Graham Patrick Martin
When TNT's The Closer ends its seven-season run tonight, the Kyra Sedgwick drama isn't ending as much as it's morphing into Major Crimes (10pm), a show featuring much of The Closer's cast and, most important, its creator James Duff.
All of which gives you reason to hope that Major Crimes will settle into The Closer's comfy space as a well-made-if-not-great cop show with strong characters and memorable dialog. So far, judging by tonight's premiere, Major Crimes isn't quite there, yet.
That's not to say Major Crimes is bad or not worth watching. Its problem is that it feels like your favorite cup of coffee, but the cream and sugar are missing.
In Major Crimes, Mary McDonnell's Captain Sharon Raydor from The Closer takes over the Los Angeles Police Department's Major Crimes division.
Unlike Sedgwick's Brenda Leigh Johnson, who essentially solved crimes as everyone else looked on, Captain Raydor is trying to get the whole team working together.
The team includes a bunch of The Closer's characters, including Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey), who butts heads with Captain Raydor. Which, intentional or not, underscores a theme in Major Crimes: women in, men out.
On tonight's premiere, the Major Crimes team is working a case where a group of robbers hit up grocery stores. What had been synchronized crime sprees turns deadly, with only one of the robbers left alive. The Major Crimes team works to get a confession out of the murderer.
Meantime, Captain Raydor takes in a troubled teen. Which brings up a quibble, but an important one.
Mary McDonnell's character has a distinct look that just might drive you crazy. Her hair is dangling in her face, to the point that you just want to run her fingers through and pull it back into a tight ponytail. And, while she's at it, her glasses need adjusting - they hang just a tad too far down her nose. It's infuriating.
Mary's appearance may be a minor point. Maybe. But, like Major Crimes itself, her character needs tightening up - a bit, not an overhaul.