Treats for myself – The Closer

As we stretch into the final week of the year, I thought it deserving (for myself anyway) to give myself little treats. It had been a long year and certainly momentous (for myself anyway) and although I feel the need to keep on working to the end, I think it’s fair that I go a little easy on myself since I had to keep working all throughout my bout of lung infection.

So treats to myself include eating cookies that Eizwan baked for breakfast, eating discounted Christmas chocolates, Ghirardelli, yum yum, and after saying goodbye to the husband as he’s about to leave for work and then to continue on sleeping all the way till 10am.

After that really difficult month of trying to recover, and heck, the myriad of illnesses I’ve had this year – I’ve come to the conclusion that I do work too hard and that I push myself far too hard. If it’s not work, it will be housework, if it’s not housework – I’ll be attempting some mad-cap recipe that requires hours of standing and chopping and it’s not that either, it would be visiting gazillion relatives, some are mine and the rest I’ve gained through getting married this year.

So I’m taking it easy – I’m not going to feel guilty as I eat chocolates and coffee for breakfast. I’m not feeling guilty when I sleep in.

Now, if only my subconscious would do the same. I’ve had odd dreams of eating wholemeal bread and then Eizwan stopping me from eating fried chicken. That’s a bad one. When your subconscious become your husband and his look of disapproval is everywhere! Even in your dreams.

***

Another treat I am thinking for myself is the Season 5 of The Closer. I realize I rarely talk about The Closer, although I cheerfully confess myself to be a big fan of other police procedurals. But The Closer is one of my favourite TV series and certainly my favourite police procedural on TV.

The Closer doesn’t get much love from mainstream media, heck I caught it by chance when I was in the States for my brother’s graduation. The family was hooked and fell in love with the Chief, Kyra Sedgwick’s Detective Brenda Leigh Johnson who leads her super capable team of Priority Homicide Division.

Police procedurals on telly these days are focused on two things – a ridiculous amount of dependence on forensics or criminal psychologists. I used to be a very big fan of CSI, in its very early years when the mysteries were darker and Grissom was almost, but not quite, the classic overworked police officer who was growing weary of the dark ways of the world. But soon the dependence on forensics became overbearing that the series lost sight of actually solving mysteries. And then there were the over-the-top and non-existent forensics techniques, the crime scene workers ever growing boobs AND the cases becoming more and more ridiculous, to the point that I usually am able to figure out the killer and the twist within the first five minutes.

It usually tends to be the peadophilic, incestuous father who is sleeping with his daughter. Wait, that’s Special Victims Unit.

Am not a big fan of criminal profiling either, but this was an unfortunate byproduct from my own research whilst I was working on the novel. Criminal profiling had been denounced as an inaccurate science – replaced by the dull mechanics of a computer calculating statistics and correlations instead – and so when I see a flamboyant character coming up on a profile of a killer based on the victims or way of killing, I think of a real case in Britain which ended miserably for many people, both in the force and in public.

But there is something special about The Closer. The team hate each other at points, they bicker and argue. The team isn’t made up of beautiful people – just people who could actually look like cops. There are always politics within the office they have to contend with and the team frequently bribes the Coroner’s office to get priority on autopsies. Chief Pope is constantly on Brenda’s back for going over budget to solve cases – and I love that the boundaries in this world is ‘real’. They have budget cuts, they have politicians and District Attorneys running for office to please, they have the media who can be quite unkind to them. They are all real restrictions that a lot of civil servants actually do face.

But most importantly, at least for me, the mysteries are fantastic. They are engaging, they are complex and they cover a myriad of social issues ranging from drug killings, gang fights to the bitchy jealousy with the posh areas of Beverly Hills. They’re not just crimes of passion (am looking at you Bones). They have a good balance of forensics and detective work, and the focus of the show is on “The Closer” i.e. Detective Brenda Johnson’s ability to “close” a case by egging out a confession from the suspect. She borders on unethical and breaking the law – but that what makes it so irresistible. The bad guy is caught at the end of the day and the good guys win.

So, off to Amazon for The Closer. Definitely a worthy end of the year treat.

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