The Closer Closed

Watched TNT’s The Closer from the beginning. And now it’s no more. Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) has left the building.

A bit too quick and pat, as these endings usually are, I found the death of Brenda’s mother as catalyst for her examination and assessment of her life very believeable. When one parent is  sick and garners the bulk of care giving and attention, it’s often the other, who everyone assumes is fine, that goes first. The fact that Brenda was aware that she couldn’t even find the time to speak to her mother is a regret I’m sure many of us have felt at times. And her realization that her job, eliciting confessions from criminals, had become part of her own DNA was also a harsh reality to accept. The revisting of the one case, the one who got away, was a bit contrived but worked.

Over the years of the show, I had visited the set numerous times and interviewed James Duff, its creator and showrunner, as well as one time executive producers John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin (who went on to create another show for TNT that lasted only one season and are now on Longmire on A&E).  I liked the show enough to write a spec that Duff agreed to read…but don’t think he ever did…and met with Supervising Producer Duppy Demetrius too in hopes that he might shed some light on getting into the writer’s room. Nothing happened. I do remember Duff telling me that the reason he has hired hardly any female writers was because they didn’t want to write this kind of material…my four screenplays and original pilot beg to differ big time. Nancy Miller, creator of Any Day Now  was on staff at one time….but went on to create Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter.. While the whole experience with the producers left me wanting, I still watched the show.  

I did not watch the spin-off Major Crimes. No interest. Without Sedwick or Pope (the great G.W. Bailey), it just isn’t the same. That’s not to say that  the character of Capt. Raydor (Mary McDonnell) isn’t compelling. Watching her and Brenda, two powerful women sparring intelligently, was a wonderful treat on television. But not sure TNT made the right decision on this one. Time will tell.

Having a major chocolate craving,  saying goodbye to Brenda, is a bit bittersweet for me personally and the television landscape overall! While it got a bit stale last season, it was still the most watched cable television show ever with 8.4 million viewers. And Brenda’s character, whether you liked her or found her cornpone, made her mark and will be remembered in the pantheon of distinctive women cops on television.


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