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TV Series Review

Los Angeles' best closer may be gone, but that doesn't mean killers and crooks catch a break in the City of Angels these days. Not, at least, on TNT.

After seven seasons as one of television's best-loved cops, Brenda Leigh Johnson (The Closer) is no longer around to coax out confessions with her honeyed drawl. (While she was on the job, actress Kyra Sedgwick was nominated for five Emmys and The Closer became one of cable's most-watched shows.) Not ones to leave their beat, though, Brenda's old squad is still on the telly, just with Brenda's best frienemy, Captain Sharon Raydor, at the helm. Under the title Major Crimes, the show is now in its fifth season.

The Opener

Captain Raydor was herself introduced in Season 5 of The Closer as an in-department antagonist—a badge-wearing watchdog tasked with sniffing out instances where officers had used excessive force or stepped over a legal line while bringing bad guys to justice. Since cozying up to that line was at times a point of pride for Brenda and her end-justifies-the-means team, she and Sharon clashed. Frequently.

Now Sharon's heading the same team that for three years barely tolerated her presence. Tension? Uh, yeah, at least at first. And Brenda and Sharon couldn't be more different. Where Brenda was all Southern charm and toughness—a heaping helping of grits with a side of magnolia—Sharon's a by-the-book professional, pleasant but a bit distant. She's not chummy and never silly.

How are the two similar? In the way they make the crook or cop who dares cross them rue the day they met. And clearly, after seven years with Brenda's old crew, Sharon's earned their trust. So much so, in fact, that she and Det. Andy Flynn are getting ready to move in together.

Crimes' Misdemeanors

Major Crimes, like its predecessor, still balances hardboiled crime-procedural plots with a light office atmosphere, full of banter and inside jokes. But it can be deadly earnest at times, too—and surprisingly touching.

Sharon also serves as adoptive mother to Rusty Beck, a one-time homeless teen prostitute introduced to viewers in The Closer's waning days. Now he's all grown up and is slowly creeping into a relationship himself—a homosexual one with Gus Wallace (though for now, Rusty's more comfortable calling it a "good friendship.")

Due to Sharon's by-the-book persona, the show also steers clear(er) of The Closer's habit of pushing the law as far as possible (and sometimes even breaking it) in order to catch the bad guys. But Major Crimes still has some major flaws. Its language can be quite harsh, even straying into s-word territory on occasion. Crimes sometimes hinge on sleazy sexual escapades. And there's almost always at least one dead body to be uncovered and examined/dissected.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

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Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Major Crimes: Aug. 1, 2016 "Moral Hazard"
Major-Crimes: 12-30-2013
Major-Crimes: 9-3-2012



Readability Age Range



Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor; G.W. Bailey as Lt. Louie Provenza; Tony Denison as Lt. Andy Flynn; Michael Paul Chan as Lt. Mike Tao; Raymond Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez; Phillip P. Keene as Buzz Watson; Graham Patrick Martin as Rusty Beck; Robert Gossett as Assistant Chief Taylor; Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes; Jonathan Del Arco as Dr. Morales






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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