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The Glades Knows: Florida Is Weird

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I suppose it’s a sign of my TV-watching desperation how excited I am about the beginning of Season 2 of The Glades on A&E June 5. It doesn’t make me cry, and, of course, it is TV, so any genuineness can be only relative. But I like it because it’s actually filmed in Florida. In the first season, we got a lot of swamp and golf courses, some orange trees and swimming pools, and one hurricane. It really does look like Florida… because it is Florida! Even though a lot of the sets are in a warehouse… As I said, only so genuine. But it is even partly about just how weird Florida is, and Florida is demonstrably and truly weird.

But back to The Glades, which is quirky in other ways, too. It’s a crime comedy, for one thing, and the main character’s personality is caustic. In the first episode, Jim Longworth keeps telling his new partner what a bad cop he is, and he eventually catches his partner in murder. So a guy we thought was set up to be a constant by first show’s end was gone.

I also like the fact that there’s a kid who is a real character, not just some background contrast to all the evil of the crime world the way the kids and families are in so many earnest procedurals. I get very tired of the message that the only people you can count on are the ones you work with. (I mean, really.) And the message that families are just problems in the background. So the foregrounding of a family situation seems good to me.

And, by the end of the first season, the longing between Jim and his love interest, the married-to-a-convict Callie, has been consummated. How refreshing! The Hollywood tradition of season after season of the main couple staring chastely into each others’ eyes is broken. The main character’s love interest cheats on her husband, and it’s not something we condemn her for because the situation is complicated. Good and evil are all entwined. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Of course, they are bringing her husband home from prison. Maybe that will be tear- or at least cringe-worthy.

Callie’s husband, Ray, by the way, is played with the perfect Southern redneck demeanor by Alabama native Clayne Crawford. He was good as pure evil in his recent 24 role, and he’s even more perfect here with a creepy possessive gentleness with just a bit of threat around the edges. He totally reminds me of real violent felons I’ve met. (Just kidding.)

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