for No Ordinary Family in the ratings and based on that alone it would be unlikely that it would be picked up for a second season, however, No Ordinary Family is no ordinary show. It’s an ABC Studios production and is the personal pet-project of Disney. Despite the low ratings, it is entirely conceivable that No Ordinary Family may get at least a second season to sort out its issues.

We still like the show and because it hasn’t had any kind of real serial arc, it is much easier to fix the problems in the show going forward and save it than it is to save a show, for example, like The Event without a massive overhaul.

CBS – NCIS

In its eighth season, NCIS is as good now as it has been in the past several years and it is still one of the highest ranked dramatic series on television for that reason. Not much more to say than that.

FOX – Glee

*Sigh* It pains us to say this, but Glee has become a victim of its own hype. The musical numbers are still wonderful but the show itself has become so exaggerated and unbelievable that we aren’t even watching any more. Prime example: we tuned in on a whim the other night to watch the Christmas episode and here is the premise that we were supposed to buy:

Exceptionally nerdy kid in a wheelchair is dating cute blonde cheerleader, Brittany… who (and I’m not kidding) still believes in Santa. So, the Glee Club takes her to the mall – together… because they can’t take a dump without each other – to sit on black Santa’s lap (and mind you, a black Santa who was wearing his beard off of his face) and Brittany comments on how tan he is and asks him for her boyfriend to be able to walk for Christmas.  Santa says, “OK.”  Meanwhile, at the Batcave, Sue has rigged the “Secret Santa” event and put her name on every slip of paper in the empty protein shake container. It gets better: We are also treated to an ever-so- slightly creepy rendition of Baby, it’s Cold Outside by the gay kid and another gay kid he’s pining for that is sure to be a hit with the NAMBLA crowd and to top things off, at the end of the episode the aforementioned nerdy kid has a pair of robot legs from Israel waiting under his tree and nobody knows where they came from! Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

So basically, the show has gotten ridiculous but it doesn’t seem to care because they are walking on water right now after their breakout surprise success last year and can pretty much do what they want. We believe that they have jumped the proverbial shark but via stealth and no one has noticed yet.  Although the show is incredibly popular right now (it is FOX’s highest rated scripted show) and will certainly be renewed for a third season, we believe that when it crashes it will crash hard and suddenly because audiences are going realize that they’ve been watching a, if not horrible, at least very silly show for a while.

Glee completely lacks the heart it was known for in its first season and the only really positive aspect of the show in its sophomore season was the GQ photo spread the cast appeared in.

The ‘Tastic would like to say to all of our male readers in advance, “You’re welcome.”

SyFy – Caprica

The Battlestar Galactica prequel failed miserably during the second half of its first season for many reasons and was cancelled with five episodes remaining. It was certainly a show we liked, but we get why it failed. We did an analysis of its demise, here.

9:00 p.m.

 

CBS – NCIS: Los Angeles

When we’re wrong, we admit it. We started watching NCIS: Los Angeles this season because we promised we would. We’ve watched the first three episodes in the last week and I have the rest on DVR and we are impressed. It’s a lot more compelling and complex than it was in the beginning of last season (when we stopped watching) and the characters have actually become likable. This is good for this franchise because it’s using all of the elements that have made the original NCIS so successful. The audience numbers for this show are phenomenal so you can be sure that there will be a season three.

FOX – Raising Hope

Another case of admitting when we were wrong with this one. As noted in our preview and subsequent review, Raising Hope is a surprisingly funny and charming show. It’s officially a bubble-show at this point so it could go either way for a second season.

SyFy – Stargate Universe

The watered-down version of Battlestar Galactica meets Star Trek: Voyager has also been canceled. SGU wasn’t a particularly bad show, it just wasn’t a particularly good show and it wasn’t nearly as good as the other series in the franchise. Sorry, SGU, but you really won’t be missed.

10:00 p.m.

 

ABC – Detroit 1-8-7

In yet another example of we here at The ‘Tastic admitting when we were wrong, as noted in our review, Detroit 1-8-7 has been a pleasant, if not completely original, surprise. Yes, it’s a formulaic cop show that rips off its style from every cop procedural that’s aired in the last 20 years and yes there are a handful of cringe-worthy, eye-rolling clichéd moments in every episode but overall, the stories are compelling and the characters are pretty well-written if not all fleshed out yet.

We are particularly impressed with Michael Imperioli (Life On Mars, The Sopranos) as Detective Louis Fitch and although this is an ensemble cast, Imperioli steals the show. We couldn’t be happier as Imperioli is an excellent actor and it’s not only nice to see him in a lead role but it’s particularly nice to see him as something more than a foul-mouthed gangster. Nothing against The Sopranos, but we feel that it’s pigeon-holed a lot of fine actors who have found little success since the series ended in 2007.

Unfortunately, though, Detroit 1-8-7 is on the ropes right now and will probably not be renewed for a second season.

Next up, we take a look at Wednesdays.

‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’ (NBC – Wednesday, 10:00 p.m.)

The newest addition to the Law & Order brand, “Law & Order: Los Angeles” fuses classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA – delving into the unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast.

The drama follows Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich, “Jericho”) and Tomas “TJ” Jarusalski (Corey Stoll, “Midnight in Paris”) as they pursue cases through the diverse City of Angels. As members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Robbery Homicide Division, Winters is a straight-shooting ex-Marine with a clear-cut worldview as stubborn as he is, while TJ, who grew up the son of an Oscar-winning Polish cinematographer, knows too well the dark underside that is behind-the-scenes Hollywood.

Deputy District Attorney Morales (Alfred Molina, “En Education,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Spiderman 2″) is a sarcastic realist who believes moral righteousness is great in theory, but ineffective in a street fight. Though he knows how to manipulate both his public image and the behind-the-scenes politics, he’s still a killer in the courtroom who lives to see justice served. – NBC

The Preview (originally posted on 9/17/2010)

Shawn: Hi, my name’s Shawn and I’m a recovering Law & Order fan. You see, one day about four years ago, I decided that the entire franchise, which I had been watching faithfully since 1990, had turned to utter crap (and that includes SVU which people still think is good for some reason). The formula was stale and the “ripped from the headlines” garbage became a convenient crutch that was about as exciting as your local theater group practicing their ad-libbing skills by randomly choosing topics from a hat (which of course, is a common theme in television production lately. see: Running Wilde in the Tuesday Preview.). Unfortunately, it took about a decade too long for this show to be cancelled. What I can’t seem to figure out is why the arrogant Dick Wolf thinks that simply taking the brand of crap that is Law & Order and moving it from one side to the country to another is actually going to produce a better product.

And before you say to yourself, “Well, this could be different,” I’m going to have to stop you right there because, no, it’s not going to be different. Do you know how I know? There are two obvious reasons. First, take a look at the first sentence of the show description by NBC:

“Law & Order: Los Angeles” fuses classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA – delving into the unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast.”

The first thing that they mention as a selling point is what made the show suck to begin with (the “ripped from the headlines” crap). It’s the reason that people stopped watching… period, you unoriginal nit-wits at Dick Wolf Productions.

The second reason that stands out is the simple fact that NBC doesn’t have a single trailer of this new series out that shows a single scene from the show. What are they hiding? After all, this cast is amazing. Skeet Ulrich, Alfred Molina and Academy Award nominated Terrence Howard star in this and NBC isn’t highlighting any of them in the promotions for this new “hit” series? It makes absolutely no sense, unless of course, they know the moment that they show five seconds of this show in a trailer, audiences are going to sing in unison, “I thought they cancelled this stupid show.”

Here’s my theory: NBC owes Dick Wolf a lot for twenty seasons of L & O, twelve seasons of SVU and amazingly, nine seasons of CI (whatever network it’s on now). That’s 41 seasons of television. To put that in perspective, that’s 50% more than all five series of the entire Star Trek franchise. So, Dick Wolf says, “You’re doing another ‘Law and Order’ series whether you like it or not and you’re going to do it in L.A., because that’s where I live now.” NBC’s response was, “How high did you say you want us to jump, Mr. Wolf?” and voila, L & O: L.A. is born. NBC knows it’s going to be crap but in order to keep it semi-profitable, they sunk a lot of money into casting and even I have to say that was a brilliant move on their part because as much as I have no interest in anything L & O, even I’m considering watching the pilot just for the cast. So, in principle, no, I would not recommend this but for curiosity’s sake I probably will watch the pilot and only make it halfway through because I’ll be so disgusted.

The Review (See above):

3 out of 10

This will be the shortest review of the season. Do you know why? It’s simple: everything I predicted in the preview was exactly spot-on. This show is nothing more than the original Law & Order that just got cancelled after 20 seasons except for the fact that it’s set in L.A.

What’s really disappointing is how poor the performances are from this all-star cast. It’s to the point where it’s embarrassing. I really want to chalk this up to poor writing, but I don’t know if I can. This whole show is just awful and no one is getting a free pass.

The only reason it’s getting three stars is because it’s not as bad as Outlaw.  I expect it to be canceled by the end of the season.

Watch full epsiodes of Law & Order: Los Angeles, 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!).