‘Major Crimes’ Summer Finale Reviews

2.11-provenza raydor tao lrSome great reviews for the Major Crimes summer finale!

- Borg.com: “Breathtaking. Gut-wrenching.  This week’s summer season finale of Major Crimes should underscore for any naysayers TNT’s decision last week to renew the series for a third season.  Major Crimes wrapped its eleventh episode of the second season this week with what may be the best dramatic episode of television this year.  Revealing the murders by a “poster boy” model of several innocent victims, the producers took us on a different path through the Major Crimes typical police turf to a place we didn’t really want to go.  Creepy and disturbing in the way Medium once revealed its violent crimes, the audience was left on the edge of their seats not for any grand climax but simply marveling at how each of the cast members aided in solving the crime.” Read the full review here.

- HuffingtonPostTV: “The build-up to the reveal of who was writing those menacing letters to Rusty all season — continues on “Major Crimes.” While not as controversial as the first season finale of “The Killing” not revealing Rosie Larsen’s killer, this lack of resolution still created some distress among fans. Plus, this was only the mid-season finale, so it’s not too surprising that they’d want to wait on that reveal.”
Read full review here.

- Zap2It- “The final sequence was heartbreaking, if frustratingly short. Rusty was taken out of school on his first day by a couple of officers, while Sharon was summonsed to Taylor’s office. As Rusty arrived, the squad acted as if they knew this might be the last time they’d see the kid, but it was the moment when he saw Sharon with the stack of letters in her hands that really won the hour.” Read full review here.



Review: Flipping Channels- Major Crimes

2.11-provenza raydor tao hqA new review on NashvilleScene.com takes a look at the success of Major Crimes as it goes into tonight’s chilling mid-season finale.

“There was plenty of skepticism when TNT opted to retain most of the cast from The Closer two years ago, folding those characters into a spin-off titled Major Crimes. The biggest problem was widespread doubt the producers could create another breakout character like Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Johnson, whose personality and charisma often elevated otherwise routine episodes and kept the audience’s attention in situations ranging from odd or silly to chaotic and powerful.

As Major Crimes wraps its second season 8 p.m. tonight on TNT, it seems the show has largely settled those doubts. Series creator James Duff slightly tweaked The Closer‘s formula in making the switch to Major Crimes, moving Mary McDonnell’s Capt. Sharon Raydor (introduced during the earlier show’s final episodes) to the forefront.

Major Crimes‘ first season focused on her promotion and battle to gain the trust of her comrades, the identical struggles Johnson endured during The Closer‘s formative period. Duff added another twist with the presence of teenager Rusty Beck (Graham Patrick Martin), also initially introduced in a strong late-era episode of The Closer. Beck was and is a witness in the Phillip Stroh case, but Raydor’s decision to bring Beck into her home proved both unexpected and intriguing. The growth of their relationship has been a key element throughout the show’s second season.

The program also added a new cast member in Nadine Velazquez, who portrays prickly DA Emma Rios. While Rios’ primary job is to prosecute the pending Stroh case, she often gets involved with the team’s other cases. She also frequently clashes with Raydor, because she views her ties to key witness Beck as detrimental to getting a conviction.

During its first season, Major Crimes was TNT’s No. 1 scripted drama in the ratings. The program’s performance improved in Season Two, and it did so well TNT increased its episode count from the original order of 15 it to 19.

Tonight’s season finale again forces Capt. Raydor to make heat-of-the-moment decisions that end in controversy. This time the squad’s after a psycho on a killing spree, with every victim earning more unwanted media attention. The way Raydor handles the situation will have a huge impact on both her future and that of the Major Crimes unit — but you’ll just have to tune in to see how.”"

Read the full article here.


News Briefs: Flynn and Provenza Antics to Return, Episode 2.01 Reviews (Updated)

1.06-38-provenza flynn- TV Fanatic got a chance to talk to GW Bailey about the upcoming season of Major Crimes, and the veteran actor shed some light on whether or not those famous Flynn and Provenza-centric episodes are still on the horizon:

‘MAJOR CRIMES Were you worried that just because The Closer is over that the Provenza/Flynn fun wouldn’t move over to Major Crimes? Never fear because GW Bailey (Provenza) told me on the set last week that an upcoming episode will give the twosome some time together: “It’s not exclusively about the two of us but it’s a situation that we get into and it actually isn’t our fault. We actually do a favor for someone we’re not even fond of, Emma (new regular Nadine Velazquez, playing an ADA), and it ends up a disaster and a mess and we’re in the middle of it…whoever’s closest to the flame is the one who gets burned. It’s a good episode.”

Bailey is also excited to work with guest star Tom Berenger, who’ll appear later this season as the long-absent husband of Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell). “Tom is an old friend of mine,” said Bailey. “We did a movie together almost 30 years ago – 29 years ago – called Rustler’s Rhapsody…when we saw each other on this we promised that we’d work together every 30 years.”’

- Our friends over at RizzlesUnlimited attended an advance screening of the Major Crimes premiere last weekend, and they’ve posted a great review/recap of the episode here. Warning- there are some mild spoilers for the plot of the episode.

6/7/13, 2pm PST, ETA:

- Channel Guide Magazine Review:
“Summer is here and so is the art of the deal on Major Crimes. Don’t forget to tune in Monday, June 10 (and set your DVRs), when Capt. Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) and one of television’s best ensemble casts returns for a second season.

Seven million viewers watched Major Crimes last year, ranking Major Crimes as basic cable’s No. 1 new series of 2012. As their second season opens, Lt. Provenza (GW Bailey) continues to drop hints about retiring while Lt. Flynn (Tony Denison) commits to 10,000 steps a day to help his health.

Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) has settled in nicely with Capt. Raydor, and so has the squad with the leadership change, but a new Deputy District Attorney — Emma Rios (Nadine Velazquez) — who’d rather win in court than make deals threatens to derail the status quo of the department.”

- WhopperJaw Season 2 Review:

Major Crimes returns to TNT for its second season on June 10. We were huge fans of The Closer (until its last season when the world came crashing down on Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) and Interim Chief of Police Will Pope (J.K. Simmons) exited to do State Farm commercials.  While the quirks of hard-nosed by-the-book Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) are nowhere near as endearing or colorful as those of her predecessor, she’s proving to be a slow burn, gradually gaining our appreciation as she makes the rules work to her advantage.

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Whopperjaw got a preview of the first episode of the new season. In terms of structure, it’s clearly trying to parallel the more successful elements of the initial series. Raydor is the smart, driven central figure and Rusty, her witness/charge/”foster son” is a stand-in for her “real world” that is connected to, but not fully part of, her life fighting crime. (He’s fulfilling the role Fritzy and family played for Johnson in the original series.)  The show appears to be setting up the Deputy District Attorney Emma Rios (Nadine Velazquez) to assume Raydor’s former position as the hard-to-like, oft antagonist. However Valazquez (let us save you the time it took us to place her before we gave up and searched IMDB; among other roles she played the maid on My Name is Earl) has a difficult time pulling it off. She’s out-performed by virtually every member of the extensive cast.

Still, the story draws you in at the get-go, starting with the body of a film director’s wife being pulled from a Los Angeles pool while crusty Detective Lieutenant Provenza laments both the victim’s death and his status in life. And so, even though we’d take back Johnson and Pope in a heartbeat, with the regular cast of favorites—Provenza, Flynn, Tao, Sanchez, Taylor and Buzz—staying on the case, this spin-out  police procedural continues to beat most of the crime shows out there and retains its space on our DVR.






The Rare Case of the Successful Spin-off: Major Crimes, Season One

In a review of season one, borg.com compares Major Crimes to The Closer- and finds Major Crimes to be the exception to the rule when it comes to spin-offs.

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 Leigh 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.

Read the whole review here.

Major Crimes Season One Review

From Charity’s Reviews:

It’s rare when a spin-off series pulls its own weight, but Major Crimes is the exception. Picking up where the top-rated TNT drama The Closer left off, it continues in the fast-paced world of crime solving but this time with a different twist… it’s not just about closing cases anymore, it’s about making deals…

Read the whole review here


Review: Episode 1.09 “Cheaters Never Prosper”

In a new review from TVEquals.com, the transition from Brenda Leigh Johnson to Sharon Raydor has at last come full circle.

“I was among them, and it kind of threw me for a loop at first that they would even consider giving the lead to McDonnell’s character, who had been such a constant thorn in the side of nearly everyone on the show. Now I get it. The people behind “Major Crimes” went for the long con, and judging from their early renewal, it ultimately worked. The trick was subtly changing the character from the personification of an evil overseer to one who played it tough because she had to. You might not like Raydor’s methods as much as Brenda’s, but they too, get the job done.

“I was among them, and it kind of threw me for a loop at first that they would even consider giving the lead to McDonnell’s character, who had been such a constant thorn in the side of nearly everyone on the show. Now I get it. The people behind “Major Crimes” went for the long con, and judging from their early renewal, it ultimately worked. The trick was subtly changing the character from the personification of an evil overseer to one who played it tough because she had to. You might not like Raydor’s methods as much as Brenda’s, but they too, get the job done.

Interestingly, more than a few have rallied to McDonnell’s defense, pointing out how the character had subtle shades to it that had revealed themselves gradually, trusting the viewer to be patient and hang in there, for ultimately, the reward would be great- when it finally came. Well, friends and neighbors, they may have taken too long for some people’s tastes, but by God, they’ve finally got there, and most importantly, without compromising the hard edge that made some gravitate to Raydor in the first place.”

Read the whole review from TVEquals.com here.

Review: Episode 1.05- “Citizen’s Arrest”

Review of episode 1.05 “Citizen’s Arrest” by TVFanatic.com:

“From the moment we learned about the crime of the week until the last scene of the episode, every aspect of Major Crimes was perfection. Brenda Leigh Johnson could not have handled the case any better than Sharon Raydor, and it’s my assessment that the nature of the case needed the likes of Raydor and her willingness to deal with the ugliest dregs of society. “

Read the whole review here.



Review: Episode 1.04 “The Ecstasy and the Agony

Review of episode 1.04 by TVfanatic.com

I also enjoyed the exchange between Tao and Raydor when Tao said he remembered something really important from the crime scene, but he forgot what it was. The way Raydor has taken to behaving in such situations is purely her take on the character. She makes a slight tilt of her head, breathes in a bit and almost smirks before replying. To his forgetting she said something like: ‘Well, come on back when you remember’ and turned around and walked back to what she was doing.

It’s as though she just expects the little moments of incompetency and won’t let them get to her. That was not at all what I expected when she was put in charge.”

Read the whole review here.