Out with the old. In with the…almost, kinda, sorta not-so-old:
TNT Says Goodbye to The Closer, Hello to Major Crimes – by Adam Bryant
The Closer‘s series finale finds Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) trying to put away slippery defense attorney — and suspected serial rapist —Phillip Stroh (Billy Burke) once and for all. And although the climax of the Stroh storyline heavily impacts Brenda’s future, it’s the introduction of another character — an orphaned teenage hustler named Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) — that may ultimately prove to be most important. So much so that he’ll also be a focal point of Major Crimes.
“Brenda meets a witness … who indirectly changes her life,” creator James Duff tells TVGuide.com. “I didn’t want to necessarily have this character transition, but when this kid showed up… he just did an amazing job. And because he became Brenda’s sort of unexpected doppelganger, a lot of her energy transfers on to him in the show. It was a way of sort of keeping her voice alive even though she was gone.”
And indeed, after closing the Stroh case, shedding a few tears, and eating one last sweet treat, Brenda will leave the squad room behind. But Major Crimes, which features almost all of The Closer‘s supporting cast and is shot and edited similarly, picks up almost exactly where its predecessor leaves off. The two major differences: Capt. Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) is now leading the team and the Major Crimes unit now has a new guiding principle.
“Whereas Brenda wanted to go for the confession, Raydor wants the conviction,” Duff says. “Brenda did not care about the financial costs of what she did, [but] there are serious budget issues inside the California Justice System right now. There’s a limit to how much justice we can afford. There is an incredible pressure to get plea bargains now. …The justice system was not designed to be a bargain, but we have to turn it into one.”
So the series goes from one that damns the torpedoes and goes full speed ahead toward satisfying viewers’ feelings of frustration and impotence to one that fills us with rage every week because the most frustrating thing about the criminal justice system – plea bargaining – is now its reason d’etre? Great.
Could this mean one less hour to fill up the TVWriter™ DVRs? We’ll let you know…