Advertisements

Tag Archive: Jon Tenney


Major Crimes Season 4

It’s pretty rare–we’ve been able to watch the goings on at the LAPD of Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey), Lt. Flynn (Tony Denison), Lt. Tao (Michael Paul Chan), Assistant Chief Taylor (Robert Gossett), Detective Sanchez (Raymond Cruz), and Buzz (Phillip P. Keene) for eleven years now.  Bridging their exploits in The Closer and three seasons to Major Crimes, it’s just remarkable for any series to successfully marry a group of writers and a solid ensemble cast to continue to provide us with more to look forward to each year for eleven seasons.  Tonight, they’re all back, with Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell), Dr. Morales (Jonathan Del Arco), Detective Sykes (Kearran Giovanni), and Rusty Beck (Graham Patrick Martin) rounding out the cast, as the fourth season of Major Crimes begins on TNT.

The bad news is that we hear the spin-off series featuring the S.O.B. (Strategic Operations Bureau) is officially off the table, with what would have been star Laurie Holden off on another series.  But look for Jon Tenney’s Fritz Howard to be back at least once this year, and the return of Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Jeri Ryan, and maybe even Tom Berenger.

Captain Raydor

The network has hinted that we can expect less of the Phillip Stroh threat after last year’s finale, and more of the Flynn and Raydor relationship, but better yet, a focus on Raymond Cruz’s Detective Sanchez as he finally must deal with his anger issues.

Here’s some quick previews of the season premiere:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Major Crimes clip

When we last left the Los Angeles Major Crimes division at the mid-season break in August, the team was busy closing cases in their own signature style of action-filled drama.  In its third season, week after week Major Crimes continued delivering the unexpected, a police procedural whose crew, now well into their tenth year working together, melds into a seamless ensemble.  Major Crimes returns to TNT tomorrow night with many questions for fans.  The biggest?  Will the producers and network spin off Jon Tenney’s FBI agent Fritz Howard and Laurie Holden’s acting deputy director Ann McGinnis into their own Strategic Operations Bureau (S.O.B.) series?

The core of the series this season revolves around Mary McDonnell’s Captain Sharon Raydor and her live-in teen Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin).  Raydor’s son opposed Sharon’s attempts to adopt Rusty.  Rusty revealed to his friends in the division that he is gay.  Rusty’s mom continued her confrontation with addiction via the jail cell and Rusty must deal with her recurring attempts to manipulate him.  And Fritz began to try to find a balance with his stressful new duties in light of his recent heart attack.

Major Crimes Buzz

Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Central we’ll find out what’s next, with the new episode “Down the Drain.”  After the break, watch some promotional previews for the coming shows:

Continue reading

Strategic Operations Bureau

If you aren’t watching this season of Major Crimes, last night you likely missed the best episode of television this year, which made us do a double take as to whether this was a midseason finale special cliffhanger ratings booster.  It wasn’t.  Likewise, it was the best TV pilot we’ve seen in ages (more on that later).  And add to that one of the most satisfying conclusions that The Closer and Major Crimes writers James Duff and Mike Bercham have concocted yet.

Directed by The Closer, Major Crimes, Dallas, and NYPD Blue director Michael M. Robin, the episode “Two Options” took an almost Dragnet approach to a police procedural and crammed more drama into an hour of TV than we thought possible.  And the climax might have caused someone to claim it as the best stand-and-cheer moment since Eowyn killed the Witch-King at the end of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Reviewers write about new seasons and finale episodes all the time, but it takes a great hour of regular programming to cause you to stop in your tracks and tell everyone about it, especially in the week full of press briefings leading up to Comic-Con.

Major Crimes Two Options and SOB

For regulars of the series who haven’t watched the episode yet, we’ll just note that everyone gets his and her moment–Sharon, Louie, Andy, Mike, Julio, Buzz, Amy, Taylor, Rusty, Dr. Joe, Cooper, and even Fritz.  Although if we worked in the actual district attorneys’ office in Los Angeles we’d probably not be too happy with the portrayals of last years’ Deputy D.A. Rios or last night’s D.D.A. Gloria Lim.

That brings us to our prediction.  Allow us to summon the ghost of Carnac the Magnificent.  (Drum roll, please).

Continue reading

Major Crimes Season Two banner

TNT’s first season of Major Crimes was the surprise win of 2012.  It accomplished something very rare, taking a series–The Closer–that might otherwise have wound down after seven seasons, and used a change in cast to take the best ensemble cast on TV in a very different direction.  For fans of the series wanting to delve deeper into the decision to move the story of L.A.’s Major Crimes unit from a team bent on getting criminal admissions to settling cases, check out Major Crimes: The Complete First Season, available on DVD, next Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

The DVD set includes the ten season one episodes plus four behind-the-scenes features, deleted scenes showing some good acting by the cast that didn’t make the final cut, and a blooper reel.  The best of the features, “Major Crimes: Major Challenge,” examines the big hurdle for this spinoff series, and series creator/writer and executive producer James Duff reveals the challenges, rationale for story arcs, and casting decisions that resulted in the first season of Major Crimes.  Duff is open about the struggle the writers had, ultimately pulling the reality of national economic crises into the series as a key story element that grounded the first season episodes.  Here are three clips from Season One:

Series star Mary McDonnell and the rest of the cast discuss the characters in the feature “Crossing the Tape: Inside the Major Crimes Squad,” touching on Captain Raydor in particular.  Fans of the series actors cannot get enough of these types of interviews, and hopefully future season DVD sets include in-depth interviews with Lieutenant Provenza (G.W. Bailey), Lieutenant Flynn (Tony Denison), Lieutenant Tao (Michael Paul Chan), Detective Sanchez (Raymond Cruz), and Buzz (Phillip P. Keene).  This includes some insightful anecdotes, such as having show writers refer to Detective Tao instead as Mike to personalize the role and cut-through the possible stereotype of Michael Paul Chan’s character as just another Asian on TV.  Instead of focusing on featurettes tied to the characters from The Closer, the DVD set includes two features focusing on the new key roles: witness turned foster teen Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) and the too-eager-to-please Detective Sykes (Kearran Giovanni).

Major Crimes Complete First Season DVD

Continue reading

Reviewed by C.J. Bunce

The first season of Major Crimes was better than the last season of The Closer.  It even had individual episodes that out-performed several episodes of the entire run of The Closer.  Since the production was working with pretty much the entire cast of The Closer sans the series lead, is that a commentary on Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Lee Johnson?  Heck no, but the freshman year of Major Crimes convinced me that The Closer picked the right time to end a good thing.  Major Crimes is a good series in its own right that should be judged on its own merits.  Yes, it has its faults, including some clunky writing in its season finale.  Yet considering it was set up for failure from almost the beginning of the last season of The Closer, Major Crimes surpassed the typically lackluster performance of any season one effort.

Continue reading

Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

For the past 6 seasons TNT’s The Closer has consistently been one of the strongest dramas in Prime Time.  With its inexplicable mix of graphic violence, quirky and lovable characters, and domestic chaos, the show delivers its own original brand of police procedural whodunnit.  Led by Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson, the entertaining ensemble cast keeps viewers tuning in weekly every summer.  Now The Closer’s last season has begun, with typical solid writing and performances. 

“Unknown Trouble” follows a mass murder in a rap music label-owned LA mansion.  Real-life rapper Reason’s music provides the undeniably catchy baseline for the whole episode–both literally and metaphorically.  But the real reason we tune in is for the drama of Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson’s personal and professional life.  And “Unknown Trouble” delivers here as well.  Within the first 20 minutes, the Major Crimes squad is plunged into organizational chaos and a wrongful death lawsuit, both of which had me fairly bubbling over with rampant speculation over what’s to come in the next 20 episodes (10 into fall, 5 winter and 6 next summer)–and beyond.

Because although Season 7 may be The Closer’s and Sedgwick’s last, it was released today that much of the cast has signed on for a Major Crimes spinoff to begin where The Closer finale leaves off.  This is happy news indeed, as I have begun to tire of Brenda’s constant angst, but knew I’d miss Flynn, Provenza, Sanchez, Tau, Gabriel and Buzz.  What could be better?  But 20 episodes is a lot of room to send off the current crew.  And lots of questions to answer–Where will Chief Pope (JK Simmons, Spider-man, Law and Order) end up?  Will Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica) lead the squad?  Can Fritz (Jon Tenney, Green Lantern) and Joel continue living with Brenda?  Looks like plenty of The Closer entertainment to keep us watching through next year.