“Major Crimes” The Complete First Season starts off strong and finishes just as strong by the end. Mary McDonnell was the perfect choice to take over and along with the others characters we got to know and love from “The Closer”, it makes for a smooth transition. The DVD doesn’t have a whole lot to offer features-wise but the audio and picture transfers are both solid.
Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Suspense
Warner Bros. | NR – 422 min. – $39.98 | June 11, 2013
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): James Duff (created by)
Cast: Mary McDonnell, G.W. Bailey, Raymond Cruz, Tony Denison, Kearran Giovanni, Michael Paul Chan, Phillip P. Keene, Robert Gossett
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English French, Spanish
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
After seven seasons, the Kyra Sedgwick-led crime/drama series “The Closer” came to an end at the behest of its star, but with solid ratings for cable television – or even NBC for that matter –, TNT chose to go with the spin-off, “Major Crimes” starring Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor and aired a week after series finale.
The series begins with another case for Major Crimes when a band of robbers, on their latest heist, are gunned down by the LAPD after a botched robbery with only one laying down his weapon while two others flee out the back of the store. Something seems off about the crime and while the remaining living suspect is willing to talk, he’s ceremoniously killed while in custody sitting in the back of a patrol car. The squad quickly determines the shot came from a good distance and they suspect the robbers have military ties.
Meanwhile, and while still investigating the robbery-turned-homicide, Assistant Chief of Police Taylor (ROBERT GOSSETT) announced that Captain Raydor (MCDONELL) is being transferred from Internal Affairs to Major Crimes where she made the detectives, and the well liked, now retired, Brenda Johnson, a living hell unwilling to bend the rules. The Major Crimes Unit returns from “The Closer” includes: Lt. Louie Provenza (G.W. BAILEY), Lt. Andy Flynn (TONY DENISON), Lt. Mike Tao (MICHAEL PAUL CHAN), Detective Julio Sanchez (RAYMOND CRUZ) and crime scene videographer Buzz Watson (PHILLIP P. KEENE) and new to the squad, Detective Any Sykes (KEARRAN GIOVANNI), a major butt kisser, taking sides to whomever will help her career, although towards the end of the season she builds her own opinions and respect amongst her colleagues.
Although “Major Crimes” does follow a procedural formula, like its predecessor, however, there are more
than a few character moments in each episode. Taking center stage this season is material witness Rusty Beck (GRAHAM PATRICK MARTIN) who was introduced in “The Closer” series finale. This year Raydor shows her softer side by taking the boy into her custody and from episode 1 to episode 10, the pair learns from one another – not to mention some drama when Rusty’s biological father enters the picture – and by season’s end, really solidifies one hell of a subplot which will only intensify in season two.
All in all, “Major Crime” is an addictive series not unlike “The Closer”. I wasn’t sure how I would like Mary McDonnell taking over but she’s become a refreshing change-up from Kyra Sedgwick’s folksy, but tough, persona. And at only 10 episodes, it’s a season one could sweep through in only a couple of days.
Episodes (* Denote Favorites)
2. Before and After
3. Medical Causes*
4. The Ecstasy and the Agony
5. Citizen’s Arrest*
6. Out of Bounds
7. The Shame Game*
8. Dismissed with Prejudice*
9. Cheaters Never Prosper
10. Long Shot
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Like other Warner Brothers season sets of recent, this one comes with a side-sliding matted slip cover. Inside is an episode guide.
Major Crimes: Major Challenge (10:36) – Creator/Writer and Executive Producer James Duff, Executive Producer Michael Robin and the cast discusses life on the set and setting up this spin-off series.
Crossing the Tape: Inside the “Major Crimes” Squad (18:11) – Star Mary McDonnell and other co-stars from the show discusses life on the set.
Raydor’s Rookie (6:17) – We are introduced to newcomer Kearran Giovanni and her inclusion on the show.
A New Home: A Chat with Graham Patrick Martin (6:12) – This featurette focuses on the other semi-newcomer Martin playing Rusty Beck who was introduced in “The Closer” series finale.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (3:59) is your typical gag reel set against some zany music.
Deleted Scenes (2:42) – There are only two scenes that were trimmed probably for time constraints.
VIDEO – 4.25/5
“Major Crimes” Season 1 arrives on DVD presented with a 1.78 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Like its predecessor, “The Closer”, this one looks really good with well balanced colors and didn’t have any obvious signs of artifacting or pixilation which can happen even on newer SD transfers.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
On “The Closer” one of the highlights was the audio. While it’s of course just a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track, it has quite strong lower levels during the dramatic moments, especially during the opening moments. Other elements such as the dialogue levels, music and any ambient noises also come through quite nicely and with exceptional clarity.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, “Major Crimes” The Complete First Season starts off strong and finishes just as strong by the end. Mary McDonnell was the perfect choice to take over and along with the others characters we got to know and love from “The Closer”, it makes for a smooth transition. The DVD doesn’t have a whole lot to offer features-wise but the audio and picture transfers are both solid.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman