“The Closer” is the latest in the never ending string of crime solving shows. It comes with your standard “ah-ha” ending and a garden variety plot. But it has some things going for it too. It excels with its supporting cast and has a variation on the standard tough guy cop premise.
First off, the supporting cast. Ultimate “that guy” J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man I & II, The Mexican, Ladykillers) is great as the assistant police chief. He seems both likeable and smarmy, which I think is exactly what the show called for. The other fellas from the cast don’t have the stature of Mr. Simmons but you’ll probably recognize one or two. If “The Closer” can effectively mine these guys (and one gal’s) talents they could be on to something.
The other innovative technique used is the crazy female lead detective. Ok, maybe Kyra Sedgewick isn’t supposed to come off as insane, but she seems imbalanced at the very least. She’s got a southern accent that is obviously faked. She’s moody and impatient. Sure, that’s been done tons of times in dramas with brooding men (“House” comes to mind), but I don’t think we’ve seen a lot of it with the ladies yet. So potential is there too.
The bad part is how worn this road feels. Between all the “C.S.I.’s,” “Law & Order” and “Cold Case” I think there may be more fictional detectives than real ones. Sure, it’s interesting the first couple hundred times, but you start to know where the clues are, where the bodies are buried so to speak. So that’s what the “The Closer” is up against, all the work that has come before it.
Ultimately it does have the ingredients to be a hit show, but it’s hard to tell which way it will fall from my viewing of the pilot episode. Kyra Sedgewick was not the strong part of the first episode and that will need to change going forward. The supporting cast can’t support forever. I personally can’t see catching another episode of “The Closer,” but if you are a crime drama fan throw this one in the hopper and see if it develops. Maybe a crazy southern chick has been the way to go all along.
“The Closer” debuts on TNT on June 13th at 9/8 Central. Get more here.