She is not miss congeniality...but she's a closer-- Asst. Police Chief Will Pope
If I liked being called a bitch to my face I'd still be married-- Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson
In my opinion, THE CLOSER was definitely one of the best new television series introduced in 2005. Featuring a vivid characterization by actress Kyra Sedgwick, THE CLOSER immediately hooks viewers into the life and criminal investigations of Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson. A walking series of contradictions, Brenda Johnson proves to be one of the most fascinating characters on television… hey, what else can you say about a woman who can zero in on a murderer before any of the homicide detectives on her team, yet has difficulty finding her way across town, even with a map.
Having been hired from outside the Los Angeles Police Department, the new Deputy Police Chief finds herself immediately resented by her peers, as well at the members of the Priority Murder Squad, which she heads. Never attempting to ingratiate herself to the homicide detectives under her, Brenda Johnson slowly begins to win them over with her ability to solve high profile murders- not to mention her gift of wheedling confessions out of the killers. The solid cast of THE CLOSER also features J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds, Robert Gossett, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison and Jon Tenney.
THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($40) comes to DVD in a four-disc set that features the following thirteen episodes that were aired in that first year: Pilot, About Face, The Big Picture, Show Yourself, Flashpoint, Fantasy Date, You Are Here, Batter Up, Good Housekeeping, The Butler Did It, L.A. Woman, Fatal Retraction and Standards And Practices.
Warner Home Video has made all thirteen episodes that comprise THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation, which sadly lacks the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Releasing these episodes on DVD in unenhanced widescreen was either a very poor conscious choice by someone or a really bad goof on the part of quality control. Having to digitally manipulate the image to fit the proportions of a widescreen display introduces artifacts and causes the image to appear unnecessarily soft- especially on screens larger than forty inches. On a 4:3 display the image looks better, but who wants to take a step backwards to squeeze a better quality picture out of a new widescreen DVD release. As for the colors, they are fairly strong and produce nice looking flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, whites are crisp and contrast is better than average for a television production. Film grain is quite noticeable, but isn’t particularly bothersome. Digital compression artifacts are generally well concealed.
All the episodes that comprise THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON are presented on DVD with Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtracks, which decode to standard surround. Since THE CLOSER is first and foremost a talky crime drama, the sound is fairly basic. The forward soundstage is dominant and sound spread to the outlying channels is modest at best. Dialogue is cleanly rendered, and with few exceptions, easy to understand. Fidelity is adequate for this type of television production. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but French and Spanish subtitles are provided.
Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features, as well as twenty-two minutes of Unaired Scenes.
I think THE CLOSER is a great television series that is well worth checking out on DVD, despite its flawed video presentation. Recommended with slight reservations.
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