The Closer
Starring: Kyra Sedgwick, G.W. Bailey, Michael Paul Chan, Jon Tenney, Raymond Cruz, Corey Reynolds, J.K. Simmons, Robert Gossett, Tony Denison, Gina Ravera, Philip P. Keene
Created By: James Duff

Premieres: Monday, July 14, 2008 at 9:00 pm EST on TNT

The popular TNT drama series The Closer premieres tonight and LAPD Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson is back to doing what she does best: Solving crimes. At least, I get the impression that this is what she does best as tonight’s premiere of the fourth season is the first episode I’ve ever seen of this series. Having heard great things about The Closer and even better things about Kyra Sedgwick’s performance as Brenda, I was curious to see if the show would meet my expectations. Sure enough, it did.

Brenda is a former Atlanta detective who moved to L.A. to head up a special police department unit that handles high-profile murder cases. In the fourth season premiere we follow Brenda as she attempts to figure out who murdered a woman whose charred body was found among the burnt debris of a park fire. When it comes out that the woman died before the fire, Brenda has to determine whether or not a known (but unfortunately not convicted) arsonist, who is spotted observing the flames among the other spectators is behind the fire and the woman’s murder, or if someone else did it.

Though this series is headed into its fourth season, I appreciated the pace of this episode as it gave me a pretty good idea of what Brenda is all about (and why viewers like her so much). In her job, she’s a pretty put together lady. She has a way of amping up the charm or the attitude (whichever suits her best) when interrogating people that makes watching her at work so much fun. At home, she appears to be a bit more unraveled. In tonight’ season premiere, she bickers with her FBI fiancé Fritz over some issues they’re having in their new apartment. A no-cats rule has caused Brenda to live in fear (ok, it’s more like nervousness) that her kitty will be spotted by a neighbor or the landlord. This results in her refusing to meet her neighbors, leave the blinds open or allow the landlord into the apartment to fix the plumbing. Just as Sedgwick shines in her ability to play both the good cop and the bad cop, she’s equally amusing to watch when she’s freaking out over her cat issues.

While I did feel I was able to get a good read on Sedgwick’s character, I can’t say the same for pretty much anyone else based on this one episode. There did seem to be some odd tension between Detective Irene Daniels and Sgt. David Gabriel. Gabriel tried to help Irene out a couple of times and each time she seemed to want him to back-off. A quick look at their character bios revealed that these two characters started seeing each other last season. That definitely explains the tension. It looks like their jobs might get in the way of their relationship (or the other way around).

Over all I was impressed with The Closer. It definitely has that great murder-of-the-week thing going for it, added to Sedgwick’s fantastically sassy performance as Brenda. I can definitely see why people have always had great things to say about this series.

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