Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What I’m Watching: The Closer (Season Premiere)

The Closer: Season 5, Episode 1 “Products of Discovery” (B)

I haven’t been craving “The Closer” terribly because I just sped through the five episodes that aired this past spring over the course of a few hours last weekend. Still, it’s nice to have the old, familiar team back, even if they’re one member down. Gina Ravera, formerly known as Detective Daniels, is missing from the opening credits and has presumably departed for that promotion for which both she and Sergeant Gabriel applied. Now it’s Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Leigh Johnson leading the charge in a sea of men, though before Daniels become a regular cast member, the show was pretty much the same.

This season premiere starts with a major quadruple homicide which has all the team members overworked, exhausted, and overall dismayed. It’s particularly interesting to see the reactions of Provenza (furious), Flynn (annoyed), and especially Sanchez (sympathetic and troubled). This show has always been at its best when it showcased each of its supporting players and took a peek at their personal lives. I hope this season has much of that in store, especially with one less character, probably the one that was least explored, to profile. Brenda got married last season, so how about a look into the romantic life of some other character – maybe the certainly single Sergeant Gabriel?

The disappointing aspect of this episode is the predictability of the case. It’s one of the staples of “The Closer” for Brenda to suddenly realize something in the middle of a personal conversation or a meal that functions as a major breakthrough in her investigation. This episode, however, it was stretched out to fill the three minutes in between the time the surprise was clear and the start of the commercial break. Fritz is an FBI agent, and it’s highly unlikely that he wouldn’t be able to lead Brenda to realize that messages can easily be passed when people lean in towards glass where the cameras can’t see. The same sighing feeling was present at the very end of the episode, when the attempted parallel of Brenda coming home to find her cat suddenly not there to the father suddenly finding his entire family gone fell flat. This show has some truly good episodes in it, but this wasn’t one of the stronger ones.


G1000 said...

I've never much cared for this show. I watched the opening episode of "Raising the Bar" though, and it was okay. That show has the potential to be great, hopefully it will get there eventually. Also looking forward to TNT's "Dark Blue"

Movies with Abe said...

I dropped "Raising the Bar" after the pilot (http://tvwithabe.com/2008/09/pilot-review-raising-bar.html) almost destroyed my faith in television. I caught the opening moments of the season premiere while "The Closer" was ending, and all they were doing was making fun of MPG's hair, so I guess that's a step up from last year.

"Dark Blue" sounds cool, but I haven't seen a preview yet, which is fine by me because then the premiere will be fresh and surprising. TNT has been promoting "Hawthorne" and "Saving Grace" so extensively, I think they're just waiting for those to take off before they start focusing on "Dark Blue," which doesn't premiere until July.