The Closer - Darned good television
As I have said before, I don't watch much television. Well, except Battlestar Galactica. This past year, though, I got hooked on The Closer with Kyra Sedgwick (Mrs. Kevin Bacon). The tag line for the first episode was "If I liked being called a bitch to my face, I'll still be married." The first season was really brilliant and the shows creators took a brave step in slowly defining the characters rather than trying to introduce each of the major characters, their quirks, and personalities during the first show or two. The show really took an entire first season to lay down the base.
Kyra Sedgwick plays a CIA trained interogater that comes to the LA Police Department as a Deputy Chief. Everyone immediately hates her. Slowly, over the first season, you see her department change their opinion about her, starting in the first season with a very subtle change in the Sanchez character. Her FBI friend/boyfriend Fritz Howard has to be the most patient character on television. Corey Reynold's character SGT David Gabriel is also likeable and a well developed character.
Though she seems so "southern sweet", she has a ruthless side and nerves of steel. That comes out near the end of the first season when she essentially finds out there is nothing she can do to a Russian mob boss' son even though he is killing prostitutes, so she uses his alibi against him. You really don't get to see her CIA side until the end of the second season.
The last 3 shows of the first season are great. You slowly see the last of her squad coming over to her side and realizing that, while quirky and focused, she is darned good at what she does. The first part of the last show of the season really shows the camaraderie she has developed with her squad when she comes across LT Provenza imitating her at a crime scene and she plays right along.
Both the first and second season are now available on DVD.