Top 7 of '07: Best Shows - The Closer
Top 7 of '07: Best Shows - The Closer
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Check out all our lists for BuddyTV's Top 7 of '07 to relive the best and the worst of the year in television.

John Kubicek ranked The Closer 7th.  He says...

I can explain why The Closer is one of the best shows on TV: Kyra Sedgwick.  Television is full of procedural cop dramas in which the  police solve the case by the end of every, but what makes TNT's The Closer the best of breed is Sedgwick's funny, serious, brilliant performance as Brenda Lee Johnson, an Atlanta woman who finds herself heading up Priority Homicide in te LAPD.

The third season of the series aired over the summer, and every week TNT hit new ratings records, pulling in more than 9 million viewers for the season finale.  Those are numbers many major network dramas would love to have.

Sedgwick was created a character so likable and real that it's easy to see why Brenda Lee is a closer, someone who always gets a confession.  Her Southern charm and clumsiness makes her seem like a clown, an inept Barney Fife, but really, it's all part of the act.

While the procedural drama works incredibly well, the show also taks time to explore Brenda's home life and her engagement to boyfriend Fritz (the underrated Jon Tenney).  In season 3, Brenda became sick, and while the common TV cliche forced viewers to suspect she might be pregnant, the show surprised everyone because the real cause was menopause.  That's right, the show dares to tell an age appropriate story, unafraid to cast it's female lead as an older, mature woman.

In addition, season 3 brought the return of Brenda's mother, Willie Ray, played by the brilliant Frances Sternhagen.  It's a fun guest performance, and was aided immensely by the appearance of Brenda's father Clay,played by veteran character actor Barry Corbin.  Together, these two played up the old-fashioned Southern family values that made audiences laugh while at the same time smiling at the ultimately loving relationship of the Johnson family.

The Closer is a procedural series, but it strives for so much more.  It can be laugh-out-loud funny one week, deadly serious the next.  It can focus on the strengths of one leading lady, while at the same time giving the entire ensemble little moments in each episode to show that they are fully realized people, even if we don't get to see the true depth of their characters.

There's a whole lot of television out there, and most of the great shows are the ones with involved, serialized storylines like Lost or Battlestar Galactica.  But amid all that excellence, it's nice to see that the procedural drama isn't all about forensics.

(click here to read John Kubicek's complete Top 7 list)


(Image courtesy of TNT)