Any Constant Can Help


Any Constant Can Help

I miss my husband so much, I talk to his picture every morning when I get up and every night before bed. And in between. 

 I’ve written a long essay about what happened to him, what happened next to me, and a whole bunch of stuff that might even help someone.

But this isn’t that article, I am not ready to share all those things, somehow I think he wouldn’t like it.

Instead I am writing how watching reruns of “The Closer” every afternoon from five until seven gets me through the bad part of the day and gives me something to look forward to.

How did I get hooked on “The Closer?”

 The show stars Kyra Sedgwick. It ran from 2005-2012, the premise is Brenda Leigh Johnson, a  bright law enforcement  career woman with a particular gift for getting confessions and closing murder cases  is recruited (by her ex-lover) to head a special division in the Los Angelis Police Department.  She a Georgia native with the southerner’s gift for twisting the language to make an insult sound like a compliment.  She’s ultra-competent but she kind of slept her way into the position, you have to like that.

 I got hooked because I don’t know how to work the electronics in this house, the antennas, Amazon Firestick and HDM1/ HDM2 and… that was his job.  We cut cable and now have all this other “free” stuff that I don’t know how to use.

Our dog, Pinky, gets upset with the clicking noise of the Firestick when trying to find what I want to watch on Netflix or Amazon, so I am limited to what I can watch.   I’m limited to the antenna channels- that remote doesn’t click.   I don’t even know where these channels come from.  I never watched too much TV anyway- so who knows what really good shows I am missing.

Somehow on a lonely, bad afternoon, I flipped through the channels and came upon “The Closer.”  My lucky day, it’s on seven days a week from five to seven- just the right time.

What I like about the show

 I like all of the characters, they are flawed but good people. There’s the crusty old guys, a Mexican, Chinese and Black officers.  And Brenda’s very Southern parents.  But none are really stereotypes.  They all have a history and a backstory and personalities and lots of baggage.

Brenda lies, is addicted to sugar, is so single minded she uses her husband, parents, niece, newspaper reporter, and her boss and anyone else to close a case.

There is plenty of conflict and ambiguity.

There are goofy situations like when under the pretense of visiting her parents for Christmas, she nabs a fugitive in Atlanta and her and her crew end up in her parent’s RV for the return trip to Los Angeles.

 The humor is wry and subtle and quick with plenty of eye-rolls.

For instance, Brenda to her mom when explaining why she didn’t tell her that Fritz, her boyfriend was living with her: “I didn’t want to disappoint you.”

Mom: “Oh Brenda, it’s too late for that”

I like the ambiguity of Brenda’s police process, and the sometimes sympathy or understanding of the perpetrators (I get why this guy got murdered and I’m ok with it, some victims deserved a killing.)

I used to watch the news, the PSB news hour and the Nightly Business Report- and once in a while I will try to do it again, but I keep flipping back to my little TV pals I know will be there, I have watched episodes many times just to see a part I really like- it could be a minute of dialogue a really good eye roll, or a deadpan expression.

My point is, every day I have that constant, I know my TV friends will be there, I know I will enjoy the show.

 For two hours, I can be ok here, by myself.


About the Author

I live outside of Chicago with my dog, Pinky

I am retired. I lost my husband May 8, 2018.

I was a software engineer for 38 years and I was a freelance reporter for our local paper for many years.

I garden, read and volunteer at a nursing home.