(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.

ALERT! Christopher Meloni Leaving Law & Order: SVU, Will Not Return This Fall

Yesterday we reported that House regular, Lisa Edelstein would not be returning for the show’s eighth and final season due to not agreeing to a pay-cut requested by producers that the other cast members (Sean Robert Leonard and Omar Epps) accepted in order to cut costs and close the deal to bring the show back this Fall on FOX.

Well, it looks like House isn’t the only show suffering from a budget crisis.  Yesterday, NBC confirmed that that Chris Meloni, who has played Detective Eliott Stabler for 270 epsisodes on NBC’s only consistent show for the last decade, Law & Order: SVU, would not be returning this fall.  NBC cites an inability to come terms with Meloni over a new contract as the reason for the departure from the series.

This makes the situation very tricky for the series as Meloni’s co-star for the last twelve seasons, Mariska Hargitay, just signed a contract extension for another season, albeit in a limited role appearing in about half the season’s episodes, with her character, Detetective Olivia Benson, promoted to a supervisory position.  Obviously, it was expected that there would be a new female co-star for Meloni but his unexpected departure means a shakeup for the whole show with two all-new leads.  So, expect big changes on SVU this Fall.

NBC Cancels Outsourced, Law & Order: L.A. & The Event, Passes On Wonder Woman… Renews Chuck

On Friday, NBC announced the cancellation of Outsourced, Law & Order: Los Angeles and The Event.  We predicted every single one of these cancellations months ago.

Outsourced (from our Fall 2010 Post Game Wrap-Up on 01/13/2011)

Outsourced is one of the most disappointing shows this season but it’s not because it’s a bad show. It’s cute and it’s clever but it’s a sitcom trying to be funny and it’s really not. We pointed out in our review that the problem is that the novelty of the culture clashes and funny accents only works for about ten minutes, yet Outsourced is an entire series that revolves around those gimmicks… If we’re going to watch a sitcom, we want it to be funny. Outsourced unfortunately is not. It’s currently leaning toward “the-more-likely-to-be-renewed-than-not” category but we doubt audiences are going to continue to tolerate it until May.

Law & Order: Los Angeles (from our review of the show on 10/09/2010)

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.

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… 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.

The Event (from our What’s Wrong With The Event and How To Fix It In Five Easy Steps piece back on 12/22/2010)

Unfortunately, since its premiere, the audience numbers have dropped steadily and the show is on life-support at this point and it’s completely unnecessary… The truth is that the long hiatus (new episodes will not air until March 7, 2011) may be the final nail in the coffin for The Event

What is a surprise to us, however, is that NBC has ordered 13 episodes for a fifth and final season of Chuck.  We got bored with it but we didn’t hate it and we’re glad that a fan-favorite was picked up for one last hurrah.

In related news, the awful David E. Kelley, Boston Legal-clone Harry’s Law has been renewed by NBC and just when we thought NBC had ZERO standards remaining they did smartly pass-on Kelley’s reboot adaptation of the comic book classic that no one ever reads, Wonder Woman.  Tracie Thoms, who would have played Diana Prince’s best friend Etta, had this to say about the news via Twitter:

I am very sad that NBC passed on Wonder Woman. But that just goes to show you: There is no such thing as a “sure thing” in this biz.

Sorry to disappoint you, Etta, but there is one sure thing in Hollywood:  that show would have reached the highest level of suckitude© imaginable.

Bob’s Burgers Renewed For A Second Season? House & Bones May Be Leaving FOX? Where’s Terra Nova? What’s Going On Over There? (Part Two)

FOX: Where We Dont Suck As Much As We Used To

Hi, folks. Thanks for coming back for part two of this very special feature on FOX where Blossom ponders losing her virginity, yet again. No, no, no, obviously we’re going to talk about FOX’s recent surprising schedule moves and what we think is going on over there. Yesterday, of course, we reported on the renewal of Bob’s Burgers for a second season and left our readers with a cliffhanger as to the significance of this renewal for the network as a whole and why we are actually pleased about the renewal despite that we don’t like the show.  So now it’s time to explain why and we’ll bring you back to when we fist heard about FOX moving Fringe to Friday nights.

It Took Five Years For "The Show About Nothing" to Become a Hit.

As noted by our two pieces on Fringe‘s move to Friday (here and here) we’ve been very critical of FOX’s history of jumping ship on shows (especially new shows) that have had a run of, not even horrible, but average to mediocre ratings.  Seriously, c’mon, FOX… Seinfeld wasn’t immediately a hit.  It wasn’t even in the top 30 for its first three seasons and in its fourth season it was #25.

Fringe... Cooler Than You and Back in Fall 2011 For Season 4.

Anyway, in these pieces, we also expressed our skepticism with FOX’s stated commitment in the past to fan-favorite shows and of course this directly related to their campaign in January expressing the same commitment to Fringe.  But, then, a few weeks ago, Virginia found out that there is indeed a Santa Claus and the announcement was made that Fringe not only had been renewed for a fourth season, but it was given a full season order… in March. We speculated as to why this occurred as EVERYONE, including us, assumed that after the ratings decline, the move to Friday and of course, FOX’s history, this show was destined for Cancellationville.

And of course, there is American Dad, a show that FOX execs have not historically supported and have been trying to replace for years and it got renewed for a seventh season… in February, again with a full season order of 22 episodes, no less.

Yes, Indeed... NBC May Be Very Happy, Very Soon.

When we heard the announcement about Fringe, we speculated as to the many reasons it may have been spared cancellation but came to the conclusion that we really didn’t care, we were just happy that the show was saved.  But now, we’re hearing that FOX is on the verge of losing House, as well.

The network remains in last-minute negotiations with Universal Media Studios, which owns the series, in hopes of signing a new deal for an eighth season. The two sides are far apart in determining the percentage each will pay for the show’s costs.

UMS, owned by NBCUniversal, has given Fox an extension on the window of negotiation exclusivity. That ends Friday. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, UMS will offer the show to competing networks including, of course, the Peacock, which would likely be more than happy to take the series away from Fox.

So thanks to all of these developments, we’ve been dragged into the speculation game and we’re guessing that there are several issues at play here:

This Never Happened

First, FOX has some serious issues with original scripted program scheduling coming this Fall and this is just based on what we know.  Four new shows from 2010 – 2011 have already been canceled (Running WildeThe Good GuysSons of Tuscon and Lone Starand Traffic Light is certain to be canceled by May 16th.  So, that’s five down right there (and chances for The Chicago Code being renewed for a second season seem to be getting slimmer by the day) and Human Target and Lie To Me are more likely to be cancelled than not.  Add to that the fact that as of this posting  FOX hasn’t been able to come to a deal to keep the perennial hits Bones and (as earlier noted) House (the deadline for a deal for House was last Friday), the network faces potentially being down nine scripted programs from 2010 – 2011 (Even though we are still trying to forget about Sons of Tuscon as if it never existed, and of course we aren’t counting 24 which was at the end of its run).

"Holy sh*t! How the f**k are we still on the air???"

And here’s the thing about House: Universal may not come to a deal intentionally and may just turn House over to NBC who is desperate for a strong scripted drama, or strong scripted anything at this point.  Whereas FOX axed four of their new shows (with a fifth coming for sure), NBC has axed five of their new shows with at least a sixth certain to be on the way out the door (Sorry, but as much as The Event has improved by following what we suggested it needed to do, it was too little, too late…so, adiós!). Let’s also not forget Chuck, which is on its way out the door as well.  It’s so bad at NBC that less-than-positive performers such as Law & Order: Los Angeles and Harry’s Law are almost guaranteed to be renewed because, well, frankly, theyz gots nothin’ else and they certainly don’t have American Idol or Simon Cowell’s new series, The X-Factorthat is destined to be a ratings juggernaut, so at the end of the day, NBC is in way worse shape than FOX. So, here’s our bold prediction: House will be on NBC come Fall 2011 and a deal with Bones (in desperation) will be made and it will return to FOX.

"Oh look. We're still on FOX."

But the effects of losing House on FOX will be devastating and even if they keep Bones, that show has seen a sharp decline in ratings over the past two season which means there will be only one truly strong live-action veteran scripted show and that would be Glee. Can FOX really be comfortable going into the new Fall season with the The Animation Domination Block, GleeThe X-Factor and American Idol being the only programming that is guaranteed to be stable?  We don’t think they possibly could be satisfied with that situation.

So taking this a step further, based on what we know for sure about the Fall schedule and the three shows that were renewed – not only unexpectedly but early, as well – (Fringe, American Dad and now Bob’s Burgers), here’s what we think is going on and it crossed our minds when we first heard about Fringe‘s renewal:  FOX is not just uncomfortable with the new scripted programing they have ordered for Fall 2011, they’re downright nervous and they expected to have had more success with their new shows from 2010 – 2011.  They also certainly didn’t expect the possibility of looking at Fall 2011 with no House and to a lesser extent no Bones.

Terra Nova: Allegedly to debut in Fall 2011... Hmmmm.

This brings us to the Stephen Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment produced, epic Sci-Fi series, Terra Nova, which as we noted when we reported Fringe‘s renewal, has been delayed yet again and is set to debut in Fall 2011.  There are some serious issues with Terra Nova that we think FOX is starting to get as concerned about as we are. First, the delays are insane and we are not confident at all that it will debut in the Fall as promised.  Second, Terra Nova may be the most expensive show in history with the first two episodes alone costing $16 million and whereas the average episode of scripted drama costs $2.5 million, Terra Nova per episode cost will come in at $4 million and the show is rife with rumors of cost overruns although the producers deny this.

Terra Nova: This Is NOT a Sci-Fi Show And That Is Not A Time Portal!

Third, this is the biggest risk that FOX has ever taken on any series, nevertheless a Sci-Fi series, in an era where epic Sci-Fi is DEAD on network television. And we’re sure that it doesn’t help when veteran television Sci-Fi  writer and producer Brannon Braga (Star Trek: The Next GenerationStar Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise) who is exec. producing/writing Terra Nova is doing the “pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain” Great and Powerful Oz routine denying the fact that it is indeed a Sci-Fi series when you’d have to be blind not to see it:

Terra Nova, according to Brannon Braga.

But it’s not a sci-fi show.

“It’s really about this frontier family trying to survive,”

From iMDB:

Centers on the Shannons, an ordinary family from 2149 when the planet is dying who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization.

Still Not a Sci-Fi Show.

No, there’s absolutely nothing Sci-Fi about that premise at all.  It’s just like Little House on the Prairie… but with time travel… and dinosaurs… and automatic weapons… with lasers.

So, if we go with the premise that FOX isn’t really sure whether or not Terra Nova is going to actually debut on the Fall 2011 schedule as planned and it finally occurred to them that this kind of Sci-Fi is highly questionable for network television and of course there’s the issue of the costs involved, we can come to only one conclusion: FOX is worried that they aren’t going to have much going on this Fall, Monday through Friday, other than Glee and The X-Factor and they’ve decided that keeping some of these shows that have established, stabilized audiences even though they’ve seen ratings drops, may be their only option.  For goodness’ sake, and we cannot stress this enough, they saved three shows that everyone expected to be canceled, and again, this is FOX we’re talking about.

We alluded to this theory yesterday, in part one, our commentary on the Bob’s Burgers renewal:

We think FOX is starting to realize that it may be better for them to deal with the devil that they know as opposed to the one they don’t…

FOXs Money Printing Presses That May Keep Your Favorite Shows On The Air

So, that’s where we think all of this is going and in our opinion, this is nothing but a positive turn of events.  FOX has lived very well over the past decade with their scripted programming, reality program and sports.  If new show, “A” didn’t work out as well or as quickly as they had hoped, they’d just dump it and replace it with new show “B” and if that didn’t work out they’d replace it with  show “C” and so on and they’d usually find gold eventually.  But let’s be honest about this; the crop of decent scripted shows out there over the past couple of years on ALL of the networks has been thin to say the least. So considering the lack of quality, sustainable shows, all the losses in shows that they’ve had in the past year,  the possible losses of their perennial hits to other networks, and a questionable Fall 2011 lineup, it appears that FOX execs have been forced to put on the big boy pants and change their strategy so that they have something that’s at least slightly stable in their lineup, and will actually work to build up those shows by subsidizing them with their juggernauts, particularly American Idol and The X-Factor.

If Only It Had Debuted In Fall 2009!

Now, although FOX may not be particularly happy about taking this approach (because of course, everyone likes the quick and easy buck), all of these developments and this new approach is nothing but positive for viewers and fans of the many quality scripted programs that FOX does have to offer, but probably wouldn’t have been given an opportunity like this if this was, oh, say, two or three years ago.   Heck, we suspect that if Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles were in its second season in 2011 instead of in 2009, it already would have been renewed for a third season by now.

This...

And this is EXACTLY why we are so happy about Bob’s Burgers being picked up for a second season (as much as we dislike it) because it’s show number four that was not only renewed by FOX but picked up early when no one expected it to be. This in turn gives up hope for the remaining three likely to be canceled shows, Lie to Me, Human Target and The Chicago Code.  We can almost guarantee that FOX will not cancel all three of these shows, in fact, they may only cancel one of them but we are going to go with the premise, based on everything we’ve laid out over the past two days that they will keep at least one of them and we think it will be a toss-up between Lie to Me and Human Target.

... Or This?

Don’t get us wrong, we love The Chicago Code and we don’t particularly like the clichéd and predictable Lie to Me but we have to be objective about this.  If FOX or any other network is going to pick up an underperforming show to keep for another season, they are going to pick one that has an established audience for at least a couple of seasons over a mid-season replacement that hasn’t been able to find any stability with their audience.  The fact that The Chicago Code is a serial doesn’t help its chances of gaining a stable audience a season later, either.  Now, obviously, Bob’s Burgers doesn’t have a multiple-season established audience BUT it did have the highest ratings of any new show premiere of the season and its audience numbers, though not great, have stabilized and it does have very strong lead-ins and lead-outs with The Simpsons and Family Guy, respectively, whereas The Chicago Code dos not.

So there you have it.  Our wild speculation on why the big change in strategy at FOX.  You can take it for what it’s worth, and call us crazy but do the research for yourself and see if you come to any other conclusions because we’d love to hear your take.   Remember folks, May 16th is the big day for FOX.  That’s when we find out who’s going and who’s staying.

Fall 2010 Post-Game Wrap-Up (Monday)

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

8:00 p.m.

FOX – House

Not a whole lot to say about House. If you’ve been following the show, you understand what’s going on this season with the storyline so it really doesn’t need to be expanded on. House continues to be the most reliable and stable fare offered on FOX for good reason; a great lead character, a strong supporting cast that brings out the best in the main character and fairly original compelling stories. I’m not a fan of medical procedurals but House continues to transcend that genre. House will certainly be renewed next Fall and expect to see reruns on Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. as the lead-in to new episodes of Fringe.

NBC – Chuck

It pains us to say this but, unfortunately, Chuck has either lost what it once had or you can only take a gimmick so far. The problem as we see it with Chuck is that it’s a show that’s confused about what it’s trying to be and audiences, I think, are starting to notice this and are equally confused.

The premise behind Chuck of part comedy, part action/spy thriller was cute and fun for the first couple of seasons but the problem is that now, into its fourth season, the producers still haven’t been able to effectively combine the two premises and develop one cohesive identity for the show. It’s like you’re watching two different shows at all times and because of this it can’t seem to find any really compelling focus for audiences to latch onto. That, on top of its predictability, means that it’s just not working for The ‘Tastic anymore. Chuck, honestly has been on borrowed time since its first season and we find highly unlikely that it will be renewed for a fifth season. We still like Chuck, we just wish it would grow up and it doesn’t show signs of doing so.

9:00 p.m.

FOX – Lone Star

As predicted here on ‘The Tastic, Lone Star was destined for the early cancellation bin before it even aired. We just figured it would last a little longer than it did. FOX, in typical pants-pissing fashion, dropped this very well-conceived and well-received show after a mere two episodes. It should have been a clue that it was going to be canceled shortly after the pilot episode aired when FOX referred to it as its “new smash hit show.” Way to go, FOX, you murdered a great show… again.

And the worse part is that it wasn’t even necessary. It should never been on Monday nights to begin with and we question the prudence of airing it on FOX to begin with thinking it could have thrived on F/X with a 12 episode season as its seemed it was tailor-made for that network which has found success with similar drama. Again, another fine example of how awful FOX is as a network for scripted television.

FOX – Lie to Me

There’s a reason why The ‘Tastic didn’t include Lie to me in the Fall Preview: we just don’t like it. And it’s a shame as well because we especially like Tim Roth and the rest of the cast, but the show does nothing for us. It’s a dry and predictable, formulaic, detective procedural that tries to be hip with the premise of the show being that they “detectives” in this case are private behavioral experts who are called in by authorities and private individuals to act as human lie detectors. Meh. It’s no different from any other procedural and it’s just as predictable and unoriginal despite the gimmick. It’s not horrible but not worth being in our lineup by any measure. We’re quite surprised that it’s lasted as long it has considering that it’s on FOX but it’s a bubble-show right now and it would seem unlikely to be renewed for the Fall and knowing FOX, it could be suddenly canceled at any time in early 2011.  We really don’t care, though.

NBC – The Event

Here’s the thing about The Event: the show is on life-support at this point and it’s completely unnecessary. We still stand by the contention that it’s one of the best new shows on TV but we are backing off the contention that we made that is the second best new show on TV and if we were to review it today, instead of the admittedly generous 9 out of 10 we gave it after the premiere of the pilot, we would probably rate it a 7 or 7.5 at best. Read our post here about what’s wrong with The Event and the five steps that need to be taken that we think can save it… we hope.

10:00 p.m.

CBS – Hawaii Five-O

We’re still loving Hawaii Five-O but we are a little disappointed that it hasn’t taken the serial route that we thought it would in the pilot. Still though, that might actually be a good thing as it is becoming harder and harder to attract new audiences with serialized television (even though we love serialized shows) and if they had gone that route it might have spelled an early end to what really is a very fun series. There’s nothing particularly different from this than other police procedurals aside from the very well-developed and likable characters and the high-intensity action. As we noted, the funny man/straight man routine not only works incredibly well between Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett) and Scott Caan (Dan “Dan-o” Williams), but what’s really clever is that they often switch roles in that routine. The story lines are pretty compelling and as original as one can be with this type of show, with the occasional twist thrown in for good measure. The formula is working which accounts for the high ratings and sure bet that it will be renewed for Fall 2011.

NBC – Chase

We hate Chase as noted by our review, here. It was one of our least favorite shows of the new season and we are thrilled that it’s done so absolutely miserably in the ratings and is destined for cancellation. Serious piece of crap show and it should be noted, that all of the worst scripted new dramas are or were all on NBC (Chase, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outlaw) and only Law & Order: Los Angeles has a chance at survival.

Next up, we take a look at Tuesdays.

‘Blue Bloods’ (CBS – Friday, 10:00 p.m.)

­BLUE BLOODS is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan is the New York City Police Commissioner and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as Chief. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son Danny, a seasoned detective, family man, and Iraqi War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases. The sole Reagan woman in the family, Erin, is a N.Y. Assistant D.A. and newly single parent, who also serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father. Jamie is the youngest Reagan, fresh out of Harvard Law and the family’s “golden boy;” however, unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie decided to give up a lucrative future in law and is now a newly minted cop. Jamie’s life takes an abrupt turn when he’s asked to become part of a clandestine police investigation even his father knows nothing about, and one that could impact the family’s legacy.­ – CBS

The Preview (Originally posted on 9/25/2010):

Shawn: Blue Bloods is one of the most anticipated dramas this Fall for good reason.  Simply look at this cast.  Your leads are Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, and Bridget Moynihan… all television and film superstars (Len Cariou is no slouch either).  Superstars like that don’t just arbitrarily sign on to do a show if they don’t already know it’s brilliant.  The concept is definitely unique.  An original cop show that focuses on a multigenerational family of cops and all of the dynamics that go along with that.  I’m very excited about Blue Bloods.

The Review:

9 out of 10

Yes, I know Blue Bloods has been on for over a month but good things come to those who wait.  As noted by the preview, I knew Blue Bloods was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it is and I really wanted to do the show justice by watching several episodes and taking notes before I reviewed it.

Unlike other cop/legal procedurals, Blue Bloods isn’t beating you over the head with preachy, one-sided political propaganda (see: Outlaw, The Whole Truth, Boston Legal, Law & Order – the entire franchise) telling you what your opinion should be on various issues.  Rather, every week, there’s a new and original plotline that invariably leads to a politically volatile issue and instead of the producers having the protagonists all carry the torch for one side of the issue without any inclination that a contrary opinion even has any merit, they intentionally present both sides as having merit and leave it to the audience to decide.

What makes this even more effective is the plot-device they use to address these issues:  the family dining room table.  It’s a fantastic and effective metaphor because it’s representative of not only how families often talk about the issues of the day so it’s relatable on that level but it’s also representative of American culture as a whole.  Americans have vast and varying opinions on all ranges of political issues and like family members discussing them, the debates can also get quite heated as passions get involved.

The question that comes into play quite often is balancing act of following the law and doing what is the morally correct thing to do, because as we all know, the two don’t always coincide. 

****(MINOR SPOILER ALERT!)****

Example:  in the pilot Danny (Donnie Wahlberg – Boomtown, Band of Brothers) is faced with a dilemma.  A ten year-old girl has been abducted and time is running out.  He and his partner have found the kidnapper/deviant yet he will not tell them where the girl is.  Danny proceeds to beat the confession out of the suspect specifically by repeatedly putting his head in a toilet bowl.  Call it a poor-man’s waterboarding.

Now, no one would ever suggest that they we would want our police coercing confessions out of suspects using violence or torture, but on the other side of the coin, if you were the parent of that ten year-old wouldn’t you want Danny Reagan doing whatever he could no matter how much outside the constraints of the law it was to find your little girl even if it meant that he violated a pervert’s civil rights along the way?  I know that I sure as Hell would.  But, that of course leads to the inevitable question of, “Where do you draw the line?”

The truth is that with all issues, there is no “black and white,” just varying shades of gray and Blue Bloods recognizes this whereas most dramas treat the audience with an air of condescending superiority suggesting that they are too stupid to figure out right from wrong on their own without Hollywood explaining it to them.  Blue Bloods respects its audience and because of that provides compelling, though-provoking drama every week.

These characters couldn’t have been written any better.  They are nothing like the clichéd shells that you expect on most shows.  Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck – Boston Legal, Magnum, P.I.), is the patriarch of this family and he deeply loves and cares about all of his children and unlike other cookie-cutter TV characters Frank wears his heart on his sleeve.  There is a particularly touching scene between Danny and Frank where Frank expresses concern about his son’s well-being after coming back from war and lets him know that there’s no shame in talking to someone (a therapist) about it.

Now, how about that for a change in pace from the old gruff, TV cop/dads who would have just told their kid to suck it up and get over it.  On the contrary, you can see the concern on Frank’s face when he’s having this discussion with Danny the same way any REAL dad would have if they were worried about their own kid. 

The surprise to me on this show is Jamie (Will Estes – American Dreams, Reunion) because I didn’t think his character was going to be that compelling and quite honestly, Estes’ résumé is kind of thin.  Not only is he doing an excellent job with developing his character as a rookie cop on a beat in the shadow of his big brother, but the writers have done an excellent job making him the focal point of the aforementioned clandestine investigation because he’s the last guy in the world you would ever think would be tapped for an undercover investigation of other cops.  Oh, and by the way, did I mention that John Torturro (Third Watch, NYPD Blue) plays Jamie’s partner and mentor, Sgt. Anthony Renzulli.  How ’bout them apples, huh?  Like I said, this cast has some stones.

Bridget Moynihan (I Robot, Lord of War) does very well as the idealistic academic A.D.A., Erin Reagan-Boyle, constantly butting heads with the men in the family and she holds her own very well with the boys.  As far as father to Frank and former police chief Henry Reagan they couldn’t have casted anyone better than noted character actor Len Cariou (Damages, Brotherhood) .  Nowadays, Henry is more concerned with spending time with his family and putting together toys for the grandkids but he’s always happy to throw his two cents in on the issue of the day… especially around that family dining room table.

Blue Bloods is one of the best three new shows on TV this fall and I’m thrilled that it’s finding success on Friday nights as well as the fact that it was on opposite of NBC’s failed series Outlaw to highlight just how bad that show was and just how well a police/legal procedural can be made when there’s some effort and talent behind it.

Watch full episodes of Blue Bloods, here.

‘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.

Fall 2010 TV Preview – Wednesdays

Part Three of the Seven Six Part Series (This has been edited because  I realized that there’s nothing on Saturdays but College Football, COPS and America’s Most Wanted.  Do you really need a review of those?)

Wednesdays

8:00 p.m.

NBC:     Undercovers – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

From acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek,” “Fringe,” “Lost,” “Alias”) and executive producer/writer Josh Reims (“Brothers and Sisters,” “What About Brian”) comes a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership.

Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe, “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Vacation,” “Soul Food,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife”) and his wife, Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Dr. Who,” “Bonekickers”), are a typical married couple who own and operate a small catering company in Los Angeles – with help from Samantha’s easily frazzled handful of a sister, Lizzy (Mekia Cox, “90210,” “This Is It”). Secretly, the duo were two of the best spies the CIA had ever known, until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired.

When fellow spy and good friend Leo Nash (Carter MacIntyre, “American Heiress,” “Nip/Tuck”) goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss and agency liaison, Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney, “Deadwood,” “Jericho”), to locate and rescue Nash.

With assistance from resourceful CIA field agent Bill Hoyt (Ben Schwartz, “Parks and Recreation,” “Bronx World Travelers”), whose professional admiration for Steven isn’t hard to miss, the pair is thrust back into the world of espionage, disguises and hand-to-hand combat.

Following leads that take them to cities spanning the globe, Steven and Samantha quickly realize that perhaps this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides exactly the kind of excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing. – NBC

Shawn:     Wow.  There is not a whole lot more to say about Undercovers than that.  J.J. Abrams has done it again and NBC has proven again that they have gone from being the worst network on TV to perhaps the best.  Do we really have to see even see one episode to be sure that this show is going to be great?  The answer is a resounding, “no.”  You’ve got a great cast with some actual chops, a relationship that I truly believe and care about from just the trailer and non-stop, J.J. Abrams-style action and spy-goodness that makes this show another moral imperative.

8:30 p.m.

ABC:     Better With You – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

 The comedy explores love through three couples: Maddie and Ben, who have been dating for nine years; Mia (Maddie’s sister) and Casey, who have known each other for only seven weeks and are about to marry; and Maddie and Mia’s parents, who have been married for more than 30 years.

Shawn:     (****sighs… shakes head and prepares for the shortest preview of the season***)

What more can be said but that this show looks awful.  This is up there with Mike & Molly as a prime example of why I hate sitcoms.  This is recycled crap.

9:00 p.m.

ABC:     Modern Family

Shawn:     This is by far the funniest show on television, and yes, even funnier than The Office.  The cast is brilliant and the writing is head and shoulders above any sitcom in the last decade and why brings it all together is just how incredibly relatable all of the less-than-perfect characters are that could really be in any of our families.

Watch full episodes of Modern Family, here.

The CW:     Hellcats – September 8, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

Marti Perkins (Aly Michalka) uses her dance and gymnastics skills to win a cheerleading scholarship at Lancer University after losing her other scholarship, but it is only the beginning of the drama she will encounter. – The CW

Shawn:     (****sighs… shakes head and prepares for the second shortest preview of the season***)

The CW needs to be smacked on the nose with a newspaper for this.  Although, I will say that this certainly will appeal to 14 year-old boys and I have no doubt that stock values of Jergens and Kleenex are going to skyrocket, so it’s definitely time to call your broker. 

Here’s another group of Hellcats that seem far more interesting:

Watch full episodes of Hellcats, here (if you must).

10:00 p.m.

ABC:     The Whole Truth – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

This unique legal drama chronicles the way a case is built from the perspective of both the defense and prosecution. Showing each side equally keeps the audience guessing, shifting allegiances and opinions on guilt or innocence until the very final scene.

Kathryn Peale, the product of a New England background and a sheriff father, is the Deputy Bureau Chief in the New York State District Attorney’s office. Jimmy Brogan, born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen and a friend of Kathryn’s since their days at Yale Law School, is one of New York’s rising criminal attorney stars. Buoyed by their respective teams, these evenly matched lawyers—each with a strong streak of competitiveness, a fervent belief in their clients and an equally intense passion for the law go about creating two different stories from the same set of facts. As this up-close, behind-the-scenes look at the legal process mirrors the excitement of a championship match, it becomes evident that truth has nothing to do with innocence or guilt—at the end of every trial, the only thing that matters is what the jury believes. – ABC

Shawn:     “A totally new kind of legal drama!”  Really, ABC?  Sorry, but not quite.

So, yeah,  I admit it.  Occasionally I read other reviews before I post if for no other reason than to see if the pros caught the same thing about a particular show that I did.  This certainly was the “case” with The Whole Truth, because this time, I knew that I had seen this show before but I just couldn’t put my finger on where and I was hoping that someone’s review would ring the proverbial bell for me.  That’s when I came across this from Paige Wiser from the The Chicago Sun and it all fell into place:

There’s no skimping on the sordid and blunt evidence, but the cases are absorbing. And unlike “Law & Order,” which had a way of leaving us hanging, we do learn the “whole truth” by the end of each episode. You can’t put a price on closure.

That’s it!  The multiple perspectives AND the big reveal at the end of the episode explaining what really happened… it’s Jerry Bruckheimer’s 2006 flop, Justice!  So, apparently, Jerry is just recycling old projects and hoping that no one will notice.  Regardless, I was one of the folks who really did like Justice, despite it lasting only 13 episodes.  Like Justice, The Whole Truth has a very strong ensemble cast and appears to be pretty compelling.  That being said, I am a little irked by the main premise of this show which is going to stick in my craw every episode:  are we really supposed to believe that the same defense attorney and A.D.A. are going to be adversaries EVERY week in EVERY case… in New York City ??? Seriously, are these the only two lawyers in town?  Jerry Bruckheimer plus the fact that it’s Justice recycled are the only two reasons that I am in the category of “reluctantly” watching the pilot.

CBS:     The Defenders – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

Two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys who go all-in when it comes to representing their clients. Nick and Pete are the local go-to guys with an eclectic client list who are still looking to hit their own jackpot. Leading the law firm of Morelli & Kaczmarek are Nick Morelli, an earnest, hard-charging attorney who represents his clients to the best of his ability, no matter how big or small the case; and his partner, Pete Kaczmarek, whose passion for the law is matched only by his love of fast cars, beautiful women and expensive clothes. Joining them in their growing law practice is new associate Lisa Tyler, an enthusiastic young attorney looking to put her exotic dancing days behind her; and their young assistant, Zoe Waters, a spunky and sweet ingénue who is eager to please her bosses. While Lady Luck shines on their legal careers, the partners have their hands full when it comes to their personal lives. With Pete busy cruising the Vegas Strip for his latest romantic conquest, Nick is focused on repairing a fractured marriage to his estranged wife and remaining present in the life of their young son. No matter the offense, Nick and Pete aim to prove that when the stakes are high, they’re willing to bet the house on the clients they defend in Sin City. – CBS 

Shawn:     I have to keep reminding myself that I am sick of legal procedurals and why but then I get dragged right back in by shows like The Defenders starring Jim Belushi (According to Jim) and Jerry O’Connell (Sliders) who star as a couple of working-stiff lawyers here in my city, Las Vegas.  Here’s the thing, I’m not going to be watching this show because I expect it be some fantastic weekly legal thriller, on the contrary, I expect that part of the show to be clichéd as every other legal show.  No, I’m watching because I like Belushi and O’Connell and after seeing the trailers and interviews associated with this show, I think I like these characters.  Again, how relatable the characters are can make or break a series.  Truthfully, this show doesn’t have to be about lawyers, it could have been about cops, plumbers, copier salesmen, the Mexicans on The Strip shoving the cards in your four-year old’s face offering hookers direct to you hotel room… whatever.  It doesn’t matter because this is a buddy-[insert profession here] show and nothing more and this could work with Belushi as the comedian and O’Connell as the straight man.  I think I’ll need to watch the first few episodes to get a handle on whether this show is worth hanging on to, but I will say this:  if they start that crap like they do on CSI of randomly mentioning streets and neighborhoods in Las Vegas without any actual resemblance to where these landmarks truly are geographically-speaking, I will shut it off. 

(EDIT: I completely forgot to include in ‘Terriers.’  Sorry about that. )

F/X:     Terriers – September 8, 2010 (NEW SERIES)

Donal Logue plays Hank, an ex-cop who partners with his best friend to launch a P.I. business. The duo solve crimes while trying to avoid danger and responsibility.

Shawn:     Terriers is a very good show and I’ve already done a full review on it, here.  You can also watch full episodes of Terriers, here.

NBC:     Law & Order: Los Angeles – September 29, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

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

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.

NEXT: Thursdays

 

 

‘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!).