Another day, another cocky, good-looking, maverick TV detective in another out-of-the-way town. This time we are in South Florida, for "The Glades," premiering Sunday on A&E. That network has not produced much original scripted drama, but with mysteries taking off all over basic cable — "The Glades" is created by Clifton Campbell from USA's "White Collar," with Gary Randall, from TNT's "Saving Grace" as an executive producer — it must have seemed like a smart investment; and the show they've delivered is an accomplished if occasionally vexing affair.
Matt Passmore plays Jim Longworth — sounds like "Jim Rockford" to me — a former Chicago policeman who moved south after being shot by his captain. (It was a case of mistaken adultery.) Longworth has taken his settlement and settled in fictional Palm Glades, where he has joined the local branch of the state police, a job he hopes will not interfere with his golf. (When he's called away in the middle of a round to assess a headless corpse, he declares his ball a crime scene not to be disturbed.) "Trust me," he says, "if it ever gets too busy or dangerous, I'm out of here."
As the show opens, he's still sort of new in town, although not so new that he hasn't already made an enemy of his partner and a pal of the medical examiner, Carlos Sanchez (Carlós Gomez). Apart from not playing by the rules — "Unorthodox? Try nuts!" cries Carlos when Jim wants to cut open an alligator to find that missing head — his signal quality is that, in his talkative self-confidence, he is kind of irritating. Not pathologically obnoxious, like old Doc House — more like someone that might have annoyed you in high school, a little too handsome for his own good, a little too smart for yours. But, though he is meant to be irritating in a charming way, irritating is still irritating.