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.