Thursday, August 27, 2009

Roundup: 'Closer's' Final Word; 'Bar's' World of Gray

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

'The Closer's' Fifth Season Airs Mondays on TNTThe Final Touch

Two words: Kevin Bacon.

For three seasons, he's directed at least one episode of The Closer.

For three seasons, he's never disappointed.

This past week's ep was the first time we've seen him direct a finale, and I can still say there's something amazingly perfect about his episodes.

For me, he has a way of creating a certain kinetic energy with the camera. It's constantly moving, constantly generating curiosity, suspense, action and perfect-pitch pauses of reflection all at once. He doesn't show you everything; he lets you guess at what's coming, then delivers it in a way that makes you think for a moment.

Or two.

Or three.

Whether it was the truck pursuit sequence (THAT was fun to watch); or, the chilling confession Brenda gets from the serial killer (listening in punctuated silence nearly sick to her stomach, the underscore mimicking a girl's feint scream, placing each victim's personal item on the map to indicate where the murder took place ... GENIUS!); or, the tender stillness between BJ and Charlie when she has to force Charlie to return to Atlanta even though BJ does (at least IMHO) seem to want her to stay ... all of these moments lead me to continue to say that a Kevin Bacon-helmed episodes consistently stand out. The way he chooses to set-up his shots, what he gets from the actors, how it packages it together doesn't seem procedural.

It's original.



HOWEVER ... I must say that out of all The Closer finales, this seemed the weakest. It didn't really have that cliffhanger-omfg-now-what-when-does-the-series-come-back feel - whether that was with story or character. And while Brenda's "giveback" of the suspect to the Texas detective so that he could be put on death row AND actually be executed for the crimes he committed WAS out of character for her, I didn't find the case, on the whole, to be finale-worthy.

Compelling, chilly, creepy, interesting to watch: yes.

Leaving me wanting the December crop of episodes to get here soon: not so much

Then again, if this is the ONLY season where I can say that, the show is still a pleasure to watch.

Can we have KB direct MORE than one ep a season? Please?

New episodes of The Closer return in December. To catch up on the series, head on over to the show's official site.

Do We Have..?

I'm not exactly sure what to say about the summer finale of Raising the Bar ... other than to once again ask, "Do we have judges like this? And prosecutors?"

'Raising the Bar' Airs Monday's on TNTOne thing I've learned by watching the show this season is that the law is one big gray area.

And that includes EVERYONE playing practicing it.

On both sides of the aisle. On both sides of the bench.

In our finale this week, Kessler and Ernhardt - essentially - conspire to keep a pregnant dope addict mom incarcerated for a minor infraction just so that she can a) have the baby in jail and/or b) have it taken from her given she is, according to team Judge and Prosecutor, unfit to be a mother and/or the baby deserves better.

While I might agree with that assessment, there's Public Defender extraordinaire Jerry defending her right to BE a mother AND be free despite the obvious circumstances stacked against her.

So who is right? Who is wrong?

I'm not sure there was a clear answer in this episode.

Or this particular case.

Or even with Roz's case, whereby a horse cabby goes on trial for assaulting a police officer when said police officer tried to interfere with the horse cabby's efforts to save his dying horse from colic by beating it violently - which is, actually, what one has to do so that the horse doesn't suffocate itself to death. The police officer thought the cabby was just cruelly beating the horse.

Should the cabby have stopped to calmly explain what he was doing? Maybe, but he was short on time to save the horse.

Should the police officer have interfered? Probably, since he didn't know what said cabby was doing.

And that is, IMHO, what RTB does best: it doesn't give you the black/white answer. It makes you uncomfortable with the nuances of the law, the way it can be manipulated, how it can be interpreted and who ultimately benefits - or suffers - from it.

The show is an interesting study in the "system."

Yes, it's a TV show.

Yes, there's creative license.

But on this show, the good guy doesn't always win. And the bad guy doesn't always get punished. Sometimes the bad guy gets to go free, and the good guy gets busted - which is, actually, the way of the world.

Right isn't always right, and wrong isn't always wrong.

When this plays out on screen, it makes for interesting television.

As it did this week.

To catch up on Raising the Bar head on over to the show's official site.

1 comment:

John said...

RE: The Closer

I don’t mind the lack of a cliffhanger.

However, I was unimpressed by the episode. I knew as soon as Brenda and the Texas lawman (who I really liked) made the deal that Brenda would use Texas’s propensity for executions to get the killer to confess, and we hadn’t even met the killer yet. Her Aha! Moment when talking to her father about sending Charlie back to GA, was lame.

And I knew as soon as we saw her reflection in one of the victim’s compact that she would send the killer to Texas.

As for Brenda sending the killer to Texas to be execute being out of character, I don’t agree. I don’t remember her ever expressing a strong opinion against the death penalty. What Brenda wants is to solve every case and have the killer punished.

I doubt BJ wants Charlie to stay. If she did, Charlie would have stayed. Brenda never lets anyone else’s wishes stand between her and her wishes.