Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Roundup: 'Closer' Chemistry Magic; 'Bar' Tackles the Dark Corners of the Web

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

'The Closer's' Fifth Season Airs Mondays on TNTFritz is Still Da' Man

The good folks over at The Closer must've read my mind. That, or by episode three of this fifth season, they, too, were thinking perhaps it was NOT a good idea to make Jon Tenney's Special Agent Fritz Howard a wallflower.

One of the highlights of this show (for me, anyways) has always been the Brenda and Fritz relationship dynamic, and how well the show continues to pay attention to developing the personal whilst maintaining its obligations to being a crime drama. I don't think another show on the air at the moment does it any better, or manages to keep it all so well-balanced (though In Plain Sight is now a close runner-up). And with last night's ep, we were reminded once again how well the show succeeds along these lines as Fritz cleverly outsmarts Brenda to get her help on a case involving a major drug distribution ring (can we call it that?), thus breaking their keep-work-separate-from-personal rule.

I believe Fritz IS the only one who can truly go toe to toe with Brenda to get what he wants. He never lets her get too far out in front without knowing how and when to reel her in. True, he gives her a lot of ... let's call it grazing room to be her usual domineering, controlling, my-way-or-the-highway self. But somehow Fritz has managed to figure out a way to keep her in HIS line.

Not to mention watching Kyra Sedgwick and Jon Tenney work their chemistry magic is a true pleasure. I know first hand how hard the actors work to create that true sense of realness - good and bad - to their relationship. And they never seem to skip a beat.

In other news ... so Lieutenant Provenza is dating some hottie menswear buyer for a fancy department store chain who is half his age? Go Provenza.

The sense of humor in this ep was spot on - complete with Kitty's ashes being carted around in a pseudo-Tupperwear jar until BJ could figure out how to cope with ... uh, the lost was classic (though I do confess I'm glad she settled on an urn over the fireplace in the end, complete with candle memorial and private viewing of an animal-mating-ritual-something-or-other DVD).

When this show can give me Brenda and Fritzy at their best alongside humorous writing at its best, I'm reminded why I'm still watching this show five seasons in.

And enjoying it so much.

New episodes of The Closer air Mondays at 9 p.m. on TNT. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site.

The Dark Corners of the Internet

I couldn't help but think of the Staples Office Store commercial tag line, "That Was Easy," when watching last night's ep of Raising the Bar ... and wanting to add an 'nt to it.

Yowza. Did the ep make you want to run out and close down your Facebook page?

Maybe not.

'Raising the Bar' Airs Monday's on TNTSuffice it to say this ep was quite powerful, and it could be a candidate for next year's PTR Best Episode countdown as it explored the dangers of what happens when people's personal information - posted to their own Web site - ends up in the wrong hands through no fault of their own.

As in, there is no such thing as "personal" or "private" on the Web. Anyone, anywhere, anytime can get your stuff. And that includes pictures of children - taken by parents, with the most innocent of intentions to share via whatever personal family URL or social networking site, only to then have them end up in unscrupulous hands.

Like on a child pornography site, as was the case last night.

Living and breathing the Web on a daily basis, this doesn't shock me. But there are still so many people out there - even members of my own family - who just don't understand how dark the corners are of this thing called the Internet. Our stuff IS accessible to the people and sites who make a living in those dark corners - whether we want it to be or not; whether the methods with which they acquire our info are legal or not.

That, to me, is the worst drawback of the advent of the Internet. As much as its done to unite and inform, it's also given way to an infinite supply of unregulated, untraceable, unrecognizable rings of ... well, let's just say not-so-good people who do not-so-good stuff. Seriously. You can look up how to build a bomb and blow up buildings. Murder people. Torture someone. Rape someone. You can join any given group, chat or networking what 'cha ma call it to participate in whatever twisted thing one can imagine. The anonymity of it all is what makes it so difficult to police, track or hold said not-so-good people accountable - especially when they are in some other country.

Even innocent people get caught in the middle.

As the case last night highlighted.

The show should be commended for taking a long, hard look at just how gray of an area "policing" the Internet actually is - even in the United States. A father's life can be turned upside down because he took a picture of his kid getting out of the bath tub (like the umpteen pictures my mom took of me, taking a bath in a bucket when I was one-year old - and could FIT in a bucket); his own personal Web habits then used against him to paint an unflattering picture of his parenting skills so as to suggest he deliberately turned over the picture of his son to a child porn site as opposed to having it unlawfully stolen.

And did we mention the jury could NOT decide if he was innocent or guilty?


The moral of this story: protect your personal info, folks - especially as it pertains to your kids. It's a good rule of thumb to think that most anything you post on the Web can be seen by everyone and their brother - whether you want them to or not. It's a bummer, but that is the reality. If our own government's systems can be hacked, pulling pics down from your supposedly "personal" or "private" site isn't a big stretch - no matter what Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/WhomeverSpace's security and privacy policy says.

Okay, deep breath.

In other (and far more lighter) news ... rock on Roz! Thank you for putting somewhat of an end to Bobbi's maniacal ex-husband, who was about to take her for everything she owns (including the apartment she purchased with her grandmother's inheritance and of which is the only thing she has left of her grandmother). Seriously, that guy needed to get taken down a peg or two. Who'd have thought it'd be Roz? I love those quiet, silent, uber-powerful characters who show us their strong side when we least expect it.

New episodes of Raising the Bar air Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site

1 comment:

John said...

The Closer

This episode confused me. I had nothing major to complain about.

I liked the increased role for Fritz. It is a shame Brenda can’t play well with others without being tricked, but BJ, the rest of the LAPD and the FBI were both happy with how things went. That is very rare.

My only quibble (it is just a quibble) is that I don’t really see BJ giving the money to the boyfriend.

All in all, it was a very good episode.