Television
 

The Closer

Aired on: TNT


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            On June 8, 2009, I sat down to watch the season premier of The Closer on TNT and thought to myself - Hey, The Closer is starting its fifth season, just like G-POP.net!  What a coincidence!  And what better time to write a review about the show than on G-POP.netís fifth volume opener!

            The Closer stars Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson who has left her job as a police detective in Georgia to become Deputy Chief in charge of The Priority Homicide Division (now Major Crimes Division) of the Los Angeles Police Department.  As Brenda deals with the jealous needling of Commander Russell Taylor (Robert Gossett) and the distraction of a personal life with FBI Agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney), she must constantly stay on top of her team of detectives who donít always get along as well as they should.  Her boss, Assistant Chief Will Pope   (J. K. Simmons) has a long history with Deputy Chief Johnson, one that goes all the way back to time spent working with the CIA in Washington, D.C. and causes further complications in both her professional and personal life. 

            Deputy Chief Johnsonís skill as an investigator and master interrogator earns the respect of her team and inspires them to follow her leadership, however quirky her tactics.  Often times cases seem impossible to solve until something in Brendaís mind clicks and a tricky investigation turns into a cake walk upon interrogation.

            Brendaís team consists of former Robbery-Homicide Division members Detective Sergeant David Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) and Detective Lieutenant Andy Flynn (Tony Denison), computer and electronics specialist Detective Lieutenant Michael Tao (Michael Paul Chan), senior member and resident grump Detective Lieutenant Provenza (G. W. Bailey), gang specialist Detective Julio Sanchez (Raymond Cruz), forensic accounting specialist Detective Irene Daniels (Gina Ravera) and Civilian Surveillance Coordinator Buzz Watson (Phillip P. Keene).  Their diverse backgrounds and dedication to their jobs help Brenda close some very difficult cases despite all of the bickering that takes place.

            There have been some rough times - suspects who get away on technicalities, shootings in the squad room, serious injuries to team members, relationship snafus and the like, but for the most part, Brenda usually gets her manÖor woman, depending on the case. 

            When The Closer first started, I was drawn in by the quirkiness of Brenda Johnson.  The cases were simple enough and I could solve them pretty quickly, often before Brenda and her team.  However, as the show has progressed, the cases have become more involved with twists and turns that leave me guessing until the very end of the episode.

            If The Closer only dealt with solving crimes, it may have disappeared along time ago - crime dramas are a dime a dozen.  However, itís the character of Brenda Johnson - her quirkiness, her talent with interrogation, her professionalism on the job as opposed to her ineptitude in her own personal life - that makes the show so much fun to watch.  Brendaís quirkiness adds some humor to the crime drama giving it a unique quality and piquing the interest of the viewer.  What will Brenda do next to catch the suspect?  What will Brenda do next to screw up her personal life?  What drama will take place in the squad to force Brenda into a chocolate-craving frenzy?

            What makes Brendaís quirkiness so interesting is that she is someone we can relate to.  Sure, she is a top notch investigator and interrogator, but Brendaís also a regular person with issues like the rest of us.  She wants to be taken seriously in her job and cringes at the way women are often treated in positions of power.  Thatís something many women relate to.  She often puts her personal life on hold for her job - another thing we can relate to.  And when things arenít going so well, she seeks the comfort of a sweet chocolate treat - something I, for one, can definitely relate to.  These traits make Brendaís character more human and less cop.

            Kyra Sedgwick has always been an excellent actress, but I believe she has definitely found her niche here.  She not only portrays the lead role of the show, but she has also been a co-executive producer of the show since 2007.  She has received several nominations for the show and has won a Golden Globe Award for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Satellite Awards for Best Actress in a Series - Drama, a Gracie Award for Outstanding Female Lead in a Drama Series, and a Peopleís Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Diva.

            The fifth season has opened with quite a bang with a quadruple murder that destroys a family and disrupts a narcotics investigation.  This new season finds Brenda coping with married life while still dealing with the ever present drama of her squad.  Detective Daniels has left the fold thanks to a relationship turned sour with Detective Sergeant Gabriel.  This puts the squad at a disadvantage since they no longer have a forensics accounting specialist in their fold.  Brendaís cat becomes sick which forces Brenda to realize just how much of her personal life she neglects for her professional life.  Lieutenant Provenza, already an irritable man, has become increasingly more irritable and the cause is a mystery to the entire squad. 

            I canít wait to see what the rest of Season 5 of The Closer has to offer its viewers.  The new developments hinted upon in the first episode have set the stage for an exciting new season for the television drama I look forward to every Monday at 9PM EST.  Check the show out on TNT and see for yourself why The Closer is my favorite Monday night drama.

 

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