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Once again another great television series reached its final episode, and again I am reminded that all good things do come to an end. THE CLOSER reached its final episode at the request of its star, actress Kyra Sedgwick, who must be itching to do other things, in addition to going out while the series was still at the top of its game... instead as a tire old dog that the network needed to put to sleep. Even in its final season, THE CLOSER remained a great television drama thanks largely to Kyra Sedgwick and her portrayal Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, as well as the great ensemble cast, who were there to support the series star. As with its previous six seasons, season seven of THE CLOSER offered a rich character-based drama that melded humor and keen deductive reasoning to the tried and true police procedural.

For those that missed the previous six seasons, 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 Interim 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, when she was brought in from outside the department. 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 is 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 Julio 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 seven also features Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor, who now stars in THE CLOSER spinoff entitled MAJOR CRIMES, which in addition to McDonnell, will feature the majority of the cast from THE CLOSER.

THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a five-disc set that features the following twenty one episodes that were aired during year seven: Unknown Trouble, Repeat Offender, To Serve With Love, Under Control, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Home Improvement, A Family Affair, Death Warrant, Star Turn, Fresh Pursuit, Necessary Evil, You Have The Right To Remain Jolly, Relative Matters, Road Block, Silent Partner, Hostile Witness, Fool's Gold, Drug Fiend, Last Rites, Armed Response and The Last Word. Stories that play out over season seven include Brenda and the Major Crimes squad are targeted in a multi-million dollar civil lawsuit; information is being leaked from an unknown party within Major Crimes to the attorney bringing the lawsuit; because of the lawsuit and subsequent leak, Captain Sharon Raydor is brought in to put Major Crimes under the microscope; Brenda learns troubling news about her father; Brenda targets a slippery defense attorney, whom she is convinced is a rapist and murderer.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty one episodes from THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The standard definition episodes generally look better than they did last season which may be the result of giving the episodes more breathing room across five discs, although disc one is still a bit of a squeeze. For the most part, image sharpness and detail prove pretty nice for this cable television production. Colors are saturated at a natural level, while flesh tones maintain an appealing look. Blacks are generally accurate, while the whites appear fairly crisp. Contrast is smooth and has more diversity than episodic television productions that feature flat sitcom lighting. The film elements from which the episodes have been transferred appear quite clean. A mild grain structure can be noticed here and there, but it never becomes excessive. Digital compression artifacts rarely cause concern, but are a bit more noticeable on disc one.

All of the episodes that constitute THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. Like the preceding seasons, the television sound designs remain simple and completely unremarkable. There are occasional channel separations, but THE CLOSER is a talky crime drama, so very little of the sound strays from 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 Confessions Of The Closer: a roundtable wrap up with the creators and cast of THE CLOSER. Deleted Scenes are also spread throughout the set. A Gag Reel closes out the extras.

After seven seasons, THE CLOSER is retiring on its police pension, but remains one of the best shows to have aired on cable television. THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON looks and sounds quite good. Recommended.


The Closer: The Complete Seventh Season



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 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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