THE GLADES is Back for Season 3


by Larry Brody

My wife Gwen the Beautiful and I have been enjoying A&E’s THE GLADES since its debut. For us, the series has two things going for it.

  1. It’s a cop show from the days they were cop shows instead of police procedurals, which means that although there are some unexpected twists  there’s also a light-hearted feeling that makes me glad to be watching. (As opposed to,  say, the plodding grimness of the CSIs, and the forced, usually unsuitable unclever repartee of the “Characters Welcome” shows on USA.)
  2. The star, Matt Passmore, looks just like old friend, law-enforcement-officer-turned-actor-writer-producer Chriss Anglin.

Not Matt Passmore

Last night we settled in to watch our DVR’d Season 3 opener and had a good time. This show goes especially well with tequila, and with 1800 anejo…ah. We were especially pleased to see that the spark has returned to the Jim Longworth-Callie Cargill relationship. (The hero and his honey, right.)

But–

The last time we watched the show they were barely speaking. Sure, the Season 2 finale ended with the beginning of a reapproachment, but in this episode they were in full-on lovers mode, grabbing each other by the hormones whenever and wherever they could.

Without the audience ever having been part of The Moment It Became Real.

You know what moment I’m talking about. It’s the one we all seek in that funny thing called Real Life…and remember forever. (Or, at least, until the Big Bad Permanent Break-Up That We Never Forget.)

This isn’t just frustrating. It’s a cop-out. A cheat. When I see things like this (and GLADES isn’t the only culprit here, is it, BONES fans?), in my head I hear the writers saying, “Hey, we’re clueless. We have no real-life experience in romance, only old movies. So bear with us, folks, cuz we just couldn’t think of a new, interesting way to write the realization and acceptance of love. Pretend you saw it. Pretend we did our job.”

With very few exceptions (MOONLIGHTING back in the day, CASTLE – yay! – just a few weeks ago), the rule on TV has been to keep the leads apart. Anger gets played onscreen, because anger = conflict, and conflict is what stories are all about. But the kind of love that grows into a powerful link between human beings has usually been treated as, simply, subtext. In fact, years ago, when I was doing otherwise highly satisfying and hugely successful (with critics if not always the audience), shows like POLICE STORY and MEDICAL STORY, Executive Producer David Gerber laid down a rule:

“Nobody in my shows says, ‘I love you.’ Ever. But if you have someone say, ‘I hate you,’ you’ll make me smile.”

That was 35 years ago.

Some things don’t change.

But they should.

About LB

Larry Brody has been profiled in such national magazines and websites as Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Starlog, People, Electronic Media, IndieSlate, TechTV, io9, and of course TV Guide.

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world, with a career going back to the late ’60s, Brody has written and produced literally thousands of hours of network and syndicated television.

Brody has also been active in the TV animation world, writing, creating, consulting, and/or supervising the cult favorite STAR TREK animated TV series, the SILVER SURFER, SPAWN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED animated series, and was showrunner of the French animated series, DIABOLIK, as well as part of the team that developed and wrote the live-action/cgi animation sci-fi series Ace Lightning for the BBC.

Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including – yes, it’s true – Emmys.

2 thoughts on “THE GLADES is Back for Season 3

  1. kathyfuller says:

    It’s so much easier to write hate than love. Thus the cop out. It takes a deft hand to write a scene where love reveals itself without coming off cheezy or schmaltzy. Or just plain stupid.

  2. LeeStewart says:

    I usually don’t care if the lead characters end up together, although it annoys me to see the “relationship thrashing” and the contrived excuses to keep two characters apart (I’m looking at you, CASTLE). I actually think THE GLADES is a better show when Jim and Callie are together, something I haven’t felt about with most programs. Let them bicker, but keep them together (could you imagine writing a Hepburn/Tracy movie where the two are mad and don’t talk to each other half of the script) and more importantly – keep them on screen to do their magic.

    If you want to see relationships being handled poorly, watch the last episode of season 3 of DROP DEAD DIVA and the first episode of season 4. I can’t tell if they were writing around some casting changes or if they had to cut some scenes to fit in more commercials. Either way, I have a remote control and plenty of other shows to watch…

Comments are closed.