Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why I Miss Kyra Sedgwick in "The Closer"

The Closer is in reruns, and this gives me a chance to watch details of techniques that I didn’t notice when my goal was to follow the mystery.

Kyra Sedgwick’s expressive face must surely be one of the reasons her character is so appealing.

I loved her as Brenda Lee Johnson, a tough-minded police chief detective who didn’t mind stepping on toes in her single-minded pursuit of truth.

She’s brash. She forgets dates with yummy Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney) of the FBI, and he love her anyway most of the time.

She makes tough decisions. Won’t cooperate with her? She will plop you down in the middle of a gang war, making sure your homies believe you’ve been a snitch, and if they should kill you – well, karma’s a bitch.

She smart, almost too smart for her own good. By turns charming and threatening, she is famous for closing the tough cases by eliciting a confession from the perpetrator when the evidence isn't enough to secure a conviction.

And brave. Did I mention brave? She may be scared, but like a good soldier, she does not let fear dictate her actions.

Throughout it all she looks terrific.

 And oh those expressions that move across her face when she savors a luscious chocolate, oozing with marshmallow or caramel, at the end of a long day. It is a face of utter sensuality and bliss. 

Or when she flirts. Or pretends she's going to apologize and then turns the apology into an evaluation: "I am so sorry that you are incompetent to do your job."

Brenda Leigh Johnson was not a super hero. She was a believable older woman character of strength and shortcomings in roughly equal measure. She struggled, she wasn’t always a good person, but she was always authentic.

She lived her values.

Brenda Leigh Johnson, I miss ya, baby.

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