It's not my cat, it just
lives with me and eats at my house.
If you don't mind,
Lieutenant, I like to have the answers before I ask questions
As I stated in my review of season one, I thought THE CLOSER was definitely one of best new television shows of 2005. After watching season two, I’ll amend that statement to say that THE CLOSER is one of the best shows on television- period. A lot of the credit for the show’s success rests on the shoulders of Kyra Sedgwick, who provides a vivid portrayal for the series central character Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. Placed in charge of the Los Angeles police department’s Priority Murder Squad, Brenda Leigh Johnson is as shrewd investigator as they come; not only can find a murderer in a haystack of suspects, she has an uncanny ability to then wheedle a confession out of the killer. Despite her ability to zero in on a murderer, Brenda is a walking series of contradictions, which is evidenced by her difficulty in finding her way to a Los Angeles crime scene, even with a map.
The cast of THE CLOSER also features J.K. Simmons as Assistant Police Chief Will Pope, who was once romantically involved with Brenda and still harbors some feelings for her. Corey Reynolds is Sargent David Gabriel, the first member of the Priority Murder Squad to come around to Brenda’s side. G.W. Bailey is Detective Lieutenant Provenza, who is slightly cantankerous, decidedly old school and one of the series most amusing characters. Anthony John Denison is Detective Andy Flynn, who, along with Provenza, have gained tremendous respect for Brenda- and not only because she pulled both of their butts out to the fire. Robert Gossett as Commander Taylor, who continues to resent Brenda for getting the position he feels he was due. The remaining members of the Priority Murder Squad include Michael Paul Chan as Detective Mike Tao, Raymond Cruz as Detective Sanchez, Gina Ravera as Detective Daniels. Finally, we have Jon Tenney is FBI Agent Fritz Howard, who is Brenda’s romantic interest and occasionally gets drawn into her investigations.
THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($40) comes to DVD in a four-disc set that features the following fifteen episodes that were aired during year two: Blue Blood, Mom Duty, Slippin', Aftertaste, To Protect & To Serve, Out Of Focus, Head Over Heels, Critical Missing, Heroic Measures, The Other Woman, Borderline, No Good Deed, Overkill, Serving The King Part 1 and Serving The King Part 2. My personal favorite for season two is To Protect & To Serve, a decidedly amusing episode in which Provenza and Flynn make sky box seats at a baseball game a priority over the body they happen upon, and the repercussions they face when the body turns up elsewhere. Two more highlights include Mom Duty andSlippin', which feature Frances Sternhagen as Brenda’s visiting mother Willie Rae Johnson.
Warner Home Video has made all fifteen episodes from THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Yippee!!! They got it right this season! The episodes look pretty darn good on DVD and always appear well above what is seen on cable. Colors are naturally saturated and the flesh tones come across realistically. Blacks are accurate, whites are clean and the contrast is just fine for a television production. The film elements from which the episodes have been transferred are quite clean, displaying few imperfections. A mild grain structure can be noticed here and there, but it never becomes excessive. Digital compression artifacts are always well contained.
All of the episodes that constitute THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. The soundtracks are clean and tight thanks to the 5.1 encoding, but THE CLOSER is first and foremost a talky crime drama, so the sound design is never explosive or complex. There are occasional channel separations, but the outlying channels don’t see too much activity beyond ambient sounds and musical fill. Fidelity is good for a television production; the music sounds fine and sound effects are fairly convincing. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. 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 episode selection and set up features, as well as a twenty-five minute behind-the-scenes program entitled Breaking Down The Closer, some Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel.
As I stated above, THE CLOSER is one of the best shows on television. Warner’s presentations are on the money for season two. Recommended.
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