Monday, August 26, 2013

How to write an episode of "The Glades"

The Glades is a show on A&E starring Australian Matt Passmore as American Jim Longworth, Kiele Sanchez as love interest Callie Cargill, Carlos Gomez as Carlos Sanchez (because it is hard to come up with Hispanic names), and other people who aren't relevant to this post. The series began in 2010, and I started following due to personal dynamics. Longworth was a Chicago cop who was forced to transfer after problems in his original police department, putting a wise cracking police officer into the laid back Southern Florida sunshine, a classic fish out of water meets police procedural. In addition, Longworth meets Callie, a nurse who has a kid and a husband sitting in jail. The charm of the show was watching Longworth find his feet in a new neighborhood as a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) while also exploring the romantic tension between he and Callie.

Now into it's fourth season, I think I've lost interest in the show, and perhaps the show has lost interest in itself. The conflicts just seem to be shoehorned in now (Jim and Callie can't agree on a wedding date! Jim's estranged father shows up!), but worse yet, the plots go by a clearly defined pattern which never shows deviation. Sometimes the plots are interesting, but at this point, I doubt I'm going to finish out the season. With six episodes in my DVR, so I want to give another six hours of my life to this show? Especially when I have so few hours left in my life? Surely I have to catch up with Breaking Bad.

Anyway, if you are an aspiring Hollywood writer and would like a job working for The Glades, just follow this story structure and you will be set:

Opening showing two strangers finding a dead body
Jim and Carlos are on the scene examining the corpse
Jim rounds up exactly three suspects, is completely disrespectful towards all of them
A problem arises involving Jim and/or Callie's personal life
Jim bounces back and forth between the three suspects
Every suspect is accused of murder each time Jim sees them
Jim begins arresting and releasing his suspects
Jim and/or Callie resolve their issue
Lab analysis or bank record reveals critic clue
After repeated trial and error, Jim finds the real murderer
Murderer confesses, explains crime without asking for attorney
Two FDLE cops show up to arrest murderer
Wrap up of episode


Gorilla Bananas said...

Episodes of Columbo were equally formulaic, but I doubt this show is as good. If you're in the mood for something English, try Saxondale starring Steve Coogan (on DVD).

ChrisV82 said...

I've been watching a lot of (Inspector) Lewis, which I think has helped to turn me off to lazy detective shows. I will check out Saxondale.