'The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season'
(Kyra Sedgwick, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: At work, L.A. Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson is a woman in charge. Got a suspect to grill, a case to crack, a murderer about to walk? Call Brenda in and watch the fireworks. But at home...well, that’s another story. Kyra Sedgwick headlines a sizzling 4-Disc, 15-Episode Season 5 of the series that combines heart, humor and homicide into a show that’s equally compelling as a police procedural and a personal drama.
DVD: Kyra Sedgwick is a thoroughly believable as Brenda Leigh Johnson. In fact, I was floored when I saw her do an interview and realized that she doesn't really have a Georgia accent! Brenda is so human. Yes, she is great at extracting confessions, one way or another, but she also has her foibles, like her penchant for chocolate, her reluctance to throw away old love letters from Will Pope, her rather high-handed and ineffective parenting style with her niece, Charlie (played by her real-life daughter, Sosie Bacon, which is pretty funny).
It's not just Brenda, though. All the characters are fascinating. Personally, I identify with Lt. Provenza because, well, he's me. But Sgt. Gabriel, Flynn, Fritz, Lt. Tao, Buzz, and all the rest are just interesting, believable characters, brilliantly portrayed. And J. K. Simmons, as Chief Will Pope is a delight. That man can say more with one brief facial expression than many actors can in an entire speech. And I look forward to visits from Brenda's mother (Frances Steenbergen) as much as Brenda dreads them.
As a writer, what grabs me most about this show is the writing. The plots are always realistic, the story lines tightly interwoven. For instance, frequently, some little detail in Brenda's "real life," some little detail arising out of a sub-plot about her relationship with Fritz, or her mother, will give her the sudden insight that lets her close her case. But these story points never seem contrived. The interwoven subplots never seem out of place - you don't realize until the end how neatly everything fits together.
If you are new to 'The Closer,' I recommend starting with Season 1, to get the background on Brenda's being in L.A., and her relationship with Will Pope. If you are familiar with the show, then this review is probably unnecessary except to say that Season 5 is better than ever. [MJM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Police Files: Unaired Scenes
Seen at the Crime Location Map – A featurette that takes viewers to various locales where memorable series moments were shot.