The Closer 8 and 9 p.m., MyNetworkTV
Years ago, I was teased by a colleague for my love of “The Closer.”
The show, she noted, was perfect for the “Murder She Wrote” set. She may also have made mean comments about star Kyra Sedgwick’s accent, saying that it sounds like it’s from Every Southern Town, USA. I was too lost in visions of Jessica to hear.
My colleague’s joking was true enough to stick to my brain and haunt me throughout the last years of “The Closer,” which ended after seven seasons in 2012. Last week, knowing repeats air weekly on MyNetworkTV, I decided to revisit the show from the distance of four years. I was fully prepared to sit down and fall into a shame spiral about having supported it so vocally during its run.
Yeah, I’m completely unrepentant. “The Closer” will never find its way onto the top of best-ever lists, and that’s as it should be. But still, it was an intelligent procedural that managed to show how justice and the law can work at cross purposes. The writing of the weekly crime cases was particularly good, just as it was on “The Good Wife.” It’s not easy to write good hourlong thrillers in an era when, thanks to “Law & Order,” “NCIS,” and “CSI,” TV is overcrowded with them.
And Sedgwick was a powerhouse, even with the accent, which occasionally sounded like a camp version of Dustin Hoffman’s “Tootsie.” She made her character’s moral rage visceral, and she used her accent to disarm, to make others underestimate her. It was her way of making use of female stereotypes before pouncing.
There were a number of lighthearted episodes that never quite worked. But the dramatic material was, and still is, formidable.Matthew Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.