Inspired by Helen Mirren’s character in Prime Suspect, Kyra Sedgwick is Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, a specialist in interrogating the worst of the worst, and the new head of the Priority Homicide Division. A tough woman in a man’s world, her experience in intelligence taught her how to handle criminals. Her personal life is another matter.
It may not pack the same gritty punch as Prime Suspect, but The Closer surpasses most weekly dramas airing today, combining some gripping storylines – the fourth season episode Power of Attorney lives on long after the curtain comes down – and outstanding character performances, particularly from the lead.
Brenda Leigh Johnson’s southern charm conceals a tenacity and unwillingness to let go that comes back to haunt the character. Bear with it; Johnson’s accent grows on you, and despite her flaws, she’s the sort of character you root for. A fantastic, if relatively unknown, series that grows stronger throughout, and spins-off into the equally, if not more, gripping Major Crimes.
The prestige episodes include the first season’s Show Yourself, second season’s Overkill, Ruby from the third, and fourth season episodes Time Bomb and Power of Attorney.
Look out for: it’s cast. J. K. Simmons would go on to win an Oscar for Whiplash, twice Oscar-nominated Mary McDonnell took the lead in spin-off Major Crimes, whilst guest stars included Beau Bridges, Billy Burke and Sedgwick’s daughter Sosie Bacon.
Starring Kyra Sedgwick, JK Simmons, Corey Reynolds
First Broadcast: 2005