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April 23, 2014

Brenda Leigh Johnson

Review: The Closer - Dead Man's Hand (season finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 22nd 2009 2:19AM
brenda_fritz_the_closer
(S05E15)
I can't believe we're already at the end of the season for The Closer. Alas, it's true. Until next summer, this is it for Brenda and Fritz and the Major Crime Unit. Fortunately, they saved a good one for the finale. Has Brenda been so hip-deep in work that she's neglected the important things in life? That seemed to be one of the concerns, as well as the fun of dealing with someone who -- at best -- is a thorn in Chief Johnson's side. For all that and more, jump to the next page and tell Joel the cat he's not allowed on the table.

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Review: The Closer - Make Over

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 15th 2009 9:29AM
the_closer_brenda_cookie(S05E14) "Hello, Beau Bridges? Yes, this is The Closer calling. Would you like an Emmy nomination? You would... Okay, we're sending you the script now."

Perhaps it didn't happen exactly that way, but here was a show in which a gifted actor was presented a wonderful opportunity and he rose to the occasion. The Closer is one of those procedurals that has a deft touch with the comic episodes. Oh yeah, there are occasions when it gets a little bizarre -- and this episode might have gone there but it didn't. Instead, we had a terrific twist in more ways than one.

We also got to see how adorable Kyra Sedgwick looks in a hot pink ski parka. For more on the wardrobe and the old folks getting killed by the faux nurse, read on.

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Eight of TV's toughest interrogators

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 26th 2009 10:00AM
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The fine art of interrogation may seem lost thanks to suspects lawyering up and the Miranda warning. Whatever happened to the days when a snarling cop could throw a perp against a brick wall to get him to squeal? Or a sly questioner could finagle a confession by laying on a guilt trip? Still, there are some very clever, brilliant interrogators plying their trade on these days. In fact, when you look at these eight interrogators, you'll probably agree that they know just how to get to the truth. Here are the eight top interrogators on TV today:

8. Captain James Brass, CSI
Brass is the most "old school" of all these interrogators. He's like Andy Sipowicz from NYPD Blue, only without the violence. Brass talks to suspects with a modicum of respect, but a healthy cynicism. He's seen it all and knows the truth is in there somewhere. He asks questions and waits for them to trip themselves up. When they do, he has them write it down. Despite the laconic attitude, Brass has the brass to get the job done.

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The Closer: Waivers of Extradition (summer season finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 25th 2009 1:34AM
Brenda_TNT_The_Closer(S05E12) Kind of like the summer season finale for Burn Notice, it seemed like they saved the best for last with The Closer. There was an interesting case, a colorful new character to go nose to nose with Brenda, and an up tick in the action, including a chase that was top notch. Kudos to Kevin Bacon who directed the episode and brought it all together.

For a time, it looked like Brenda and Major Crimes were on the trail of a ninja. No, not a real ninja, but a guy dressed all in black who kind of looked like a ninja. He used a blade, albeit a knife, and he was a stone cold killer who showed no mercy and seemed to take pleasure in the kill.

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The Closer: Maternal Instinct

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 18th 2009 12:19AM
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(S05E11)
After last week's show, it was great to see The Closer bounce back with a particularly strong episode. The case itself wasn't overly complicated or multi-layered, as some Major Crimes are, but that's probably because Brenda literally wandered into this one. And she wasn't alone. Charlie, her niece from Atlanta, was in the car. More on the Brenda/Charlie relationship as well as the case, after the jump.

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The Closer: Smells Like Murder

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 11th 2009 12:19AM
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(S05E10)
One of the reasons The Closer is a good show is that it's smart. It presents challenging situations and complicated crimes, and as Brenda and her crew figure out what happened and how to get the guilty to incriminate themselves, the viewer is along for the ride. The title of tonight's show was Smells Like Murder. I think the subhead should have been, smells like a dud.

There was a good premise, a decent set up, suspects that were interesting ... all the elements were there. What went wrong was character. Things happened that were so out of character that it sunk the entire episode. More on that -- and Jack in the box -- after the jump.

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The Closer: Elysian Fields

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 28th 2009 12:20AM
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(S05E08)
When I say that a lot of this episode of The Closer felt like a CSI episode, with the emphasis on the gory and gruesome aspects of original murder, I'm not being critical. And when I mention there were also elements that reminded of Cold Case, that's also not a diss because Cold Case is an underrated show.

But unlike Cold Case, which brings the past to life, The Closer remained very much in the present. Generally speaking, this was a pretty strong episode that played up Brenda's vulnerability.

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The Closer: Tapped Out

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 14th 2009 12:13AM
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(S05E06)
There's an old show biz line that goes, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard." Well, sometimes when dramas try a comic episode, it can be a little like death warmed over. Or a show can completely succumb to humor and forget the original genre entirely (you know that I'm talking about you, Mr. Monk). Fortunately, when The Closer chooses to take a walk on the funny side, it usually hits the mark. This episode was a bull's eye.

It was also great to see The Closer shine a light on J.K. Simmons. As Assistant Chief Will Pope, Simmons is great as Brenda's boss and the face of the L.A. cops in many tense situations, political and otherwise. A consummate character actor -- Juno, Burn After Reading, Spider-Man -- Simmons always brings a lot to the show. This episode was prime Simmons, with Pope the butt of the jokes and off his game, if you will. How else could a faux police detective named Dick Tracy dupe the chief?

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The Closer: Walking Back the Cat

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 30th 2009 9:41AM
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(S05E04)
After an intense, heavy-duty The Closer last week, it was probably a wise move to roll out a lighter episode. That's what this show was, a change of pace with some insight into the delicate dance that makes Fritz and Brenda's relationship work.

The decision to not work together since they're not married was news to me. But Fritz had an ulterior motive in getting Major Crimes into the case of missing person Austin Blair. The motive was not just to distract Brenda Leigh from her grief of losing Kitty, but at first that seemed to be his intent.

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The Closer: Products of Discovery (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 9th 2009 9:40AM
Brenda trench coat(S05E01) The Closer season opener was a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that the show is back for the fifth year and the ensemble is clicking along like a finely tuned watch. Although Brenda Leigh is now a "Sadie, Sadie married lady," she's still as obsessed, determined and driven to do her job as ever, so there's been no major shift in the main character, thank goodness. The bad news, however, is that the premiere episode started out like a compelling drama but soon devolved into a case laden with coincidences and leaps of faith in plotting that were beyond my jumping abilities.

The emotional impact was intense when the Priority Homicide team arrived at the crime scene to find four dead bodies, two of them pre-teen children. Flynn was hot under the collar immediately, ready to prejudge the man of the house who had opportunity and possible motive in the quadruple killing.

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The Closer: Good Faith (winter premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 27th 2009 10:00AM
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(S04E11)
"It's what you do. When you're a hammer, everything in the world looks like a nail." -- Pope to Brenda

Did you notice, as I did, that Brenda was more distressed and unfocused while making decisions for the wedding than she was working on the case? By the end of the episode, Brenda finally settled on the when, the where and the how, so all things considered, it was a good day for Brenda...except for that little thing that happened to Daddy.

Meanwhile, returning after a few months off, the cliffhanger was resolved early on and priority homicide was back at work. However, when is an apparent suicide not a suicide? More on that and the cliffhanger after the jump. Also, Clay Johnson.







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The Five: Best characters of 2006

by Anna Johns, posted Dec 12th 2006 12:01PM
steve carell; michael scottBefore you get all... angry... that I didn't include your favorite character on this list, know that this is my list of favorite television characters. You can make your list in the comments.

When I look back at the 2006 television landscape, a few key characters come to mind. This year, I discovered some new characters that have my adoration and I've stuck close to the ones I loved from 2005. Here's my list of the Best Characters of 2006:

5. Michael Scott, The Office
While it's no secret that I adore a certain member of the supporting cast, the best character on The Office is definitely Michael. He sucks the fun out of any situation by making everybody uncomfortable, but at least you know what his true colors are. He tries, and does a poor job of covering up his non-P.C. thoughts such as, "How queer! (sees camera) Queer Eye for the Straight Guy-- that's a great show!" He just tries so hard to get people to like him and to be a buddy rather than a boss that you can't help but love/pity the guy. And Jim's right, Michael is the most loyal guy at Dunder Mifflin.

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TNT plans The Closer marathon for Thanksgiving

by Anna Johns, posted Nov 14th 2006 9:34AM
the closerIf you don't know Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, you should. You can meet her on Thanksgiving day, when TNT plans to air a season one marathon of The Closer. That's 13 episodes in a row of the overly-friendly, but-just-a-little-bitchy "Thank You" that Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) delivers so well.

The Thanksgiving marathon is in preparation for a new, two-hour episode that airs December 4th. In it, Brenda is called upon by the CIA to assist in an "off-the-record investigation of a would-be defector found murdered in Los Angeles." Johnson has to find a link between the death of a KGB agent, several CIA agents, a young terror suspect and 20 pounds of missing plutonium. The second hour of that episode, called Serving the King, is directed by star Sedgwick's husband, Kevin Bacon.

Also, following the special, two-hour event, season two of The Closer will air every Tuesday night at 10 pm starting on December 5th.

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Ask TV Squad: Is The Closer returning?

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 4th 2006 11:15AM

Cast of The CloserTV Squad reader Bill Pruett asks 'What's with The Closer? There have been a few episodes than . . . nada. I can't even find a web site for the show. Will it ever get on some sort of regular schedule?'

Actually, Bill, The Closer is on a regular schedule. It is a summer series for TNT that normally begins in June and runs for about 15 episodes. So, you won't see it on a fall schedule, unless it's in repeats. The good news is that it has been renewed for another season, which will begin in the summer of 2007.

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