Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Roundup: 'Closer' on Edge; Buying Into the 'Bar'

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

I interrupt my normally scheduled posting of individual show recaps to do a combo roundup this week for The Closer and Raising the Bar. Hey, whatever works, right? LOL!

'The Closer's' Fifth Season Airs Mondays on TNTMidol, Anyone?

I normally like to start out with a BJ-is-Back type comment when The Closer returns to our screens in the summer. After all, it just doesn't quite feel like summer without Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson and her Major Crimes Division of the LAPD. Yet this year, I'm tempted to say not only is BJ back, but everyone around her is awfully grouchy.

At least that was the vibe of the fifth season premiere ("Products of Discovery").

Seriously, I kept going, "Why is everyone so grouchy? On edge? Bitchy? Irritable?"

It was as if a bad case of PMS had taken over Major Crimes. Now, I don't know exactly how that factors into Creator James Duff's theme of change for this year, but I can honestly say the previous four seasons worth of premieres didn't find me wanting to give the entire squad a bottle of Midol.

That said, the case might've put everyone in a bad mood considering a whole family was murdered by the pregnant girlfriend of a suspected drug trafficker - and that included a 9-year-old and a 16-year-old. BJ usually gets her dander up when children are victims (as Kyra Sedgwick recently told us). And seeing as said girlfriend (named Dina) wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer and went to the wrong house, thus, killing the WRONG people ... well, it seemed even worse than usual.

But can I get a W-O-W for the closing confrontation between BJ and Dina? Another CCC: Classic Closer Crescendo of an interrogation, which I have to say, this show does incredibly well. Five seasons in and I still cannot predict all of Brenda's tendencies. And like I said, when kids are victims, she seems especially fired up.

And potent in nailing her suspect.

And poor Kitty ... things are not looking too good, are they?

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.

Hey, Did You Cut Your Hair?

This year, we welcome Raising the Bar to PTR's summer line-up.

True, we included it last year as part of a TNT summer promo tour, but I stopped short of recapping each week because ... well, as Mark-Paul Gosselaar says, I wasn't sure where it was all going to end up. I kind of wanted to test drive the show.

'Raising the Bar' Airs Monday's on TNTThis year, I'm buying.

And since I did watch season one in its entirety, I pick it up knowing exactly where things left off.

Jerry Kellerman is getting cleaned up a bit.

Starting with a haircut.

Mark-Paul already told us this was going to happen, but seeing it in the context of the second season premiere really does show how the character has matured between the first and second seasons. He may be the best public defender (PD) in NYC, but if nobody can take him seriously because of his locks, then I guess he might want to wise up and play the game.

But Jerry doesn't like to always play by the rules, so we'll see if he really does get better at it this season. You know what they say: you get more with honey than you do with vinegar (does Jerry know this?).

Teddy Sears stars in TNT's 'Raising the Bar'Let me state right now that my fave character is Rich Woolsley. (and based on my interview with Teddy Sears, you couldn't tell that, right?) His interaction with Roz Whitman is just so wonderfully understated. Now, I'm alluding to some nice confessions of affection between the two characters that rounded out last season, and I'm hopeful we get to see more of that this season. In the meantime, Roz steps back into the courtroom as an actual PD as opposed to just running the Office of PDs. We didn't see any of that last year, and given what we saw in the premiere, it's easy to understand why she is so well-liked on both sides of the aisle.

All that said, it should come as no real surprise I tend to be firmly in the PD camp for far more entertaining characterizations; not to mention there is something about how Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Natalia Cigliuti, Teddy Sears and Gloria Reuben all gel together.

Wish list for season two: Bobbi (Natalia), goes through with the divorce of her drug-induced-doctor of a husband; Jerry (Mark-Paul) gets together with Bobbi (can we say chemistry?); Rich (Teddy) and Roz (Gloria) become a pair because ... aww, that just needs to happen.

On the flip side, the District Attorneys (DAs) finish second on my list.

Michelle Ernhardt annoys me. But that is, after all, how her character rolls (and hey, more power to her). Marcus McGrath I like for passion, but he gets a little too aggro sometimes. Nick Balco makes me feel like I need to take a shower every time he interacts with a woman.

And Judge Trudy Kessler reminds of that most feared school teacher who, no matter how good you were, would mange to find a way to put you in the dunce corner.

The fact that all these actors - Melissa Sagemiller, J. August Richards, Currie Graham and Jane Kaczmarek - can evoke this kind of reaction in me is a good thing.

Oh, and did we mention this is a Steven Bochco show?

'nuff said.

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...

I liked, but didn’t love the season opener of The Closer (I don’t watch Raising the bar, so I have no comment there).

TPTB weren’t very subtle in setting up the wrong address plot twist and I figured out very quickly how the drug dealer was passing messages to his girlfriend (and calling her “[not] the sharpest knife in the drawer” was exceedingly generous to her).

However, the episode did get the season off and running and I like the show’s character interactions more than the crimes - we often know who the killer is very early.