Friday, January 23, 2009

Closing Out with 'The Closer's' James Duff

PTR is on Set with 'The Closer'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

We miss Brenda Leigh Johnson when she’s on hiatus.

Even if it’s only for a handful of months.

Thankfully, she’s back beginning January 26th, bringing us the final five episodes of the fourth season.

So what does series creator and executive producer James Duff have in store for us?

PTR recently had the chance to catch up with the brainchild of The Closer, and he let us know how the final batch of episodes for this season will tie nicely into what he’s already thinking of for NEXT season. What can we say … James has definitely got a clear creative vision for BJ and Co. (And we do love him for that vision - now four years strong).

“There are going to be some surprises both in form and in function as the show goes on,” says James. “And the characters change. I mean, that's the great thing about being on cable television – the characters get to evolve the way human beings evolve [and in the way] people tend to reveal themselves. So, I think the stories are going to get more suspenseful. And, we're going to have a little bit more humor.”

And how does James think the major themes of power and control have manifested themselves this season (‘cause we remember he told us about this when we visited with cast and crew on set last summer)?

“I’m not very good at self-grading,” he says with a laugh. “So, I don’t know how to quantify what we’ve done except to say I’ve learned a great deal about how I felt about power, and what I felt power means in our every day lives. The power of relationships honestly seems to have the most impact in our daily lives. It’s not money or ambition or anything else, it’s the power of our personal relationships that seems to dictate [what we do].

“And yet,” he continues. “I feel like we came no where near exhausting that theme, and we’re only leaving it because we shouldn’t do two years in a row revolving around the same [thing]. And yet, in writing about power, I’ve discovered it really is an illusion. We don’t really have so much power in our ordinary lives. The only thing that we really can count on in everyday life is change – that’s the only constant in our lives. Our ability to adapt is what makes human beings sort of the king of this planet – our ability to roll with the punches. And, as my father used to say, it’s what keeps us interesting and alive. But [the theme of] change – changes in relationships, changes in the squad, changes in how investigations are conducted – is set up by the way [our team has] dealt with power [this season].”

So pay attention folks.

‘Cause we’re in for some good times.

“Each season, we want to be better than the season before. And I think because you get to know the characters better on the show, you get a chance – you get an opportunity – to swing for the bleachers [each year]. You may not hit it into the bleachers, but you [at least] get a chance. And we [like to] keep trying.”

Sounds good to us (especially since we here at PTR feel as if the gang over at The Closer hit it into the bleachers EVERY season).

New episodes of The Closer begin Monday, January 26th at 9 p.m. on TNT. Visit The Closer official Web site for the scoop on all-things BJ and Co.

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