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"The Closer" Is Not All About That

"The Closer" on TNT starring Kyra Sedgwick had its 6th season finale on Monday night.

The final moments of the episode were sweet, with her character Brenda Leigh Johnson reaching out to husband Fritz Howard and inviting him to tell her everything he'd never told her about being an alcoholic.

She opened up and she listened.

The premise of this TV series is that Brenda *closes* cases. She uses wit and wile to get suspects to open up and reveal the truth. That's what it's supposed to be about.

But, after six great seasons of drama, I realize that the series is not about that. It's about opening up. It's about being vulnerable and taking risks and opening up to hear things you may or may not want to hear. It's about opening up in order to grow and to move on to a new phase in life.

Brenda Leigh has opened up more than anyone during the past six seasons.

I could see that in her in the final minute of the episode. A sweetness, a vulnerability, a humanness that wasn't there years ago.

Thanks to my friend Alesia for prompting me to think about this.


The Curse of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Struck me this morning.

Judy Garland sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." She died early of an overdose.

Eva Cassidy sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." She died early of cancer.

Jim Henson (Kermit the Frog) sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" during a skit. He died early of pneumonia.

Just sayin.'


Teflon TV

I finally figured out what's been bugging me so much about the thing I used to love -- episodic TV drama.

It's slippery.

Dramatic things that happen to our main characters -- gunshot wounds, unexpected loss of family or friend or partner or colleague, a neverending series of intense missions -- roll off them like Teflon.

Nothing sticks. Nothing seems to have an impact. Nothing accumulates. People get scared but don't stay that way for long. People get hurt but don't stay that way for long. People rig deal after deal or undercover mission after undercover mission in the same city and nobody ever seem to notice.

Some kind of dramatic crescendo will build during an episode or a few episodes, but as soon as it's over, the next week it's right back to the snark. Right back to the "easy, breezy, beautiful" episodic drama.

With just a few exceptions.

It's just not human. It feels shallow. It feels lacking.  It feels like a cookie cutter structure, show after show. It's just not as good.

Give me some dramatic chops!


The Scents of a Neighborhood

Went for a walk this evening and encountered, in the moisture-laden air, a parade of nighttime scents. They marched with me around the streets of northern Alexandria.

Down Martha Custis -- a dryer sheet (coming from a vent) -- patchouli maybe.

Along Valley Drive -- garlic bread, for sure.

Up Gunston Road -- tomato sauce and pasta, pretty sure.

At the top of Gunston -- lavender from a garden.

Along Cameron Mills near the fire station (no kidding) -- wood smoke.

Up lower Valley Drive -- damp grass and a clean northwestern wind.


Are you ready to dive in, too?

This is the most inspiring spot from a local politician I've ever seen in my life. The most creative.

And I'm not saying that just because I know John. I was a swim team timer when he was the coach. He was a good teacher and a good actor, too.

He's taken this political gig to new depths.

And all kudos to him.

This is truly inspiring.

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