(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 Cape’ (NBC – Monday, 9:00 p.m.)

“The Cape” is a one-hour drama series starring David Lyons (“ER”) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, “Life on Mars”) and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, “Flash Forward”). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Vince Faraday becomes “The Cape” – his son’s favorite comic book superhero – and takes the law into his own hands.

Rounding out the cast are James Frain (“The Tudors”) as billionaire Peter Fleming, The Cape’s nemesis who moonlights as the twisted killer Chess; Keith David (“Death at a Funeral”) as Max Milani, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape; Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City; Dorian Missick (“Six Degrees”) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday; Martin Klebba (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) as Rollo, member and unassuming muscle of the circus gang of bank robbers; and Vinnie Jones (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) as Scales, resident thug and cohort of The Cape’s nemesis Chess. – NBC

7 out of 10

*Sigh*

Let’s us start by saying that the relatively high rating that we’ve given The Cape of a “7” is a very qualified “7” and we kind of had to convince ourselves that it was worth the rating. The problem for us in reviewing The Cape is despite its glaring flaws and no matter how much we wanted to give it a rating of about a 5 or 6, we kept coming back to the fact that we really liked it. That being said, if it starts getting stupid, we reserve to take back that VERY generous rating.

Here’s the thing about The Cape: it’s exciting, it is literally a comic book come-to-life, and it’s very well-produced. The problem is that there is nothing original about it at all.

EVERYTHING is a conglomeration of other comic book/superhero and genre story lines and to make it worse, it rips-off elements from the more modern incarnations (see: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan’s Batman, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, The Punisher, Robocop, Superman and, yes, even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… to name a few). Now, we’re not suggesting that they use these elements badly, but it’s such an obvious copy-and-paste that you can’t help but notice and cringe… a lot. Hell, they even ripped-off Heroes which would seem like a bad idea considering that NBC just canceled that show.

(Extended Trailer)

Now, that’s the biggest issue with The Cape. The other more irksome issue is the absolute ridiculousness of the action sequences and the visual effects. They are way over-the-top and go beyond the level of, “Well, we’ll just have to suspend our disbelief.” We are personally sick and tired of standard bullets from sub-machine guns and pistols causing fuel tanks explode. Has no one in Hollywood watched Mythbusters?  The only way to make a fuel tank explode into a massive fireball is with with incendiary rounds…. and a FRAKKIN’ mini-gun.

Oh, and one more thing: a human being cannot survive a fall out of a 50 story building by using a car to break their fall. Do you now see why these sequences irk us?

Beyond those problems, though, we hate saying this but this show is a crap-load of fun and has a lot of potential to be one heck of a ride week after week if audiences are patient with it. The characters are pretty are well-developed and the performances are strong and believable and there’s enough complexities with them to flesh out some compelling story lines. It has more the feel of a summer blockbuster than it does a weekly prime-time drama.

What hurts The Cape is the aforementioned lack of originality. On its surface it doesn’t bring anything new to the table and this generation of audience is a fickle lot with genre in prime time. The Cape has a lot of potential to be a great show. Let’s just hope it becomes a great show that people want to tune in to.

Watch full episodes of The Cape, 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!).