Once again, the writers were able to magically mix humor with emotion. And the emotions in this episode were very highly charged, yet the humor fit right in. I am continuously impressed by the show- by the way the story lines and subplots are balanced so perfectly. The writers have become experts at knowing when humor is appropriate and when it isn't.
This week's episode seemed a little unusual. That's not a bad thing, but it was different than what I've come to expect from The Closer. The supporting cast didn't play very prominent roles and I don't remember any laugh-out-loud comments from Provenza or Flynn. I guess the topic--serial killer--is where the writers draw the line at cracking jokes. It's understandable, really. The crimes were truly horrendous and I have to wonder about the person who dreamed up such torture. There was really no opportunity through the investigation to be cracking jokes.
I review The Closer for TV Squad, and I have to say that this is a spectacular season so far. The investigations are more thrilling and the characters--especially Dep. Chief Brenda Johnson--are getting more complicated, and therefore more interesting. If you haven't been keeping up, you can watch the latest episode on TNT's website or the entire season on iTunes.
In particular, House is a show that has definite, purposefully comedic elements, yet the drama portions of the show are quite heavy-handed and serious. But are Hugh Laurie's House antics enough to slide the category meter over to make this show a dramedy?
First up was The Closer at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. Kyra Sedgwick and other cast members of the TNT drama mixed and mingled on the show's squad room set. Most reporters hovered around Sedgwick to inquire about her Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the show's new season and husband Kevin Bacon.
Okay, today we really are having a field trip with the Television Critics Association. It's called a "TCA Day" -- the first one was on Saturday, which consisted of a membership meeting and the TCA awards.
This morning, the TCA membership is boarding a bus outside the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills and heading out to Burbank and Hollywood for set visits at The Closer, Heroes, TMZ, Two and a Half Men, and Brothers & Sisters.
Let's start with the real estate agent, named Gary (played by French Stewart). He works his catch phrase, "Gary Doesn't Lie" into almost every conversation with Brenda and Fritz as he helps them look for a new home. I don't know what these two professionals are doing with this slimeball-- as interrogators for the FBI and the LAPD, don't they know creeps when they see them? French Stewart did a marvelous job of playing an LA-type real estate agent who was working his gimmick the whole time.
Let me take a look at my trusty calendar. Okay, tomorrow I take the kids to the doctor. On Thursday I get that bikini wax. Friday? Well, I do the same think as I do every Friday -- try to take over the world (Snarf!). Now, for next week . . .
Sweet Niblets! Next week (July 19th, to be exact) they announce the nominees for the 59th Emmy awards to honor achievements for what has gone on previously rather than what is going on now. Which is opposite of the Golden Globes or the SAG awards, which honor achievements that are going on both presently and in the past. Wait, let me read that again . . . yep, that makes sense!
So, in preparation for the television wonk's biggest night of the year I have asked the humongous staff over here at TV Squad to give me a hand in picking out who will be the likely nominees and winners in the Best Actor/Actress/Drama/Comedy categories. Of course, your opinions may differ. But, hey, what fun would it be if we picked the same things you did?
And let's talk about that sex offender for a second. Was he scary or what? I am going to have nightmares about that guy tonight. I kept muttering, "Oh my God" to myself as the guy said, "You see, everyone pretends kids don't want to have sex. But they do."
It's not too much of an exaggeration to say you could flip on your television at any time, any day, and catch an episode of Law and Order or any other series in the Law and Order franchise. TNT is mostly to thank (or blame) for this, having aired repeats of the series for quite some time.
The problem is, even people who love chocolate cake don't want chocolate cake all the damn time, so the ratings for Law and Order have been slipping. To try and alleviate this, TNT began to syndicate Without a Trace, but despite strong ratings when it first aired as a late night repeat from 2004 to 2006, its current place in primetime hasn't garnered nearly as many viewers.
(S03E03) Does anybody else really, really want cake? The scene near the end of this episode where the entire team was eating an angry bride's wedding cake made that cake look so damn good. Yeah, it was a good episode. But, what stuck with me was the cake.
I love when the writers pull out episodes like this one. Sure, there's a dead person and an investigation, but the entire episode still manages to be light-hearted. It all started with Lt. Provenza dropping a coffin down a flight of stairs, then proceeded to a fight between an angry bride and Brenda, and to the entire homicide team eating the bride's $30,000 catering (including that damn cake).
(S03E02) This was one of those great episodes that went seamlessly from comedy to drama, something The Closer does better than any other procedural on television. Think about it: CSI slips the comedy in throughout the investigation, but The Closer gets serious when it needs to.
The beginning of the episode was laugh-out-loud funny thanks to some great one-liners from Lt. Provenza (aren't you glad the budget cuts didn't get him?). When Pope's not around to bring the funny, Provenza can always step in. Some of the more memorables lines were:
(S03E01) I was very happy that The Closer didn't attempt to go with a big blow-out episode right out of the gate. This week's was really a pretty typical crime and subsequent investigation. It allowed us to get comfortable with the characters again and reminded us why we like the show. The characters are quirky and there are always plenty of twists and turns in each investigation. Sometimes we can see where they're going, sometimes we can't.
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