The Closer CastBeing heavily toted as TV’s number one cable drama, The Closer is putting the explosive back into TNT’s schedule. Though now running reruns from both seasons Tuesday nights at 9/8c and 10/9c, this series represents the network’s best offering to viewers who have faithfully watched reruns of the X-Files and Law and Order for the last few years.

Except it isn’t just perpetual Chris Carter mourners and Dick Wolf groupies hanging around to watch the show.

Starring Kyra Sedgwick in her Golden Globe winning role as Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson of the L.A. Priority Homicide Division, The Closer gives viewers a more “personal” look into the world of the police chief. A southern girl far from home in L.A., Chief Johnson finds herself in almost slapschticky situations. In the first few episodes, the deputy chief’s entire division tries to walk out on her because she is seemingly incompetent (akin to her feminity), her boss hints there was an extramarital affair before Brenda’s move to L.A., an old FBI friend becomes more, and the chief adopts a cat – all making an interesting change to the Law-ish and Order-esque continuity-matters-when-we-say-it-matters attitude, instead making it a part of the drama.

Breaking cable records with 8.2 million total viewers, The Closer has quickly risen above the “procedural drama” fad that was renewed by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law and Order: SVU. It has quite a bit to offer that the others do not. The Closer has a cast of naturally, not superifically, diverse characters (whereas all the Law and Order series have tough, battle-weary detectives and lawyers and the CSI series have smart, often extracurricularly-removed or career-centered, scientists): from Provenza, the bigot who has gone through sensitivity training more than once, to Gabriel, the ass-kissing rookie who got a career jumpstart by being on Priority Homicide probably before he was ready, to Commander Taylor, whose pride is still recovering from having his best detectives taken away to work with Deputy Chief Johnson.

Other than the character set, Kyra Sedgwick’s character is, without a doubt, the biggest draw for the series. Witty, flustered, decisive, loyal, and unorthodox, Brenda Lee Johnson Brenda Laying Down the Lawembodies a little of us all, not just in her personality, but in her approach to others as well. Able to get a confession from anyone, Brenda embodies not only the extremely human traits, but superhuman ones as well. She finds the body, arrests the suspect, figures out the often impossibly entangled actions and motives of each person, and gets a confession from them while she stresses over whatever is posessing her in the overarching storyline, fights for the respect of her supervisor, colleagues, and squad tooth-and-nail, has a spat with her FBI lover, calls her mom, and feeds the cat – in less than an hour.

At least it takes her the entire hour to get into our heads… if you count commercials.

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