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Closer: The Complete Sixth Season, The

Warner Bros. // Unrated // June 21, 2011
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted July 21, 2011 | E-mail the Author
The Series:
Ashley: Can I be totally honest with you?
Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson : I'd love for you to try.
While most shows would have jumped the shark by the sixth season, The Closer, TNT's hit police procedural, keeps on going strong with no signs of slowing down.  In previous seasons Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson has had to fight battles within the police force with other officers and even her own squad.  This year things are a bit different... she has to deal with being drafted to apply for the position of Chief of Police of the LAPD. 
Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) was brought to LA by Assistant Police Chief Will Pope (J.K. Simmons) to lead up a new special murder investigation task force; Major Crimes charged with solving high profile murder cases quickly and with as little drama in the press as possible.  Johnson was recruited because of her uncanny ability to 'close' a case; obtaining confessions that ensure a conviction.
When the current Chief of Police announces his retirement, Pope is the leading candidate to replace him.  It's a job he's wanted his whole life, and now that he has his chance he doesn't want anything to blow it for him.
While working on a case, Brenda is tailed by her nemesis, Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica) from Internal Affairs.  She's being grilled about her past association with Will Pope (they had an affair when they were both married and working in Washington DC) and Brenda assumes it's Pope's background check.  It isn't.  It Brenda's background check.  The powers that be feel that a woman should be considered for Chief of Police, and Brenda is the most qualified woman in the department.

That doesn't sit well with Pope, who desperately wants the job, and Fritz, Brenda's FBI Officer husband is surprised and displeased that he finds out about it from a source other than his wife.  With the other women officers now kissing up to Brenda and Pope not wanting her to shine too brightly, Deputy Chief Johnson is has more than enough drama in her life, especially since she's not sure that she wants the job in the first place.
This was a good season, though I couldn't help feel that it would have been more effective if they had postponed the larger plot line until the following season.  They've announced that season seven will be the last one for the series, and knowing that took a lot of the suspense out of the search for Chief of Police.
Aside from that misstep, this is another strong set of shows.  One of the standout episodes is Off the Hook where a member of the Parole Board.  Is it a coincidence that the woman determined whether crooks were released from jail or not, or is it the beginning of a string of killings of government officials?  Wanting quick results and to impress the mayor (who hires the next Chief of Police) Pope decides to take over the investigation himself, and proceeds in a totally different way than Brenda would, much to her irritation.
There's also a show made mainly for laughs once again, and as in previous seasons it centers on detectives Sgt. Provenza, and Lt. Flynn.  This time the two officers are returning from transporting a criminal to another state when, against all expectations, they pick up a pair of hot flight attendants.  They take the women home and Provenza goes into the bathroom to pop a Viagra when he discovers a dead body in the bathtub.  The fact that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene, and that they he and his partner are the alibis for the prime suspects does nothing to ingratiate him with the chief.  It was a funny show, with a nice twist near the end.
The only real gripe I have against this season in the cover art for the DVD case that is also used on the menus.  Kyra Sedgwick's image is airbrushed and touched up so much that it's hard to recognize her.  The actress is in her mid-40's and looks it.  That's not an insult, she looks great naturally.  But she's a great looking middle aged woman.  She shouldn't look like a 20-something ingénue, and that's look that they're going for on the cover.  Ugh.
The DVD:

The fifteen episodes that comprise the sixth season of The Closer are presented on four DVDs.  These come in a single-width keepcase with two 'pages' that hold all four discs.  This is housed in a slipcase.  A very nice compact set. 
This series comes with a DD 5.1 English soundtrack, which fits the show well.  The dialog is clear and the range is adequate.  There is some use of the soundstage, but since this is a dialog based show much of the audio is firmly centered on the screen thought he surrounds are employed at times.  The only subtitles available are French and Spanish.  Inexplicably there are no English subtitles. 
As with the earlier season sets, this show comes with a nice 1.78:1 widescreen picture which is anamorphically enhanced.  The image looked very good.  The colors were strong, the image was sharp and the detail was fine.  The show was a tad dark in some places, and there is some grain but that is undoubtedly the way the creators intended it.  On the digital side, there was a bit of aliasing present in the background, but this was minor.
The extras are similar to what has appeared on the last couple of sets.  Unfortunately there are still no commentary tracks.  There are a few deleted scenes that accompany various episodes, a brief gag reel, and a nice featurette Kyra Sedgwick Open Up About The Closer. 
Final Thoughts:
The Closer is my favorite detective show that's currently in production.  A police procedural that doesn't end when the crook is captured, the ways that Deputy Chief Johnson drags confessions out of the perpetrators is both compelling and makes for some excellent drama.  Highly Recommended.
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Highly Recommended

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