Critics Love to Love ‘The Closer’

Sedgwick's Brenda Johnson, about to pounce. Photo: Courtesy of TNT

Kyra Sedgwick's hit police drama returned to television this week for a third season, easily cajoling its way its way up to No. 1 in its time slot. That's no new achievement for the show, which has consistently drawn raves from audiences and reviewers alike. But do critics think that Brenda Johnson’s fake-sweet vibe is the perfect yin to Jack Bauer’s harder-hitting yang, or is the show just another in a recent run of good procedural dramas? —Michael Gsovski

Rave: “…Must Watch of the Week: The twist in this week's case is easier to spot than that kid's dilated pupils, but there's a very funny subplot (about LAPD budget cutbacks) in which Johnson blithely disobeys her boss (J.K. Simmons), and the interrogation scenes are as tautly thrilling as ever. Indeed, when Brenda uses two plastic cups to reenact a triple homicide, TNT's hit crime procedural becomes TV's most riveting one-woman show. A-.” —Michael Slezak, Entertainment Weekly

(Semi-)Rave: “‘The Closer’ serves a pretty good tale on occasion, and this newest slaying is an acceptably average whodunit solved with an acceptably average twist. But half of the Kyra Sedgwick vehicle is well-done character development: Will she eat chocolate again? How will she meet her budget without laying off a detective? Will she stop being gun-shy with her man? Those personal details, mixed with a few sleek caper scenes, give the show its watchability. It's a good distraction.” —Doug Elfman, Chicago Sun-Times

Related: Always Be Closing [NYM]