After I became unexpectedly self-employed, I avoided daytime television. I was afraid that if I were to give in to the lure of my TV, I would quit showering and spend my days in my pajamas.
When my mother called to ask if I’d seen the latest dustup between Joy Behar and Elizabeth (“My lord, that woman can talk a mile a minute!”) Hasselbeck on “The View,” I’d remind her that I DID NOT watch daytime television — not in a plane, not on a train, I did not like daytime TV!
But that changed after I watched a TNT marathon of “The Closer” over a holiday season. Since that marathon, just about every weekday from 3-4 p.m., I watch reruns of “The Closer” on TNT. I call it my “Brenda Leigh at 3” time.
I confess that I’ve seen every single episode of the series, most more than once. I confess, too, that I’ve enjoyed them all.
Because of my experience as a woman who spent a lot of career time in a male-dominated field, I identify greatly with the travails of Brenda as she leads her squad of crack detectives to solve sensitive and often-baffling crimes.
Her challenges negotiating the testosterone-drenced environment resonate with me, and she’s helped me to see my old career in an entirely new light.
The last six episodes of the extended seventh-and-final season start airing in July. Whether Brenda Leigh, as portrayed by series executive producer Kyra Sedgwick, arrests slick attorney/suspected serial killer/rapist Philip Stroh and gets him to confess remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain: her patient, loving, hunky husband, FBI special agent Fritz Howard (played by Jon Tenney), will be there for her, no matter how weird the going gets.
Fritz’s unwavering commitment to Brenda, through all of her career and personal machinations, is the loving honor and steadiness of which romance novels are made. No matter how difficult things are, no matter how difficult Brenda can be, Fritz is there for her. He’s upfront and sane, loyal and fierce, crazy in love with his wife; he’s her rock in a rocky world. He’s kind to animals, too.
My heart swoons just thinking about it.
Men who wonder what it is women want, really and truly, should take a lesson from Fritz Howard. Rather than grand gestures, glamor and glittery gifts, most women I know desire above all a man who loves them deeply and sincerely, a man who comforts them when crises arise, who protects them when they are threatened, and who picks up after himself and cooks the occasional romantic meal.
I’ll be sad when “The Closer” ends. I’ll miss the often humorous crime solvers, the drama, the satisfaction of seeing bad guys atone for their actions. I’ll miss Brenda’s family, and I’ll especially miss watching her make the bad guys sweat.
Most of all, though, I’ll miss Fritz.
The final six episodes of “The Closer” begin airing on TNT at 9 p.m. Mondays beginning July 9.