Opening Statement

Slightly cynical expat cop dodges bullets and gators in Florida.



Continuing with the recent (accidental) Florida theme is the show The Glades.


The show stars Matt Passmore as Jim Longworth, A Chi-town PD cop who through no fault of his own (shot in the butt by his superior and pensioned out of the CPD), ends up working in a place somewhat more Tropical. Specifically the Florida State Police.


The show opens with Jim expecting a nice, quiet retirement when a particularly nasty murder lands in his lap. His detecting skills are noticed and he soon becomes the go to guy for dealing with nasty cases.


the glades retirement robert odierna mug photo.jpg

The show features the usual criminals you’d expect, drug runners, serial killers, kidnappers. Plus a few threats unique to Florida such as alligators and hurricanes. There are also a few curve balls such as an episode where a UFO conspiracy theorist is murdered in a distinctly other-worldly fashion.


the glades gator robert odierna mug photo
Watch out for the local wildlife

The show manages to combine police procedural mystery with a distinctly loopy humor of its own. The typical morbid police humor is present along with Jim’s own smart aleck view of life.

the glades detective jim longworth robert odierna mug photo
Not the most conventional cop

Also good for laughs is the slightly crazy pathologist (Is there any other kind of pathologist in a modern mystery series?) Carlos Sanchez.

the glades autopsy robert odierna mug photo

the glades carlos robert odierna mug photo
Is every cop show pathologist a whack job?

The feel of the show is distinctly different from Miami Vice, less emphasis on cool looks, big cities and Columbian drug lords. Many of the episodes are centered in rural southern Florida and in suburban areas away from the cities. This was a good call on the part of the show’s producers because any show based in Florida will inevitably be compared to Miami Vice.


A positive aspect of the series is that it balances forensics with solid police procedure. Unlike certain other modern shows, circumstantial forensic evidence isn’t elevated to science fiction levels.


One issue I did have with the series is the recurring story line with Jim’s love interest, nurse and med student Callie. There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of chemistry between the leads and the relationship is a complicated on again off again thing that seems to be based on what the show’s writers need it to be this week.


the glades callie robert odierna mug photo
Callie, let’s hope her relationship skills are better than her bedside manner.

Further complicating this is the fact that several other characters have much better chemistry with Jim and are moved out of the show in various contrived ways because they become a threat to Callie’s relationship with Jim. I understand the reluctance to have the main character in a series in a long term relationship too early. But this one was handled very badly at times.



Verdict 3 Gavels out of 5

Fairly entertaining police drama about an unconventional doesn’t play well with others cop and the people who have to deal with him. A few story hiccups every now and then but not fatal to the show.


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