TNT’s ensemble crime show Major Crimes is back for a third season – including all 19 episodes along with fun bonus features. The series may have begun as a spin-off to The Closer, but now stands on its own thanks to its incredible cast and blend of crime procedural and comedy.
The Major Crimes squad is led by Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) and includes Lieutenant Provenza (G.W. Bailey, who steals almost every scene he is in); Lieutenant Andy Flynn (Tony Denison, who can give Bailey a run for his money); Lieutenant Mike Tao (Michael Paul Chan); Detective Julio Sanchez (Raymond Cruz); Detective Amy Sykes (Kearran Giovanni); tech expert Buzz Watson (Phillip P. Keene); Dr. Morales (Jonathan Del Arco); Assistant Chief Russell Taylor (Robert Gossett); and Deputy Chief Fritz Howard (recurring guest star Jon Tenney).
The third season of the shows finds the squads handling the usual blend of murder and crimes with their own style of seriousness and laughs (mostly thanks to Bailey and his line-delivery). Cases in the third season range from the death of a millionaire dog to a runaway found murdered in a trash can. There are also episodes dealing with a woman who kills her rapist and the squad investigating the disappearance of women at a nightclub. Along with crime, Captain Raydor deals with the return of Rusty Beck – the homeless teen who was a material witness and adopted by Raydor.
The strength of Major Crimes is the continued ensemble feel that worked so well on The Closer. The show is crafted around McDonnell, but every member of the squad is important to the series and helps keep the audience hooked on the show’s formula. Bailey has been a favorite of mine since he first appeared in The Closer and scores most of the laughs with Denison. I still wish TNT would greenlight a show just with these two characters.
Like The Closer, the show does suffer from a formulaic feel that is more noticeable when you binge watch one episode after the next. The ensemble feel of the show keeps you wanting to watch, but it would be nice to see the series break some new ground now that it has successfully distance itself from The Closer. Regardless, the ratings prove Major Crimes is a continued hit for the network and has earned that spot through great writing and acting.
Along with the 19 episodes of Season Three, the DVD set includes unaired scenes from the season and a great gag reel.
Although the show’s formula grinds a tad halfway through the season, Major Crimes continues to be a great show for fans of the crime genre. It is an excellent blend of laughs and procedural that manages to keep the audience hooked and waiting for what will happen in season four.