Review – The Glades
The Glades – A&E – 10:00/9:00pm Sunday – USA
Whenever a fellow countryman scores a job it always instils in you bit of pride. Look at that Aussie actor, I saw him back in the day on McLeod’s Daughters and now he’s fronting his very own cable network detective series. So please believe me when I say that it gives me no pleasure whatsoever to let you know that Aussie actor Matt Passmore delivers the single most horrible performance of the year. Passmore’s Jim Longworth isn’t just a bad character, but he’s a character so god-awful and grating that he makes The Glades almost impossible to sit through.
The Glades itself is a brand new detective series from A&E, the network that brought the world such cultural touchstones as Dog The Bounty Hunger and Criss Angel Mindfreak. The Glades follows around Detective Jim Longworth as he solves crimes in South Florida, which means we’ll be treated to lots of shots of swamps, and golf courses, and pretty beaches. None of this matters though, because the character of Jim Longworth is such an irritating lead that if you survive the first ad break I’d be surprised.
Jim Longworth is the latest in a long line of leading characters in TV series that just doesn’t know when to shut up. The sort of guy who doesn’t play by the rules, frustrates his co-workers and always has that smarmy look of self-satisfaction when he does things “his way.” The sort of guy whom if you knew him in real life you’d call him an asshole, but because this is TV he’s our hero. It’s not just me who grew tired of Jim’s smug antics, every single other character in The Glades mentioned to Jim how annoying he was. The official Glades website describes him as “hard to get along with” – they don’t know the half of it. His golf partner is endlessly frustrated with him, his prospective girlfriend gives up trying to stop his advances and just agrees to date him, and his partner (spoiler alert, not that you’d need it because you shouldn’t watch this show) actually kills his wife after she left him because, and this is quite seriously the reason, she got sick of him bitching about Jim.
If murder is being committed because of how annoying Jim is, how does anybody expect us to sit around and watch this guy solve predictable crimes every week? A douchey hero is expected to some degree, because watching a mope who plays by the rules and gets the job done in his own time isn’t as much fun as watching a maverick, but The Glades completely miscalculates that idea and instead of just making him a maverick they make him a dick who’s so full of his own importance that when the final confrontation with his partner happens and his partner holds a gun to Jim’s head and Jim still has the audacity to say “I’m just a better cop than you” I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who screamed “JUST SHOOT HIM!” at the TV.
Jim Longworth is a narcissistic prick with seemingly has no internal monologue, because every stupid thought that appears in his head just bursts right out of his mouth. Now I’m going to present you with an everyday situation and then place Jim Longworth in that situation. This is what going through the drive-thru with Jim Longworth would be like. You’re driving the car and Jim is sitting in the passenger seat, probably holding a golf club, cause he’s quirky and does things like that.
You: I’m getting the Big Mac, what are you going to get?
Jim: What am I going to get? What am I going to get? How about this, how about I just eat your burger when you order it, hmm?
You: Just pick something off the menu.
Jim: I just did, didn’t I?
McDonalds Girl: May I take your order.
You: We’re here, what do you want?
Jim: Nothing. I don’t want anything.
(Jim gets up and walks out of the car around to the window to talk to the McDonalds girl)
Jim: How’s it going? Bit of a busy day, don’t you think? My friend here wants a Big Mac, I was wondering if you could make that for him?
You: What are you doing, Jim? I was just about to order. Get back in the car, why can’t you just play by the rules.
(Jim now jumps up on the counter window to talk to the girl, despite the fact he’s being a massive asshole the girl now seems interested in him.)
Girl: I’ll get right on that.
(She smiles, he gives her a wink. Seconds later she returns with the Big Mac.)
(Jim gets back in the car.)
You: Why do you always do shit like that?
Jim: What? You got your Big Mac, didn’t you?
You: Can I have it now?
Jim (a mouth full of your Big Mac): Oops. Sorry. I already ate it. Too bad.
Now imagine that scenario stretched out for an hour and replace the ordering of a Big Mac with his approach to detective work, and replace yourself with every single character Jim interacts with in this show.
There are three people who should be banned from television for creating such an awful character and for not one of them stopping the others from going too far. Writer Clifton Campbell, for putting every obnoxious line of dialogue down on paper, Matt Passmore, for not reigning in his performance with even a hint of self-deprecation, and director Peter O’Fallon who let the pair of them run amuck with a character who, if he existed in the real world, would be punched in the face every day of his life. Jim Longworth is an unrepentant asshole who gets everything right, has everything go right for him, has women inexplicably faun over him, puts all of his friends and co-workers offside, and by basing a show around him The Glades has rendered itself completely unwatchable.
Good, Alright, Bad Or Ugly?