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.
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.)
The star, Matt Passmore, looks just like old friend, law-enforcement-officer-turned-actor-writer-producer Chriss Anglin.
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.)
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.”
Here at TVWriter™ we’re in thrall to two things. Television writing and DOCTOR WHO. Well, maybe three things. TV writing, DOCTOR WHO, and tequila. Well, maybe four things. TV writing, DOCTOR WHO, tequila, and all the good times that come along with tequila. Well, maybe five–
You get the picture. We luvs us our Doctor, in all his forms, which is why this is, quite simply, magic:
Over the weekend Neela Debnath attended the Collectormania convention in Milton Keynes where five of the actors who played the Doctor were present. Colin Baker, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy answered questions from fans about their time on the show…
Would you be interested in coming back next year for the 50th anniversary?
Tom Baker: Well, if they ask me nicely or I could see what they wanted me to do I would consider it because I think the fans have been so good to me, they expect me at least to make an appearance so of course I would consider that. If it was something witty but I would want to know what the detail of the scene was or what I was supposed to do. I just don’t want to be paraded through as some shagged out old icon of the last century. It’s too much of a source of happiness. I was never really happy until I became Doctor Who. At the same time although, it’s the loveliest job I ever had, it essentially killed my career stone dead because I suddenly realised I liked being Doctor Who more than anything that had ever happened to me. So when I went to play Macbeth the audience wanted me to play Macbeth in the style of Doctor Who and naturally I did. Afterwards a critic said ‘I had no idea how nice Macbeth was’. So I realised then that the people coming to see me – people like you – didn’t want to see me playing Jack the Ripper or whatever it was. So when I went to Ireland to play Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty in the same play, they were absolutely baffled because they were absolutely interchangeable, my reason being the same person, really. So that was another failure, a glorious failure.
COLIN BAKER, PETER DAVISON, PAUL MCGANN AND SYLVESTER MCCOY ENTER THE ROOM