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While season seven is said to be the last, season six of THE CLOSER shows that the series has lost none of its potency and remains one of best shows on television, not to mention one of my personal favorites. With season six, THE CLOSER continues to redefine the police procedural by mixing that well established genre with character-based drama, in addition to keen deductive reasoning and plenty of humor. Kyra Sedgwick and her portrayal Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson remains key to the show’s continued success, but I don’t want to slight any of the supporting players, who complement one of the best and most vivid characterizations on cable television.

The premise of THE CLOSER finds Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson in charge of the Los Angeles police department’s Major Crimes Division. With a CIA background in interrogation, Brenda Leigh Johnson is as shrewd as they come; not only can she zero in on a perpetrator, she almost always secures a confession directly from their lips. Despite her professionalism and obvious job skills, Brenda’s always seems to have a problem getting her ducks in a row, where her personal life is concerned.

The cast of THE CLOSER also features J.K. Simmons as Assistant Police Chief Will Pope, who was once romantically involved with Brenda. Corey Reynolds is Sargent David Gabriel, the first member of the investigative unit 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 consistently amusing characters. Anthony John Denison is Detective Andy Flynn, who, along with Provenza, have gained tremendous respect for Brenda- and not only because she has pulled both of their butts out to the fire on more than one occasion. Robert Gossett as Commander Taylor, who has baggage, but has slowly come around to Brenda’s side. The remaining members of the Deputy Chief Johnson’s unit include Michael Paul Chan as Detective Mike Tao and Raymond Cruz as Detective Sanchez. Finally, we have Jon Tenney as Brenda’s husband FBI Agent Fritz Howard, who seems to assist the L.A.P.D. more and more. Look for reoccurring appearances by Frances Sternhagen as Brenda’s mother Willie Rae and Barry Corbin as Brenda’s father Clay Johnson. Season six also features a several of appearances from Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor.

THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON ($40) comes to DVD in a three-disc set that features the following fifteen episodes that were aired during year six: The Big Bang, Help Wanted, In Custody, Layover, Heart Attack, Off The Hook, Jump The Gun, War Zone, Last Woman Standing, Executive Order, Old Money, High Crimes, Living Proof Part 1, Living Proof Part 2, An Ugly Game. Stories that play out over season six include Brenda finding herself in the running to be the next Police Chief, along side her boss Will Pope, who is also a contender; Major Crimes being relocated to new offices that leave a lot to be desired; Brenda and Fritz find themselves with a new working relationship; Brenda has to pull Provenza and Flynn’s bacon out of the fire yet again; Sanchez takes in an orphaned boy; Brenda has several mores encounters with police Captain Sharon Raydor, both good and bad.

Warner Home Video has made all fifteen episodes from THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The episodes look respectable, standard definition not withstanding, but seem a little softer than previous seasons. Overall, image sharpness and detail are decent and won’t get too many complaints. Colors are saturated at a natural level. Flesh tones appear pretty accurate. Blacks are deep enough, while the whites appear crisp. Contrast is smooth and the lighting avoids too much flatness. The film elements from which the episodes have been transferred display few imperfections. A mild to moderate grain structure can be noticed here and there, but it never becomes excessive. Digital compression artifacts are more noticeable than on past sets. I think shoehorning five episodes onto a disc is a bit much for the DVD format.

All of the episodes that constitute THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. The episodic television sound design is simple and unremarkable, but effective enough for a talky crime drama. There are occasional channel separations, but much of what we hear is front and center. The outlying channels don’t see too much activity beyond ambient sounds and musical fill. Overall, the fidelity is good, but the material remains largely dialogue based, and thereby, unremarkable. Music has respectable fidelity, plus the sound effects come across in a reasonably convincing fashion. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English, French and Chinese 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 some extras. Features include Kyra Sedgwick Opens Up About The Closer and Script to Screen: Making Episode 3 In Custody. Deleted Scenes are also spread throughout the set. A Gag Reel closes out the extras.

No question about it, THE CLOSER is one of the best shows on cable or broadcast television. THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON looks and sounds pretty respectable, but a bit over compressed. Still, recommended.


The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season (2010)



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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