TNT’s The Closer, entering its second season, is all about the girl. Atlanta native Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) heads a special LAPD homicide unit, and thus is in charge of mostly male police officers, who last season had to learn to respect her despite her Southern eccentricities and boobs. This season seems bound to run along the same lines: The first we see of Sedgwick’s cop is two high heels clicking out of a patrol car at a crime scene in which an officer has been killed in suspicious circumstances. Johnson quickly raises the ire of many men in blue in her handling of the case, which appears to be an internal affair. Dum-dum-dummmm! Or not.
Closer‘s mysteries are never, ever surprising, in a mostly comforting way, which is part of the series’ old-school charm. Just like Columbo, Sedgwick’s Southerner delights in outsmarting her prey by playing dumb, and just like Quincy, she places work above her strung-along lover, FBI agent Fritz (Jon Tenney). But if TNT’s new drama Saved believes it’s manlier than it is, Closer thinks it’s cuter than is warranted. Sedgwick has serious charisma, but she overworks the accent — an entire drinking game could be based around her theeenk yeeews — and her frequent epiphanies (the equivalent of Columbo’s ”one more thing”) have her looking into the distance so aggressively she seems to be passing gas. Which of course leads us to Johnson’s ay-dorable sugar cravings, which she’s now trying to fight by stocking her desk with fruit. At the end of the first episode, she tosses a forbidden pastry into the trash, right after she’s turned down the dinner invite from her ex-beau and boss, the newly single assistant police chief Pope (Oz‘s J.K. Simmons). Closer‘s cutesiness aside, it wins big points for comparing the wistful, bemused, consistently great Simmons to dessert.