Tuesday, April 3, 2007

the closer

I remember watching the premiere episode of The Closer two years ago, but I can't recall why I didn't keep watching. In February, I DVRed the season one marathon of the show, and I finally sat down to watch an episode this weekend. Instead, I watched six. The Closer is well-written, smart, gritty and immensely watchable. It's rare that I want to sit and watch a crime drama for hours, but I could have watched the entire season in one sitting if I would have started it before 8 p.m. Kyra Segwick, whom I've always enjoyed to some extent but would not tune into a show or movie only to see her, shines.

I only have one minor issue with the show, and I imagine it is a nomadreader specific reason. James Avery plays the medical examiner. I grew up watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and I have an immensely difficult time seeing him as anyone but Mr. Banks, let alone a serious doctor. Perhaps Avery does have something to do with this issue, as I have no trouble with Will Smith in dramatic roles. The character of Mr. Banks was the lone uptight, serious one in a comedy, and just as he was intentionally out of place on The Fresh Prince, he still seems out of place on The Closer. Perhaps I should give the writers and crew on The Closer more credit and presume the intention is for a medical examiner to be a little awkward and out of place. It is a reasonable assumption that one who spent his days with dead bodies would not necessarily be gregarious. Perhaps I am spoiled by Tamara Tunie, whom I still squeal each week when I remember she's in the opening credits of SVU this season, and Leslie Hendrix, she of all L&O series fame.

Even a small, silly blemish, will not keep me away from this show. It is refreshingly watchable and rewatchable crime drama. It's not just about the who, why and how: Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson makes you care about how she gets the confession. It's television on the edge of brilliance.

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