Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore) is a homicide detective from Chicago, who doesn't like to play by the rules. He has his own way of doing things and it earned him a ticket out of town. He relocated to the Florida Everglades, expecting quiet days at work and weekends of golf in the sun, but murder happens everywhere. Each week Longworth finds unique homicides and ends up doing battle with everyone from deranged soccer moms to international drug smugglers, as he tries to keep the people of Florida safe.
One of the main focuses of the show is Jim's feelings for a nurse/medical student Callie (Kiele Sanchez), who often gets involved in his cases. Jim has become a mentor to her young son, Jeff (Uriah Shelton) and would love to be with Callie, but she can never seem to finalize her divorce or balance her life. It is a recurring theme throughout the series that never seems to get resolved and becomes unbelievably frustrating after 50 episodes of the same thing.
The show always starts with a crime, Jim investigates, jokes with the medical examiner and geeky forensic guy, and then works the case at the same time doing his back and fourth with Callie and Jeff, and that's it! There were never any recurring storylines, never any changes, nothing to keep people interested from season to season! How about a cliffhanger or a ballbuster of a new boss? Maybe someone should have gotten shot and their future left up in the air? Ever heard of a serial killer? There was never anything but the current case. The comedy was always there and at first the back and fourth with Jim and Callie was great, but when you're doing the same thing four years later, who cares already?
The bottom line, this was a show that had potential, I liked the characters, the setting was fairly unique, and there were a couple of really talented new faces associated with this show. However, The Glades was happy with the status quo and didn't take any risks of any kind. It quickly grew stale, the ratings dropped, and now it's just another failed forgotten cop show streaming on Netflix.
I understand why A&E chose to take a show from overseas, Americanize it, and market it as their next big hit, but why the Returned? This idea has been done to death, both in movies and on TV, and while the show is critically acclaimed, the ratings for the overseas version were terrible, the show was cancelled after it's second season. If no one is watching it over there, why did they think anyone would watch it over here?
The returned takes place in a small Northwestern town, where one day, out of the blue, people who have been dead, some for decades, start showing up back at home with no memory of being gone at all. Each episode is broken up into sections that follow specific individuals and their interactions with their loved ones and society. There is also of course the police and investigative angle to the whole thing, and an unsolved crime thrown into the mix, in order to try and keep viewers coming back each week.
Funny thing is, I wasn't all that crazy about this episode of the Twilight Zone. It was a little better when The X-Files did it. The 4400 added beings from the future and turned it into a series that quickly ran out of storyline and fizzled out, and now we have The Returned. This isn't an original idea, far from it, and the fact that it takes place in the same location as the 4400 is completely laughable.
The cast has a few standouts that made the show a bit less tiresome, Mark Pellegrino is always fun to watch, as you never can figure out if he's a good guy or a bad one. We're also introduced to a new young actor in the form of Dylan Kingwell. He doesn't say much, but his character is honestly one of the most fascinating mysteries of the whole show.
The bottom line is that this show is a complete rip off of other ideas and there is really very little here to keep the viewers interested. The boys story turned out to be really cool, The murder investigation was interesting but under utilized, and there were a few cast members I enjoyed. Otherwise the writing was terrible and parts of this show were just painfully slow. There are some terrific overseas shows that no one has even mentioned bringing over here, why they chose this one, I'll never know.
The series started with a bang, a big one, as terrorist blew up New York's Penn Station and immediately blamed for it, an FBI agent of middle eastern decent, Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra). She's an introverted person, and she knows she's been set up, by the only people who could have, one of her classmates from her time at the FBI academy at Quantico, she graduated from a year earlier. From there, each episode is a mix of Alex on the run in real time, trying to figure out who set her up and flashbacks to her time at the academy, showing her interacting with her classmates as she tries to remember anything she may have missed.
TV shows just aren't written this well, it just doesn't happen, and when it does, it's usually in a ten episode cable series. I have never seen a network show that was this clever and gripping. Aside from the writing, Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra, made the leap to Hollywood in a way that hasn't been done before. While Bollywood is just as big as Hollywood, it's biggest stars have never enjoyed the same success stateside, until now. She was beyond impressive and regardless of what happens with Quantico, has a bright future ahead of her.
Season two just started streaming and it's next up on my list, but like many, I am beyond curious about what could possibly happen next. For better or worse, the mystery was solved in season one, at least that's what we believe. What could possibly be left for season two? We saw them graduate the academy and we saw the end of the case, supposedly (I'm still a bit skeptical), where does the series go for here. Quantico always struck me as that series that was one hell of an idea, but if it succeeded, and it did, how does one keep the story going and keep it going with the same intensity? Similar shows with big ideas and tremendous first seasons like The Killing, The Riches, Under The Dome, and Wayward Pines quickly fizzled out. Will that ultimately be the fate of Quantico, or will it stand the test of time?
Luke Cage was in prison for a crime he didn't commit, the victim of a horrifying experiment that left him with super strength and unbreakable skin. Unlike the other superheroes, Luke doesn't want to be a hero, he just wants to live a normal life in obscurity, in his Harlem neighborhood content with working in a barber shop. What Luke can't stand though is seeing injustice, when he knows that he is capable of doing something about it. When he finally decides to take a stand, all hell breaks loose.
What I find odd is how everyone is talking about Wonder Woman. How it's more than time we had a strong female superhero and how great the film was, but no one mentioned the fact that it's about time we had a strong African-American superhero too. What's more is that his story was completely original and more realistic than any other superhero film or TV show I've ever seen! Luke Cage isn't a blind attorney who somehow sees everything. He's not fighting some ridiculous weird purple mist, and he's not some samurai who thinks he's a God, Luke Cage is just a man, who is fighting gangsters and corrupt politicians.
Mike Colter is the star of the show and he just has this way about him that is infectious and makes you want to follow him. He couldn't be more perfect for this role, as he's laid back most of the time until he's not and then watch out. As for his co-stars, the stand out among them is recent Academy Award winner, Mahershala Ali. I said it years ago when I reviewed his awful show, the 4400, and I've repeated it every time I've seen him since, this guy is outstanding! Ali is one of the best actors, who until last year, nobody knew existed. Every single thing he is in, is that much better because of it, and I am thoroughly entertained every single time I watch him. His portrayal of the gangster Cottonmouth, was the best villain I've seen in a superhero themed project since Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.
The bottom line, Luke Cage IS a real life superhero. To date there has never been anything in the genre, even close to being as real or as honest as this. Luke Cage is unique, dynamic, and exciting, as well as being the best written out of any superhero show that I've ever seen. Marvel didn't just hit a home run with Luke Cage, they hit a grand slam!