Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Glades: The Complete First Season DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Recently renewed for its second season, “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.

Film (4 out of 5 stars)

Well, turns out is it kind of a CSI Miami rip-off, only better.  I will gladly stop watching CSI Miami and start watching The Glades in the future.  Each episode centers around a single murder, but the main character Jim Longworth (Matt Passmoore) is charming, handsome and much more interesting than CSI Miami’s leading man Horatio Caine.   As the opening narration explains, Detective Longworth had a promising career in Chicago but he doesn’t always play well with others and a misunderstanding with his boss led him to Florida.   During season one, we learn that the misunderstanding involved the boss thinking Jim slept with his wife, for which he shot him.  

A nice settlement has Jim living better than the usual member of the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement).  The episodes are stand alones, with cases being wrapped up by the end, but there is a possible romance between Jim Longworth and Callie Cargill (Kiele Sanchez) that plays out all season long. Callie has a teenage son, a husband in prison, and provides helpful insight to Jim’s cases while putting herself through medical school.  Anyone could jump in at any episode and figure out what’s going on you just wouldn’t have all the background on Jim and Callie, or understand all the frustrations of Jim’s partner Carlos, the medical examiner.

The Glades Season One contains the following episodes:

1.  Pilot – A dismembered torso is discovered by a young couple who have spent the night in their car. 

2.  A Bird in the Hand – Jim takes Callie’s son to a restricted area to look for bugs and they find a plane and a body which leads them to a bird smuggling ring. 

3.  A Perfect Storm – During a Hurricane, there are multiple murders all tied to one high school class reunion. 

4.  Mucked Up – A body is found in the sugar cane field and Jim is introduced to the world of the Muck Bowl. 

5.  The Girlfriend Experience – A cat wanders into a condo and finds a body which leads Jim to learn about girlfriends for hire. 

6.  Doppleganger – A man witnesses a murder, gets hit on the head during the attack and describes the attacker as looking just like himself. 

7.  Cassadaga – A murder occurs in a town full of psychics and mediums. 

8.  Marriage is Murder – A divorce attorney is the murder victim whose body is found next to an ice machine by a married couple in the midst of their own affair. 

9.  Honey – A body falls through the glass skylight at an Indian casino and Jim has to cooperate with the investigators on the reservation. 

10. Second Chance – A pool cleaner finds a body floating in the pool. Callie is once again useful with information about the world of horses. 

11. Booty – The murder victim was famous for finding a shipwreck and sunken treasure. 

12. Exposed – A senator is having an affair and his girlfriend is fine in the elevator leaving their hotel and dead on the sidewalk. 

13. Breaking 80 – A golfer looking for his ball finds a man barely alive who later dies. Jim hopes to finally break 80 in his own golf game.

With each episode, my crush on Matt Passmore.  He’s even cuter when you watch the special features and hear him talk in his native Australian accent.  I like that each episode is basically a stand-alone.  The parts of the show that are a running story line are Jim’s relationship with Callie and his friendship with Carlos.  You can always figure out what is happening in any episode.  I like that because I don’t always remember what happened in previous episodes so this makes the show even more appealing to me.

Special Features (4 out of 5 stars)

I enjoyed watching the special features as much as the show.  The behind the scenes footage and information about how they cast the different roles was more interesting than I expected. As always, I’m happy to see a gag reel.  Every movie and television show must have a lot of funny footage but not enough DVDs and Blu-rays have them.  The following special features are spread out over discs one and two:
  • Deleted Scenes – numerous deleted scenes on discs one and two.  The scenes were interesting additions, but nothing that shouldn’t have been edited out.
  • Audio commentary on selected episodes - I particularly enjoyed the pilot commentary with Clifton Campbell and Matt Passmore.  -
  • Sunshine State of Mind:  Casting the Glades.  Interviews discussing casting the roles of the primary actors.
  • Gag Reel – a blooper reel, showing that the cast has a lot of laughs during filming.

Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Glades Season 1 is presented on DVD in widescreen 1.78:1 ratio.  My main complaint is that it is not on Blu ray.  This is a fairly good transfer for a television show.  Detail is good and flesh tones are consistent.  The coloring is well done and each location has a very unique feel to it.

Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

The Glades Season One is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 with available English SDH.  Again, only on DVD the sound quality is far from spectacular but it’s good enough.  The dialogue is even and consistent throughout, which is the most important feature in my opinion. 

Final Thoughts (4 out of 5 stars)

"The Glades" has pleasantly surprised me.  It was a show I never knew I was missing, and now I can’t wait for the release of Season 2 so I can see more.  It’s a witty entertaining show and its star is very charming.  They could shout “FDLE” (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) a little less.  I could see how people would rip the show apart as not being all together plausible, but I caution not to think too hard about the small details and just enjoy the show.

Order your copy today!

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