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Can't stop this 'Glades' cop - from talking

From left, Jordan Wall, Matt Passmore and Carlos

From left, Jordan Wall, Matt Passmore and Carlos Gomez rehearse for an episode of "The Glades" in Pembroke Park, Fla., Thursday, June 17, 2010. Credit: AP Photo

THE SHOW "The Glades"

WHAT IT'S ABOUT A jungle scene unfolds before the camera, which pulls back to reveal a verdant pond surrounded by bromeliads and palms when - ugh - a headless, armless torso floats into view. Pull back a little farther, and there's the skyline of Miami. Call goes out to Jim Longworth (Passmore) of the Miami PD, who is bright, annoying, chatty, arrogant and endlessly inquisitive: "There isn't much about murder I don't know or can't figure out if I just keep asking the right questions," he says.

Bingo! That's Jim, who keeps asking and asking and, in the process, drives many people nuts. (He left the Chicago police department under questionable circumstances - shot in the gluteus maximus by a police captain who erroneously suspected he had slept with his wife.) Longworth does have a way of grating - his own partner, Mike Ogletree (John Carroll Lynch) can't stand him, while a nurse (Kiele Sanchez, well known to "Lost" fans as Nikki) that he keeps hitting on wants to avoid him as well.

MY SAY The biggest mystery about "The Glades" isn't the unfortunate headless torso but the lead actor, Passmore. Who is this guy? Virtually unknown on this side of the pond - the Pacific pond, that is - Passmore is an Australian actor with evident skills and mastery of the type of American accent as bland as a McD's milkshake. He seems like someone you've seen before, and when you break apart his gestalt you start to recognize all sorts of influences.

He looks a bit like one famous Aussie (Rod Taylor), sounds vaguely like another (Mel Gibson) and has flourishes of someone who has never even been Down Under, for all I know (George Clooney). All this is to say, simply, that Passmore is an intriguing screen presence who holds a well-constructed if otherwise boilerplate cop show together.

BOTTOM LINE A&E is getting back into the drama game with a cop show that feels like it arrived at the wrong address - this could almost be a companion to USA's "Burn Notice" - but Passmore has plenty of potential.


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