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Arts and Entertainment

Watching LA: The Closer

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Speaking of driving, last night's episode of The Closer -- TNT's new police drama starring Kyra Sedgwick and based in LA and the LAPD -- opens with Sedgwick's Captain Brenda Johnson on a sunny hillside street, Thomas Guide in hand, trying to figure out the difference between Mulholland Drive and Mulholland Circle and how one street can have two different names depending on how far in a given direction you take it.

We know her pain. We've been driving in this city for over a decade and still get lost in the nonsensical twisting and turning roads of the canyon neighborhoods. She spends the rest of the episode arriving late to places, eventually turning to a local to help her get around town.

Perhaps more interesting than the nice touches the show does to convey LA life and sensibilities is the insight Gil Garcetti is giving to the series as consulting producer. A large portion of the show deals with the politics going on inside Parker Center. It must be Garcetti's influence that gives it a much more legitimate feel than other recent LA Based cop shows like Boomtown and High Incident (both short lived).

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A small part of last night's show dealt with the arresting of a celebrity. Captain Brenda wants the actor brought in and booked so that she can question him but fear of outside scrutiny by the press (and some backdoor trickery by a competing captain) prevents her officers from doing so. The brass wants to be sure they have a slam dunk case before putting themselves out there in a way that might help solve the crime because of their suspect's fame. That "special treatment" for a celebrity criminal felt right. Felt like something that might happen more often than not in those situations.

And it felt very LA.