Quicklet on The Closer Season 1

by Valerie Kalfrin

What's in the book?

Quicklets: Your reading sidekick!

    • Season 1 Summary
    • Episode-by-Episode Synopsis
    • Character List
    • Key Terms and Definitions
    • Major Themes and Symbols
    • Interesting Related Facts
    • Additional Reading



By the end of the pilot and “The Closer’s” initial summer season, Brenda had captivated audiences and cable television networks alike. About 5.3 million households watched the June 13, 2005, premiere on TNT, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. More than 6.3 million viewers tuned in for the season finale, making The Closer “ad-supported cable’s top original series for the year to date” among adults ages 25 to 54, among other demographics, this research states.

The ratings were enough to convince cable networks that viewers weren’t content with reruns in the off-season. They also encouraged the launch of other shows with complex female characters over 40. In the wake of “The Closer” came premieres of TNT’s “Saving Grace” with Holly Hunter and “Hawthorne” with Jada Pinkett Smith, plus “Damages” with Glenn Close on FX.


Valerie Kalfrin is an award-winning writer whose byline has appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal, The Tampa Tribune, Time Out New York, and Poynter.org, among other publications. She lives in Florida.


According to its creator, each season of The Closer has an overarching theme. For Season 1, the theme was “a woman in a man's world.” Brenda is the new supervisor on a squad of all men and one woman, Detective Irene Daniels, who when Brenda arrives, seems fairly quiet and unobtrusive. Brenda encounters sexism throughout the season. The resentful Captain Taylor refers to her at first as “this girl, woman, whatever we’re calling them these days.” Lt. Flynn and Lt. Provenza mock her Southern accent and manners, at one point referring to her as Scarlett O’Hara.

While one investigator interviews a voluptuous teenager at headquarters, Brenda chastises others who ogle the girl on the closed-circuit monitoring system. “She’s 16 years old,” she says sharply.

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