Sequel TV

We still watch “Major Crimes.” It’s got a great cast—most of them from the original series, “The Closer.” It occasionally covers tough topics, usually responsibility (not so with last season’s concept five-parter, which contrived to demonize the black working class in a surprising way). But it’s a show for an older audience and its usually socially responsible. It’s copping out on police shootings, of course, but is there any network or basic cable cop show not? It’s hard not to look at its current five-parter about neo-Nazis as a direct response to Trump; especially since the head Nazi lawyer looks just like a Trump son. But while it has mostly the same cast as “The Closer”—and, I believe, a lot of the same writers (and the same creator and showrunner?)—it doesn’t follow the same rules as that show. Long-running television shows establish certain rules about themselves—with the possible exception of “The Wire”—and “The Closer” had a very obvious one. Kyra Sedgwick had a eureka moment while talking to someone unrelated to her case, usually Jon Tenney (who I’ve seen on shows since “Equal Justice” and has great aging genes). It was one of the predictable things about the show and it always got some slack cut for it, because it’s part of the show (or became part of the show, I’ve always argued the first season of “The Closer” is completely different from any of the subsequent ones). The show doesn’t have a gimmick, it has an annoying mascot for the police squad room. A gimmick is better, especially since the show doesn’t use the annoying mascot anymore. I’m trying to think of another sequel TV show—“Frasier,” of course, doesn’t count because it’s a spin-off not a sequel (“Major Crimes” directly continued “The Closer”’s last storyline)—and I’m coming up with nothing so there’s nothing to compare it with. Though now I do wish that “Frasier” sequel with Kelsey Grammer and Laura Linney had been a real thing.

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