Idol Chatter

The promotional campaign last summer for TNT’s “The Closer,” a Law & Order-like crime-solving drama (but way, way quirkier), featured the show’s main character, Chief Brenda Johnson (played by Kyra Sedgwick), announcing: “Confession. It’s good for the soul.” For those of you who ignored her appeal and missed this excellent show, you have a second chance to tune in (and confess away): Season One of “The Closer” is re-running now on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., in preparation for Season Two, which starts this summer.

I happened to catch the pilot episode in June and was immediately addicted to Chief Johnson’s humor, no-nonsense crime-solving style, and Southern charm, as well as the show’s totally engrossing stories. And as I kept tuning in, week after week, to see what cases came across Chief Johnson’s desk, I couldn’t help but notice, during the commercials, how TNT was using Chief Johnson’s trademark style–sweet talking the suspect into spilling the beans–as a means to lure viewers into watching this confession-centered drama. Time after time, Chief Johnson would appear on screen to advertise “The Closer” and announce in her syrupy Southern drawl that confession is “good for the soul.” And every time she said those words, I thought about the paradox this set up. In Christianity, confessing is literally a means of soul-cleansing and a way of gaining God’s forgiveness–truth-telling your way to liberation–but on the show and in Chief Brenda Johnson’s mind, confession might indeed make you feel better, but it will inevitably land you in the not-so-forgiving slammer.

All paradoxes aside, it’s a fantastic show. Give it a chance.

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