Written by Evan Braun
I came to the second season of The Closer with an interesting piece of baggage: I hadn’t seen the first season. And still haven’t. Seeing as I’m a bit of a completionist, this was initially driving me nuts. That said, by the time I finally gave the show a chance, I felt like I’d been in it my whole life.
The show’s premise is simple. Every police department hopes for one thing when working cases, and that’s a confession. To get one, you need somebody you can elicit it from a suspect, usually in an interview, and close the case before it ever goes to a courtroom. That person, at least in the fictional world of The Closer, is Brenda Leigh Johnson.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show and found it surprisingly fresh. This is probably because I’ve stayed away from procedural dramas in the past, having only a passing familiarity with shows like NYPD Blue, Law & Order, and CSI. What makes this procedural show different? I know a lot of shows make this claim, and in this case it’s true: it’s all about the characters.
Kyra Sedgwick is amazing. Really, she’s a powerhouse of an actress. It took a few episodes at the beginning for me to really get on board (since I wasn’t anticipating the Southern belle angle), but once I saw her doing what she does best (getting people to talk), I fell in love.
As one would expect, Warner Bros. has delivered another great video transfer. The colours tend to be a little muted, especially in the police station, where the ubiquitous blues and grays start getting a little monotonous. Other than that, the image is clean, crisp, and grain-free.
Here we have a strong Dolby 5.1 surround soundtrack that leaves nothing to be desired. Since the show isn’t typically heavy on the action, these episodes aren’t taking full advantage of the surround format, but the background and music is greatly enhanced.
And one final note on the music. I like how the main theme embraces silence and doesn’t feel compelled to fill all the spaces between the notes. It’s a surprisingly beautiful and interesting musical piece for a show you wouldn’t expect one from.
The first disc features a 20-odd minute featurette called Breaking Down The Closer, which is more than I thought it would be. Unlike most featurettes, this one’s got some substance, interviewing the cast and crew and diving into each of this ensemble drama’s many characters. Actress Kyra Sedgwick talks about the long process she went through in deciding to take on the role, and the learning curves the character threw her once she committed to it. Some of her perspectives are especially interesting due to her 2007 Golden Globe win for Best Actress in a television drama.
Most of the episodes also provide glimpses at deleted scenes. These scenes, however, are short and unmemorable … which, I suppose, is why they were deleted in the first place. I, for one, would rather trust the editors and directors to make these expert decisions without subjecting us to them. Unless there’s a substantive character moment that had to be trimmed, or a key plot point that was held back or changed, these scene inclusion seem superfluous at best.
Speaking of superfluous: the gag reel. I’m just not a fan. These may have been cute and funny 10 years ago when DVD special features were new, but does anyone laugh anymore at that old stand-by … “Uhm, I have no idea, what’s my line?” I think not.
The only thing I didn’t appreciate was that, being a cable show, the episode runs are shorter than most primetime dramas (the season has only 15 episodes). Worth the price of admission and then some.