The Closer

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
The Closer TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Riveting crime drama with a strong female lead.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Looks at how intuition, strategy, and smarts can lead put a criminal behind bars. Contains some discussion of corruption. Less-than-ethical methods are sometimes used in order to ensure the closure of a case.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are complex, but very moral. Brenda Johnson is a very strong, empowered woman. The supporting cast is racially/ethnically diverse.

Violence

Dead bodies, some blood, discussion of weapons and murders, computer re-creations of crime scenes.

Sex

Discussion of dating practices. Kissing, hugging.

Language

Language includes words like "ass" and "s--t" (unbleeped).

Consumerism

Johnson's obsession with snacks provides glimpses of products, like a Special K snack bar.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking. Discussion of drugs in relation to crimes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this crime drama's main character is a strong, smart female in a complex role. That said, since the series is about murder investigations, dead bodies, blood, and intensely emotional interrogations are all shown frequently. Crimes sometimes involve drugs and other nefarious activity.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJared Galczynski May 12, 2014

Closer to an AY MAYRA.

Closer to an AY MAYRA. There are a few bloody murder scenes involved, and one episode features a scene where the victim is shown stabbed, and her blood and gore... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byhead shot July 12, 2010
Kid, 8 years old September 13, 2011

great, worth the not too bad advisories

Great show, worth the language, violence and drugs.
Teen, 13 years old Written byravenfan101999 July 24, 2010

Teenagers

LOVE THIS SHOW!!! Not for kids under 13. There is an episode where she thinks she might be pregnant. There are people talking about sexual murders such as rape... Continue reading

What's the story?

Kyra Sedgwick plays a bold, quirky police detective from Atlanta who heads up a special murder unit of the LAPD in this riveting crime drama. Like the outstanding British crime series Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren, THE CLOSER's cases are complicated, the dialogue fast-paced, and the working relationships tense -- all accompanied by a strong, complex female lead showing off her stellar detecting and interrogation skills. Sedgwick's Brenda Johnson is a pleasure to watch; she's full of ticks and traits: her battle with sugar, her indecision over settling down with her FBI beau (Jon Tenney), the Southern charm she turns on and off, and -- most importantly -- her apparent disregard for her coworkers' opinions of her. The show's title refers to Johnson's unfailing ability to extract confessions from difficult subjects and tie up sensitive cases with passion and precision.

Is it any good?

While Johnson's co-workers don't always like her, they can't help but admire her dedication to her work and her unequalled abilities. In one episode, for example, Johnson investigates the murder of a police detective and a notorious criminal. She walks through a sea of uniformed officers who are protesting her delayed removal of the detective's body from the crime scene and stands firm against intense pressure to skip important investigation steps in order to appease the angry crowd. She's clearly a force to be reckoned with, wrapped up in tiny, blond female form.

Johnson's boss/former lover, Assistant Police Chief Will Pope, is played by the crackly J.K. Simmons of Law & Order and Oz, who turns in a quality performance to back up Sedgwick. Johnson's co-workers are a welcome mix of ethnicities, though they're mostly male; other female characters are rare, sadly. Tension between Johnson and the one other female character in the squad, Detective Irene Daniels (Gina Ravera), while hardly different from the guarded relationship between Johnson and the rest of her staff, could tip toward female backbiting with a slight push.

Blood and dead bodies are not uncommon, and semi-graphic descriptions of crime and violence are peppered throughout the action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's main character. What makes Johnson so interesting? How is she different from other characters on crime shows? What does her relationship with the other main female character say about female relationships, especially in the workplace? How does race play out in the drama -- is it even a factor?

TV details

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