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Film/TV Review

Why “The Closer” is a Classic Television Series.

By Warren Bull


One reason I believe The Closer is already a classic is the strong introduction. Paraphrasing the leading actress, Kyra Sedgwick, the opening episode was nearly perfect.  The lead character, Brenda (AKA as “The Closer” for her ability to get confessions that close murder investigations) appeared a fully developed character with an interesting backstory presented in brief bits of dialog that did not interrupt the flow of the story.


Over the course of seven years the actors and writers have developed their continuing characters until each person has become unique with strengths and shortcomings.  Each character has also changed and developed over the years but always in ways consistent with their underlying personalities.  The ensemble has made each member a better actor.


The acting has been excellent.  The photography has been outstanding. The music underscored what was being shown.  A television show, like a movie, is the product of many talented individuals, most of whom operate out of sight of the audience.


Brenda’s character, who started with roughly the self-awareness of a fire hydrant, has been forced to confront some of her personal demons. From the beginning, Brenda has been an admirable character, even lovable but not likeable. She has often skirted and sometimes boldly marched across ethical and legal boundaries in her efforts to solve murders and elicit confessions to close cases.


The episodes include unpredictable elements, humor and moving moments.  I was rarely able to guess how an episode would end.  There were many victories and a few losses. Watching Brenda deal with women as driven and oblivious as she was has provided some memorable material.


Brenda’s willingness to break rules and offend important people has earned her respect and enemies within and outside of the police department.  Anyone who has to deal with bureaucracies can identify with her defiance and her creative rule breaking. 


While each episode was a complete story within itself, there were themes and ideas that continued in story arcs over time.  Episodes that showed Brenda breaking the spirit of the law to get a confession were followed by shows that demonstrated the consequences of her decisions.  Her relationship with Fritz showed Brenda’s willingness of ignore the needs of others in pursuit of her job goals and her personal growth by learning to care for others. 


I appreciate that the end of the series was planned and believable. Some series fade away from the lack of an audience.  The Closer adheres to an old piece of acting advice.  “Leave them wanting more.”


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