Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Closer Reopens July 14 on TNT

One of my favorite crime TV shows is The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick. It has a little bit of everything: drama, humor, romance, irony, and family problems. What else could one want in a show?

If you haven’t watched the closer before, here’s the show in a nutshell, according to TNT:

Brenda (Sedgwick) is a former Atlanta detective who moved to Los Angeles to head a special police department unit that solves sensitive, high-profile murder cases. Brenda is a top-notch investigator and interrogator who pinpoints a suspect, traps them in their own lies and draws a confession.

Despite Brenda's brilliance as an interrogator, she is hopeless at LAPD politics and her many successes are contrasted with the challenges this creates. Brenda also faces conflicts with her fiancé, FBI agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney) and her parents . On the lighter side, she constantly tries to overcome her love of sweets, fighting cravings that surface each time she passes a vending machine.

Over the first few seasons, Brenda fought hard for the respect of her detectives, and her peers and bosses. She’s been both helped and hindered by Assistant Police Chief Will Pope, played by acting journeyman and former Law & Order favorite, J.K. Simmons. He’s had a previous relationship with Brenda and seemed at one point to want to start it up again. Luckily for Brenda, and for viewers, she found a more attractive man in Fritz. And part of what makes the show so great is to see the relationship issues that she and Fritz have encountered, one being Brenda’s parents. Brenda also has almost blown it by sometimes taking Fritz for granted, something that I hope she doesn’t do in this upcoming season.

But the show offers more than just Sedgwick. The supporting ensemble cast makes for a great backdrop to the cases. My favorite pairing is Detective Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey) and the Lt. Andy Flynn ( Tony Denison ), the latter who first had a very hard time accepting Brenda in her role as head of the unit. Provenza and Flynn often provide comic relief, Provenza being somewhat of the Los Angeles equivalent of New York City’s, and Law & Order’s, Lennie Briscoe. Of course, while no one can yet match Lennie’s cutting sarcasm, Provenza comes a close second with his antics.

The show’s cast has a chemistry that is hard to find on television these days. It also helps that the stories and cases are interesting and fresh. And while Brenda Johnson can also be compared to the female equivalent of Law & Order Criminal Intent’s Bobby Goren, she’s got her own quirkiness and her own very special methods of getting suspects to talk or confess, including some prominent red lipstick, which would frankly drive me a little nutty.

The new season premiers on Monday, July 14 at 9:00 PM on TNT. Here’s some information on the upcoming episodes:

The Closer - Episode 4.01 – Controlled Burn, Air Date July 14
There is a fire and the firefighters find a dead woman while they are fighting the blaze, during which 2 of the firemen die and one is hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Brenda and her team suspect a man named Bill Croelick and when they finally catch up with him, they find out a reporter arranged an interview through Croelick's attorney and interviewed him right before Brenda and her team found him. Brenda and Taylor try and convince, then bully, the reporter into giving them his notes and pictures as evidence, but he refuses. They threaten to arrest him, talk to his editor and finally get their hands on his camera and notes. Their investigation eventually leads them to look more closely at Tom Merrick, the hospitalized fireman. Brenda and Fritz deal with a plumbing problem and trying to hide their cat from the landlord.

The Closer - Episode 4.02 - Speed Bumps, Air Date July 21
Brenda and the team investigate the murder of an ex-convict who killed the daughter of a rich movie producer and is out of prison. The man and his wife are considered suspects. Information about life insurance policies on the ex-cons without families comes up in the team's investigation, leading them to finding out that neither the woman who manages the halfway house where the convict was living nor her friend who volunteers there are what they seem.

The Closer - Episode 4.03 - Live Wire, Air Date July 28
Brenda and Lt. Tao have to make a death notification to a woman whose husband was murdered. She believes her husband was at work, when in reality, he had been fired six months before. Sgt Gabriel and Detective Daniels are having relationship issues and it is affecting their work.

The Closer - Episode 4.04 - Cherry Bomb, Air Date August 4
A young woman is dead after supposedly committing suicide after having been raped by a classmate. The young man in question is the son of a Sheriff's deputy, who becomes irate with Brenda when she uncovers the truth about his son.

Here’s what TNT says for what we should plan to see this in this new season:

For the fourth season, THE CLOSER will take viewers deeper into Brenda's life. “W e are going to examine the issue of power, especially how much power we really have over our own lives,” says show creator James Duff. “We live with the illusion that we are in control of our lives. The season will start with Brenda tracking an arsonist, all while having a reporter follow her every move.”

On the home front, Brenda and Fritz (Tenney) will struggle with moving into a new home, attempting to plan a wedding and getting closer despite Brenda's overwhelming need for independence and the demands of her job.

Sounds like fun and I’ll be watching for sure.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

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