Look, Florida has some things going for it. We’ve got some great beaches that, despite BP managing to kill a lot of the wildlife in, still look good in vacation photos. Besides, less sea life means those of you afraid of swimming with fish have a lot less to worry about. Those of you who like eating fish, well, sorry. We’ll import some for you from Thailand. Anyway, we’ve got some good restaurants – with fish! from Thailand! We’re got some roller coasters and an mouse with an inflated head and ego. We’ve got a swap meet that is somehow a tourist attraction unto itself and a mall that’s…look, people, it’s a mall. I don’t get it. Night life. Chicks in bikinis. Sand in your shorts. Check, check, check.
What we don’t have is what one might call a “thriving economy.” Aside from tourism, our only other real industry was real estate. Specifically, developing more and more of the swamp; building roads and TGIFridays further and further west for all the people out in the swamp; fixing the roofs on the places along the coast; throwing up overpriced condos designed to look like warehouse lofts from the 1890s; sticking pools everywhere. And the real estate market here took a nosedive off the high board down at the swimming hall of fame while the rest of the country was still climbing the ladder.
So, if The Glades (and Burn Notice and Rock of Ages and…) want to film down here? Terrific. Awesome. Absolutely. Except, most of those film down in Miami-Dade. You know, cause it has a lot of glitz and glamor and models. I’m kind of over the glitz and glamor stuff. It’s all superficial and most of those models are of the scratch and dent variety.
Which is what I like about The Glades. They spend a lot of time shooting in dive bars and state parks and even did some stuff in Pompano. Pompano is about as glamorous as a trailer park. Sure, it’s cheesy. A lot of Florida’s cheesy. (Giant Mouse, remember? Swap Shop, remember?) For every model, there’s three dozen old ladies at Wal-Mart dressed in their Wal-Mart best. For every flashy drug dealer, there’s four dozen street-level teenagers in baggy pants flunking out of middle school. We have more swamps than golf courses. More wildlife than nightlife.
So, if for no other reason than they’re helping the local economy a little, buying burgers and renting stuff from local surf shops and paying local extras to hold warm beer bottles in the background…I applaud them. For showing another side of Florida (and doing it well enough to get a third season, unlike a lot of the “quirky FL” shows before – Maximum Bob comes to mind)…standing ovation.
(In other TV news, I finally got around to seeing the last season of In Plain Sight, and hell yeah to them not fucking up the relationship between the leads.)