It could be said that Florida is a strange place, with strange wildlife (gators, giant snakes, panthers, manatees ), some strange people and definitely more than a few strange crimes. You could even say it to Florida native and TV writer/producer Clifton Campbell, creator of the A&E Network series "The Glades," premiering Sunday, July 11, and he wouldn't disagree.
"There's a weird, off-speed criminality that happens in Florida," Campbell says. "When we got A&E in on developing this into the series it has become, a lot of the conversation was, 'It seems like every aberrant crime that happens, it happens in Florida, or someone has fled to Florida.' "
As to why this is, Campbell says, "I can't put my finger on it. I grew up around it, so I'm used to it. It wasn't until I got out in the world and talked to people about where I'm from, and they'd go, 'That's a weird place, isn't it?' 'I guess it is.' "
In "The Glades," Australian actor Matt Passmore stars as Jim Longworth, a newcomer to the Sunshine State.Previously a homicide detective in Chicago who was unjustly accused of a dalliance with his former captain's wife, he decided to head to warmer climes, where he could pursue his love of golf.
He now lives in the fictional town of Palm Glade and works for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as a detective, and in between tee times, takes up the occasional crime in his own idiosyncratic way.
And the murders just keep coming. Each time, Longworth reluctantly leaves the golf course and pesters people until he gets to the truth.
"There's something extremely liberating," Passmore says, "about a guy who doesn't give a toss what people think about him, as long as he gets the job done."
Getting the job done is what got Longworth hired by his new boss, FDLE Regional Director Colleen Manus (Michelle Hurd), who is immune to his easygoing charm, as are his erstwhile partner, medical examiner Carlos Sanchez (Carlos Gomez) and medical student Callie Cargill (Kiele Sanchez), a single mom dealing with a 12-year-old son (Uriah Shelton) whose father is in prison.
"When he meets Callie," Campbell says, "he realizes he's got a real foil in her. That's part of her charm."