by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here on the IndyBlog.
Didn’t the History Channel used to have only programs about, you know, history? I don’t have cable so I haven’t checked it out in forever, but, as far as I can tell, their Swamp People, a reality series following a group of tried ‘n true Cajuns on their daily gator hunts, has little or nothing to do with history. That nitpick aside, Swamp People is actually a fully engaging, dirty little romp on the bayou, one that supporters of PETA definitely need not tune in for. These guys make their living bagging and tagging Louisiana’s biggest and deadliest alligators, eating the meat, selling the skin and enjoying the oneness with nature, truly living off the land. It’s a form of self-reliance that seems to be looked down upon by modern society, but there is something so admirable in how these people live that you can’t help but want to emulate it. I know I do.
At first glance, A&E’s The Glades feels like a rip-off of FX’s Justified. And at second and third glance. But, at that fourth glance, the show really does begin to develop a likable style and rhythm of its own, making it a pretty sweet TV surprise. After getting shot by his boss in Chicago, detective Jim Longworth (Aussie Matt Passmore) relocates to sunny Florida, hoping to work on his golf swing. Of course, this being a weekly crime show, this never really happens as he’s constantly finding dead bodies and having to solve crimes. He’s got a quirky (but not quirky-annoying) team working with him, including a local medical student played by the intensely amiable Kiele Sanchez, who at any minute should break out and become a bigger star. She’s the heart of the show and every minute she’s on-screen one almost forgets every single Justified comparison. I’m really looking forward to season two. And I mean that, this time.
From Hawaii to Colorado, bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his criminal-busting clan are the closest thing that this country has to a real-life Justice League of America. They’re real costumed superheroes, bringing bail-jumpers to justice, preaching to the downtrodden to accept Jesus and stay off the “ice”, alleged racial slurs be damned! I could watch this show all day — and I have, numerous times — and this one-off collection celebrates the show’s crossing of the 200th episode, with episodes reiterating the show’s theme of family, love and forgiveness, no matter how dangerous the criminal. Most of the episodes involve domestic abuse and drugs in Hawaii, but the final episode features the crew tracking down a felon with no picture, but thanks to the Orwellian specter of Facebook, they end up tailing the dude in Colorado Springs. I’m pretty sure the Indy offices were in the background of one scene, which gave me a bit of a thrill.