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Major Crimes in the Media

19 MINUTES AGO, DISTRACTIBLE ME SAID:

My strong feeling is that Major Crimes with Mary McD as the lead was never the show Duff wanted to produce, because Sharon was never a character he cared all that much about or identified with. He'd rather have gone with the Rusty Beck Show from the start. But pre-Reilly TNT really wanted Mary and that was the show they were willing to greenlight. So as time passed, Rusty became more and more front and center, and when Duff finally realized that he wasn't going to be able to blackmail them into keeping the show yet again, he just threw all his toys out of the basket and made the show he'd always wanted, Sharon-less, male-dominated and with Rusty The Hero taking center stage. 

The fact that he can't give any coherent and static reason for any of this and many cast members seem, with their behavior and the things they are choosing to support and retweet from the fans, to be unhappy with how the final season played out, convinces me that the whole thing boils down to a massive temper tantrum against TNT, and the fans who preferred Sharon over his fave, Rusty. 

@Distractible Me, that ^^ totally makes sense to me. 

Edited by shapeshifter. Reason: Post landed at top of new page, so pasted in quote of above-referenced post
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This comment by Duff in the article really struck me:

There was a chance, actually, that they could’ve ordered more episodes after we finished the run, and we didn’t want that to happen either.

So if TNT came back and said "We changed our mind, we want to renew you for next year..." he would have turned them down?  Seriously?  Unbelievable!

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I took that to mean he didn't want them to do the 1st 13, think the show was over, and then get an order for another set of episodes, a back end to the season.  It doesn't sound like he thought an actual renewal was in any way possible.  I think he's just saying there that he wanted to know the last episode would *be* the last episode when he made it, and be able to wrap story lines up rather than leave them hanging.  Which makes sense as he wants to have some control over how his story ends.

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13 hours ago, kilda said:

I took that to mean he didn't want them to do the 1st 13, think the show was over, and then get an order for another set of episodes, a back end to the season.  It doesn't sound like he thought an actual renewal was in any way possible.  I think he's just saying there that he wanted to know the last episode would *be* the last episode when he made it, and be able to wrap story lines up rather than leave them hanging.  Which makes sense as he wants to have some control over how his story ends.

Still sober, so still haven't read his latest defense <g>, but taken alone, that's how I interpreted that quote, too.  He only got these 13 by agreeing to do serialized storytelling rather than the show's norm, and while he was 99% sure that's all he was getting, there was still that tiny chance they'd say, "Okay, throw in the back nine, and we want the final episode to end with X," so he wanted to knock out that one percent chance, and make sure that what he wrote as the show's final words stayed the final words.

Pretty drastic way of doing it, and one that I continue to think was a mistake.  I wanted to, in the end, feel as he did -- that for the story he wanted to tell in the final episodes, Sharon had to be gone.  I wouldn't like that the story he wanted to tell required her to be gone, of course, but I'd respect that, yes, he had a clear, creative reason for what he did.  And I do still believe that he honestly felt that way, that there's something true in his mind about this connection between the death of Sharon and the death of the show.  I just don't get what that is, and thus as the end credits rolled for the final time, I was "She died for this?!" upset, because I don't share his belief that for the show to properly end, Sharon had to be dead. 

Because, minus Sharon's death, what he wrote is a nice little, as I said before, "We'll still go on doing what we do, you just won't be seeing us anymore (so fuck you, TNT)" ending.  Sharon could quite easily have been there for that, and all you'd need is body language between Mary McDonnell and Graham Patrick Martin, with a good line of dialogue being but a bonus, to convey that she knows what really happened on that yacht, and she's going to deal with that, and help Rusty deal with it.

If TNT wound up ordering the back nine after that, write nine good episodes, concoct a new big case that everyone can get on board with (as opposed to Stroh, which many enjoyed but many were sick of) to go out on, and write a new last line of dialogue you like as much as the first.  So the only way "I had to kill Sharon to make sure I, not TNT, chose how it ended" makes sense to me is if a) the fear TNT would order the back nine and dicate "And end it this [horrible] way!" is real, and b) killing Sharon was the only way to make sure TNT wouldn't do that.  If that was his belief, and it seems maybe it was - I honestly can't tell from what he says - I'm just not seeing that it was well-founded.  B doesn't seem true, and A doesn't seem likely given the problem of the past few years being that TNT didn't care about the show at all.

I also don't think it's as diabolical, or I should say as intentional, as him sitting down and thinking, "I want to end this show with Rusty and the other men, so I'm going to kill off that pesky woman, and finally have that penis posse I've been wanting."  In fact, one of the things that frustrates me about him being part of TV's expendable woman problem is that he was so thoughtful in creating Brenda and then Sharon - there he was deliberate, thinking about how women were generally presented as bosses on cop shows and other roles that had traditionally been written for men, and wanting to do it differently, better.  So it feels like, "Jesus, even someone like him screws us in the end," precisely because even the "good guys" don't properly consider the implications of killing off someone like Sharon Raydor.  Subconscious bias and dismissal has the same effect in the end.

I don't think he dislikes her, or resents that the only reason he got to do a second series in the first place is that the gang in charge of TNT prior to the new idiot loved her.  I don't think he's anywhere near as close to Mary McDonnell as he was to Kyra Sedgwick (no reason he needs to be), and I don't think he loves Sharon the way he loved Brenda, but I don't think he regards her as someone he got saddled with.  But I do think he got lost in his "Rusty is my stand-in" feelings as a recurring problem, and, yes, I think he just plain lost sight of the big picture in the end.

Another thing that bothers me is how he feels (or at least says he feels) after the fact, versus the complicated emotions everyone else has expressed in the aftermath.  I think everyone underestimated just how upset many viewers would be by this; they expected sadness, and even some anger, but not the level of "I hate you, you ruined the damn show for me and now I can't even watch the rest or ever go back and enjoy it again" enmity.  I think everyone knew Sharon Raydor was a loved character, and would thus be missed, but didn't realize just how upsetting it was going to be for some - particularly the female viewers who admired and took comfort and strength from her existence - for her to be killed.  (And I think some of the fans feeling those ways are also surprised by the degree of emotion it evoked; as much as I loved Sharon, I wouldn't have expected to have quite this level of reaction, that I'm still trying to find a way it makes sense over a month later.)  And then, once all that came to be, everyone else seems to be quite affected by it, and grappling with it, while Duff just skips merrily along, still thinking the fact the show was ending means this is what he had to do, and doesn't understand why the fact we're not going to see any of these characters anymore, anyway, doesn't make Sharon's death just kind of more of the same - like the only issue is we had four (well, three) fewer episodes with her than everyone else. 

Some people thought this season's story arcs weren't well executed, but most felt they'd finally got the hang of it, and thus feedback remained more positive than not right up until Sharon dropped dead.  So had he not gone that route, and the show had ended "normally," fan reaction would be so much more straightforward: Fuck you, TNT, for canceling this great show, but thank you, creative team, for giving us so many years of quality entertainment.  They'd have ridden off into the sunset on a tide of fan appreciation.

Instead we're left kind of confused and stunned, and disappointed, and having to actively work to look past those feelings that cropped up in the end to remember that for such a long time, this show made us happy.  And he's the one person who doesn't seem to understand that, which is frustrating because he's the one person who caused it in the first place.

Edited by Bastet.
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9 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Now reading the last few posts above (as well as having read the others) gives me the impression that having the network execs demand the change from single episode procedural to multi-episode arcs, followed by their decision to cancel the high-ratings show—plus his inability to find another network to pick it up—kind of pushed Duff over the edge into tantrum-like mode and into a space of something along the lines of I-will-kill-my-main-character-before-they-can!

 

8 hours ago, Distractible Me said:

My strong feeling is that Major Crimes with Mary McD as the lead was never the show Duff wanted to produce, because Sharon was never a character he cared all that much about or identified with. He'd rather have gone with the Rusty Beck Show from the start. But pre-Reilly TNT really wanted Mary and that was the show they were willing to greenlight. So as time passed, Rusty became more and more front and center, and when Duff finally realized that he wasn't going to be able to blackmail them into keeping the show yet again, he just threw all his toys out of the basket and made the show he'd always wanted, Sharon-less, male-dominated and with Rusty The Hero taking center stage. 

The fact that he can't give any coherent and static reason for any of this and many cast members seem, with their behavior and the things they are choosing to support and retweet from the fans, to be unhappy with how the final season played out, convinces me that the whole thing boils down to a massive temper tantrum against TNT, and the fans who preferred Sharon over his fave, Rusty. 

I'm beginning to wonder if the reason TNT wanted to dump the show and also the reason he can't get it taken by another network has less to do with the demographic or style of the show and more to do with Duff himself. Perhaps what TNT REALLY wanted was to not deal with him anymore, but they had no contractual avenue to force him out.  Who knows.

I hope that in the long run, as so often happens, the cast and crew will find that this was the best thing that could have happened to them because they will go on to something bigger and better. Sorta like how you have to end a relationship to have the more fulfilling one show up and be ready for it/

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14 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Now reading the last few posts above (as well as having read the others) gives me the impression that having the network execs demand the change from single episode procedural to multi-episode arcs, followed by their decision to cancel the high-ratings show—plus his inability to find another network to pick it up—kind of pushed Duff over the edge into tantrum-like mode and into a space of something along the lines of I-will-kill-my-main-character-before-they-can!—which is sort of an artistic choice,

Is it really an artistic choice? Sounds more like a petulant child to me but I've said from the beginning that I thought he had killed off Sharon to spite the network and nothing else.

 

14 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

albeit not a great one, IMO, and not likely a choice Duff will look back on with satisfaction.

I'm not under the impression that he's willing to admit he made a mistake, and for as long as he isn't willing to admit that, he can't admit that he's unhappy with how he chose to end the show. But I really hope that networks will think twice before hiring him again. It appears that he acted beyond unprofessional.

 

6 hours ago, kilda said:

I took that to mean he didn't want them to do the 1st 13, think the show was over, and then get an order for another set of episodes, a back end to the season.  It doesn't sound like he thought an actual renewal was in any way possible.  I think he's just saying there that he wanted to know the last episode would *be* the last episode when he made it, and be able to wrap story lines up rather than leave them hanging.  Which makes sense as he wants to have some control over how his story ends.

Either way, that is selfish. Now, none of he actors need money and the crew will probably rather easily find another job. That doesn't change the fact that he took the opportunity to make more episodes away from them because he didn't want there to be more episodes. Even if this was Duff's first show, he knew what he was getting into, he knew that the show depended on the network execs and the ratings. Of course, one can always hope for curtesy but one can't count on it, not in that business. If he wasn't prepared to deal with it, he shouldn't have gotten into TV show business. But you don't get in, get a platform for your show and then get upset over the way things are done. Then he should have said that the show will end after so and so many seasons, as some other showrunners have done. But from what I gather, he wouldn't have wanted to do that either.

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8 hours ago, Bastet said:

Another thing that bothers me is how he feels (or at least says he feels) after the fact, versus the complicated emotions everyone else has expressed in the aftermath.  I think everyone underestimated just how upset many viewers would be by this; they expected sadness, and even some anger, but not the level of "I hate you, you ruined the damn show for me and now I can't even watch the rest or ever go back and enjoy it again" enmity.  I think everyone knew Sharon Raydor was a loved character, and would thus be missed, but didn't realize just how upsetting it was going to be for some - particularly the female viewers who admired and took comfort and strength from her existence - for her to be killed.  (And I think some of the fans feeling those ways are also surprised by the degree of emotion it evoked; as much as I loved Sharon, I wouldn't have expected to have quite this level of reaction, that I'm still trying to find a way it makes sense over a month later.)  And then, once all that came to be, everyone else seems to be quite affected by it, and grappling with it, while Duff just skips merrily along, still thinking the fact the show was ending means this is what he had to do, and doesn't understand why the fact we're not going to see any of these characters anymore, anyway, doesn't make Sharon's death just kind of more of the same - like the only issue is we had four (well, three) fewer episodes with her than everyone else. 

Quoting myself to say I read the below guest column just now and thought, Jesus, this is a prime example of what I was just talking about this morning, about the way Duff is responding to the fallout as compared to others, especially Mary McDonnell:

Mary McDonnell reflects on the reaction to Sharon's death

She's been listening, and reflecting, incorporating it into how she already felt and thinking on how those feelings have been affected by the aftermath, and is continuing to churn the issues raised around in her mind.  There's zero indication Duff is, and in fact evidence he's not.  He made the choice, she just acted it out (beautifully), and she's the only one of the two grappling with its impact. 

I don't understand him.  He doesn't have to say, "You're right, audience, I made a mistake, I can't fix it, and I'm sorry" if he doesn't, in fact, think it was a mistake even now.  But he's so immune, or resistant to, and maybe even dismissive of, the conversations going on around what it meant to take Sharon Raydor permanently away from us, that it pisses me off.  Your audience goes from consistently liking what you do to expressing tremendous upset - in ways beyond anything you anticipated - with a big decision at the end, and you just shrug it off?  I can't believe that; it has to be affecting him.  And if he was remaining silent, I'd think he was processing.  But every time he talks, he just makes me more frustrated at how obstinate he is.

Also, dammit, I knew it - I knew the changed credits were a surprise to her, and hit her where it hurts.  That sucks.  At least James Duff isn't Chris Carter, but I've changed my opinion of him a fair bit these past few weeks.

Edited by Bastet.
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31 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

I'm not under the impression that he's willing to admit he made a mistake

Not now. But I'd be surprised if he never feels any regrets. But then, I don't know him. My sister never admits a poor choice; it's always someone else's fault, and Duff may be like that. OTOH, one of my coworkers and I joke about writing a book about all the poor choices we've made and how to avoid them, heh.

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25 minutes ago, Bastet said:

 

Also, I knew it - I knew the changed credits were a surprise to her, and hit her where it hurts.  That sucks.  At least James Duff isn't Chris Carter, but I've changed my opinion of him a fair bit these past few weeks.

So have I. Less than I year ago, I had actually told someone that Major Crimes was one of the few shows where I was quite sure (not 100% but fairly confident due to what Duff had previously said) that something like this (creating unnecessary drama for drama's sake) wouldn't happen. Guess I was wrong.

Edited by CheshireCat.
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2 hours ago, CheshireCat said:
9 hours ago, kilda said:

I took that to mean he didn't want them to do the 1st 13, think the show was over, and then get an order for another set of episodes, a back end to the season.  It doesn't sound like he thought an actual renewal was in any way possible.  I think he's just saying there that he wanted to know the last episode would *be* the last episode when he made it, and be able to wrap story lines up rather than leave them hanging.  Which makes sense as he wants to have some control over how his story ends.

Either way, that is selfish. Now, none of he actors need money and the crew will probably rather easily find another job. That doesn't change the fact that he took the opportunity to make more episodes away from them because he didn't want there to be more episodes. Even if this was Duff's first show, he knew what he was getting into, he knew that the show depended on the network execs and the ratings. Of course, one can always hope for curtesy but one can't count on it, not in that business. If he wasn't prepared to deal with it, he shouldn't have gotten into TV show business. But you don't get in, get a platform for your show and then get upset over the way things are done. Then he should have said that the show will end after so and so many seasons, as some other showrunners have done. But from what I gather, he wouldn't have wanted to do that either.

I know my opinion will be unpopular but I don't see why that was selfish, or unprofessional of him as someone else called it.  I'm not saying killing Sharon was the way to go.  But there are 2 ways to approach a series finale.  One is to have the show just sort of stop.  The other is to feel like it has to have some kind of big ending.  I'm not sure why, but I have to say I kind of hate finales where things just stop and you assume the world of the show just goes on as before except we don't get to see it.  Apparently Duff thinks the same way.  He saw this as a story that needed to have an ending.   I don't think he was trying to stick it to anyone, or having a tantrum, I think he was trying to tell a story with an ending.  And to do that, you need to know when you are writing and producing the last episode.  Whether we like the ending he chose or not, I don't think there's anything wrong with him, as a creator, wanting to decide his story's ending.

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9 minutes ago, kilda said:

I'm not sure why, but I have to say I kind of hate finales where things just stop and you assume the world of the show just goes on as before except we don't get to see it.

I like those, and in fact generally prefer them, although it definitely depends on the show, but, setting that aside, what puzzles me is that other than killing Sharon, that's exactly what he wrote - this defiant, Major Crimes gets the job done, and that's what we'll continue to do, ending.  Sharon's dead and Julio is in another department, but Julio's transfer is a promotion and he's happy for how it fits his life now the way this job fit his life for so long, long-standing presence Provenza is now in charge rather than an outsider being brought in, Wes and Cami are integrated, and Buzz is a detective.  Change happens, but, fundamentally, we keep on keepin' on and it's good.  Why kill Sharon off if you're going to write that type of ending?

If you want to say life involves change, but we stay the course, so you won't see us any more, but we'll keep doing the things that made you love us all this time, then have Julio transfer, Buzz get promoted (which, whatever, but I'd let it go), Rusty decide to work for the DA's office after law school, etc. as part of Sharon being the excellent leader she is, guiding people to be their best professional selves.  If you want to say things have fundamentally changed, it's the end of an era, and that's why we're going away, then really blow things up.  I feel like he basically split the difference between a big changes ending and a things carry on ending, and that disconnect is what really doesn't work for me, on top of my feelings about the objections I have to cutting short the life of someone like Sharon Raydor. 

I'd rather an ending that can stand as is than one with loose ends, so I certainly wouldn't have preferred episode 13 end with Sharon in hospital on the transplant list, Provenza unsure whether he'd retain leadership or if Pope/Mason would bring someone in, etc.  But it wasn't a case of write episode 13 as he did, because if he writes it any other way and TNT cancels the show as expected it will be a disaster (or if they order the back 9, that will also result in a disaster of an ending).

21 minutes ago, kilda said:

I don't think he was trying to stick it to anyone, or having a tantrum, I think he was trying to tell a story with an ending.  And to do that, you need to know when you are writing and producing the last episode.  Whether we like the ending he chose or not, I don't think there's anything wrong with him, as a creator, wanting to decide his story's ending.

I agree with that, and, despite all my misgivings, credit him with having that as his motivation; I just don't attribute pettiness or maliciousness to his thoughts as he decided how to bring this to a close.  He wanted the final story to be dictated by him, not TNT, and I think out of a well-intentioned (if ultimately misfiring) impulse rather than some sort of "I'll show you assholes" fit of pique (in which case, I think he'd have killed Sharon, forcibly retired Provenza and Andy, and just all around said, see, happy now, you wanted us gone, and we are seriously gone). 

I just lose him when it comes to saying the ending he chose to write necessitated Sharon being dead.  Again, once he decided to kill her, I like the way he did it, and that he did it early to let us deal with it through the characters dealing with it.  And thus, as I said, I wanted to come away from the finale saying, well, I wish like hell you'd gone a different way, but once you decided where you wanted to end up, you're right, Sharon needed to be gone, so I get it.  But I didn't. 

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19 minutes ago, Bastet said:

I feel like he basically split the difference between a big changes ending and a things carry on ending, and that disconnect is what really doesn't work for me, on top of my feelings about the objections I have to cutting short the life of someone like Sharon Raydor. 

I can see where it sort of splits the middle between the two, yeah.  But I think it was more of a big changes ending, since yes, the others will carry on, but Sharon being gone is a huge monumental change.  I mean, unless you're going to nuke the LAPD from space, or have the whole squad go out in an Ebola epidemic, how much more of a big change ending could there be?

I do think his intentions were good, and largely misfired at the end.  I don't think he didn't care about Sharon, or threw her aside for his male characters.  Maybe I'm being too charitable but I don't believe that of someone who could create a woman as awesome as Sharon in the first place.  He said it was a metaphor for the death of the show and I think that writing her death may have been a way of processing that loss.  It must have been incredibly frustrating to get jerked around by the network year after year, and to finally be told you can't keep making the show you created and love.  I mean, we're all devastated to be losing the show, imagine how that must feel to its creator?

In a weird way that I can't quite put into words, I think choosing to kill Sharon off was a recognition of how important her character was. He wanted to do something big.  She was the heart of the show and the biggest thing that could possibly happen in the show's world was for her to die.

On another track, thanks for linking that column by Mary McDonnell above.  She is clearly a class act and I'm impressed at how much reflection she has put into all this.  And I am troubled to hear that she was blindsided by her name no longer being in the credits.  That really sucks, especially after how much she put into the show and this very tough ending.  She's definitely owed an apology for that.

Edited by kilda.
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3 hours ago, kilda said:

I do think his intentions were good, and largely misfired at the end.  I don't think he didn't care about Sharon, or threw her aside for his male characters.  Maybe I'm being too charitable but I don't believe that of someone who could create a woman as awesome as Sharon in the first place.  He said it was a metaphor for the death of the show and I think that writing her death may have been a way of processing that loss.  It must have been incredibly frustrating to get jerked around by the network year after year, and to finally be told you can't keep making the show you created and love.  I mean, we're all devastated to be losing the show, imagine how that must feel to its creator?

In a weird way that I can't quite put into words, I think choosing to kill Sharon off was a recognition of how important her character was. He wanted to do something big.  She was the heart of the show and the biggest thing that could possibly happen in the show's world was for her to die.

Yeah, this is what I ultimately console myself with -- I don't agree with him, but I truly think, in a weird way even he hasn't put into adequate words, in his head the two were inextricably linked, and to him he had to kill her off to let the show go.  I want to fully understand that thought process, and am kind of clamoring for it, for my own edification, because I don't want to believe less of him after all this time, and maybe even because my respect and admiration for Mary McDonnell, as an actor and as what I know of her as a person, means I don't want her trust in his intentions to have been misplaced, given how much thought and passion she put into Sharon, but I don't yet. 

However genuine his intentions in killing Sharon, he didn't fully think through the significance of it, but he wasn't alone in that, and he maybe wasn't even unreasonable in that, so what bothers me is he doesn't seem to be examining it now, in light of the conversation it created.  It's a done deal either way, but for him to seemingly not get what it means, even now, is maybe the most disturbing, and maybe the thing keeping me from putting it completely behind me.

And I don't at all think he consciously threw her aside for his male characters, but how much does that matter in the end, when she's dead and the dudes are left standing heroic in the end?  A lot of these decisions that make up the trend may be subconscious, but the cumulative result is quite real.

I have trouble reconciling my own numerous feelings, good and bad, about the final stretch, and clearly Mary McDonnell does too.  So it bothers me that the person who set this all in motion seems less aware than either of us of the myriad issues and doesn't seem to be similarly contemplating them, but maybe he is.  I kind of have to think he is; how could this not sting, after a long stretch of working under crazy circumstances (I like McDonnell's metaphor to feeling like dying via a slow gas leak, once the new network head started pulling more and more support despite the show's performance) and after a far longer stretch of putting one's creative energy and soul into the show, and make one examine the issues raised?  I just rather wish he'd shut up until he figures it out in that case, though.  Because everyone else opens their mouth and I think, oh, as complicated as this is for me, it's even more for you, but he does and I don't, even though, on paper, I should.

Edited by Bastet.
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Since there was a debate over McDonneLl's involvement/agreement over the MC ending, I thought it was quite telling that she liked this on twitter.

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Duff just makes himself more and more unlikable to the fanbase, he comes across as arrogant and obnoxious, he should’ve expected when he chose to kill Sharon off the fans would be incredibly pissed. That interview was weird all around, and what the fuck was the part about Provenza apparently being not as good as Brenda or Sharon? Provenza is just as smart of a detective and just as capable a leader as Brenda and Sharon, and like I’ve said before, I wish there would be a season 7 with Provenza as the lead, he could carry a show and there would be a lot to explore. I don’t know why Duff shit the bed so bad with the final season after providing 12 excellent seasons before. 

As for the deleted scenes, glad they cut the one on Stroh’s boat, Julio having such a stick up his ass was odd and I don’t care about Nolan and Paige’s weird flirtation, and like I’ve said before no one would swallow Provenza saying he shot Stroh and it made no sense for him to even tell that story instead of the truth. Wish they had kept the scene with Kendall, that was funny and I missed Kendall in the finale, he should’ve been with everyone in the squadroom at the end.

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What I think: Between The Closer and Major Crimes, James Duff gave TNT 13 years of high ratings. Then TNT said "we want to go a different direction."  And Duff got pissed. Sharon's death was his big middle finger to TNT. 

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1 hour ago, MaryMitch said:

What I think: Between The Closer and Major Crimes, James Duff gave TNT 13 years of high ratings. Then TNT said "we want to go a different direction."  And Duff got pissed. Sharon's death was his big middle finger to TNT. 

While I agree, how old is he? Six? I understand that he was angry but he knew what he was getting into when he got into the television business. This is not how you behave. It is immature and unprofessional on so many levels and as I've said before, if I were a network, I'd think twice before picking up a show of his.

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1 hour ago, MaryMitch said:

What I think: Between The Closer and Major Crimes, James Duff gave TNT 13 years of high ratings. Then TNT said "we want to go a different direction."  And Duff got pissed. Sharon's death was his big middle finger to TNT. 

I'm with ya. I understand that he was pissed, I'm pissed that the idiots cancelled a show that got good ratings. But killing Sharon was also a middle finger to me, a fan. He ruined the show for me and as it stands right now, I would not watch another one of his shows. I quit reading any of his interviews, I just don't think he gets it, or he doesn't want to admit that he fucked up. When you make a show, it's art and when you put it out there people will have their own interpretations of it. But it's also commercial art and it needs to make money and if it were me I'd also be thinking of how I could make money after the show is over. If he wouldn't have killed Sharon, I would have bought all the seasons on DVD. Now he's lost a customer that he could have made future profit from and I'm sure there are more like me. Maybe he doesn't care because I guess TNT will make money also. I don't know. All I know is that he shat upon something I loved, whatever the reason, and I'm still pissed about it.

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1 hour ago, MaryMitch said:

What I think: Between The Closer and Major Crimes, James Duff gave TNT 13 years of high ratings. Then TNT said "we want to go a different direction."  And Duff got pissed. Sharon's death was his big middle finger to TNT. 

I disagree. TNT was done with the series. I don't think they gave a hoot what happened to Sharon and I think Duff knew it. I think he honestly wanted the end where Rusty kills Phillip Stroh and not in self-defense and gets away with it. That would have been hard to work if Sharon was alive. Sharon always held fast to her  morals and principals and she would have had a hard, if not impossible, time letting Rusty get away with murder. The only ways to go were 1) Have her know and violate her principals to save Rusty 2) Have her suspect and violate her principals to save Rusty both of which would hurt her relationship with Rusty. 3) Have her know and arrest Rusty.  4) Have her not know and be an obtuse idiot. Once Duff made the decision to end with Rusty taking the law into his own hands, having an alive Sharon was a problem for the flow of the story.

Now, I think his decision to have Rusty take out Stroh the way he did was a bad one. They could have had Rusty shoot Stroh in self-defense or had Stroh pull the gun on Provenza (or Sharon, if she wasn't dead) and have Rusty kill him to save them. It's a case where Duff's desired ending really didn't work with the morals and ethics of the 13 previous seasons. He's not the first, and he won't be the last,  show runner to come up with an idea that really doesn't work and that sours the audience on the ending and taints the show. This wasn't HIMYM egregious show wrecking or Dexter, but it does leave me, and many other fans, feeling less good about Major Crimes than I would have otherwise.

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I'm just so bemused by why he decided to go that route after so many seasons setting up the show as one which held the police to a higher standard, which showed that the rules and the law was necessary, that used Sharon to such good effect to shape the team away from the place they were in after all of the issues Brenda caused with her rule-breaking. Why throw all of that away in four episodes just so Rusty can shoot Stroh, and lead the whole squad away from the place that they had fought hard to get to? 

The only thing I can come up with that makes sense is that Duff didn't want to make that show in the first place. Whether it's because he doesn't believe that the rules and the law are actually good things, or whether he doesn't believe that they can make good stories, I'm not sure. But I find both of those options uncomfortable, and I think that both mean that writing a show about law enforcement and using it to moralize, as he often did in his blogs and interviews, was the wrong choice for him. 

30 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

While I agree, how old is he? Six? I understand that he was angry but he knew what he was getting into when he got into the television business. This is not how you behave. It is immature and unprofessional on so many levels and as I've said before, if I were a network, I'd think twice before picking up a show of his.

Agree. All shows come to an end! He had thirteen years of being in charge of the highest rated show on the network, but he must have known that would end sometime. So why the tantrum when it did? 

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1 hour ago, Percysowner said:

I think he honestly wanted the end where Rusty kills Phillip Stroh and not in self-defense and gets away with it. That would have been hard to work if Sharon was alive. Sharon always held fast to her  morals and principals and she would have had a hard, if not impossible, time letting Rusty get away with murder. The only ways to go were 1) Have her know and violate her principals to save Rusty 2) Have her suspect and violate her principals to save Rusty both of which would hurt her relationship with Rusty. 3) Have her know and arrest Rusty.  4) Have her not know and be an obtuse idiot. Once Duff made the decision to end with Rusty taking the law into his own hands, having an alive Sharon was a problem for the flow of the story.

I think you're right and this is what bugs me about it.  It's curious to write a show for several years, center it around a character who is clearly the moral center of the show, and then kill off that character so that you can write an ending that wouldn't fit with that character's principles.  I see why he says he couldn't have the ending he wanted with Sharon there - but then shouldn't he wonder why he wanted that particular ending so much?

I also think, after reading that interview and viewing the deleted scene, that he kind of wanted to have it both ways with regards to the moral implications of Rusty's killing Stroh.  He could have made it clearly justified or clearly unjustified and he chose not to.  He wants Rusty's act to be wrong, hence why it can't just be a clean shoot, and Provenza has to cover it up.  But he wants it to be not THAT wrong, so that we can still feel like things came out ok and we won't hate the characters for covering it up. I think that's why that shooting scene plays so ambiguous, because he really wanted it both ways.  Which I find insanely unsatisfying as a story choice, and actually annoys me more than killing Sharon off does.  

It seems to me that if you can't write a particular ending without getting rid of your central character completely - maybe it's not the right ending.

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1 hour ago, kilda said:

I also think, after reading that interview and viewing the deleted scene, that he kind of wanted to have it both ways with regards to the moral implications of Rusty's killing Stroh.  He could have made it clearly justified or clearly unjustified and he chose not to.  He wants Rusty's act to be wrong, hence why it can't just be a clean shoot, and Provenza has to cover it up.  But he wants it to be not THAT wrong, so that we can still feel like things came out ok and we won't hate the characters for covering it up. I think that's why that shooting scene plays so ambiguous, because he really wanted it both ways.  Which I find insanely unsatisfying as a story choice, and actually annoys me more than killing Sharon off does.  

This makes sense to me. I guess the scene with Julio was deleted to make it even more morally ambiguous. In the 13 years since The Closer premiered, cell phone videos have made public a lot of unsavory police activity; maybe Duff wanted to acknowledge the existence of that aspect of law enforcement before silencing these characters forever? 

I skimmed through the interview; did I see something about future novels? If so, I hope they won't be of those notoriously poorly written "TV tie-in" ilk.

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14 hours ago, kilda said:

I also think, after reading that interview and viewing the deleted scene, that he kind of wanted to have it both ways with regards to the moral implications of Rusty's killing Stroh.  He could have made it clearly justified or clearly unjustified and he chose not to.  He wants Rusty's act to be wrong, hence why it can't just be a clean shoot, and Provenza has to cover it up.  But he wants it to be not THAT wrong, so that we can still feel like things came out ok and we won't hate the characters for covering it up. I think that's why that shooting scene plays so ambiguous, because he really wanted it both ways.  Which I find insanely unsatisfying as a story choice, and actually annoys me more than killing Sharon off does.  

It seems to me that if you can't write a particular ending without getting rid of your central character completely - maybe it's not the right ending.

It's so similar to Brenda's ending. I mean, someone on Tumblr pointed out how literally it's similar to Brenda. Both: 

- have Stroh pop up again after a long time of being quiet

- become personally obsessed with catching him 

- have their adoring, wonderful mother drop dead suddenly and unexpectedly a few episodes before the finale

- singlehandedly take down Stroh in one form or another

- receive a prestigious job offer from the DA's office to move onto, as a sort of reward

And then thematically it's similar to Brenda in the sense of there being ambiguities over whether they behaved rightly or wrongly, but were still clearly rewarded by the show in the end. 

I think that's one of the biggest issues I have with all of this. That Sharon, who worked so hard to do the right thing all the time, gets a shocking, traumatic death out of it (and it was traumatic, for a lot of people), apparently just to get her out of the way for plot reasons, and those characters whose actions really were not great most of the time get to head off into the sunset to something else awesome. Is that realistic? Sure. Is that in any way gratifying or satisfying? Not in the slightest. 

Plus ... I see a whole lot of sexism in the way so much of this played out - not just the ending, but a big streak of it throughout the whole show, and that makes me massively uncomfortable in a show the showrunner endlessly held up as written about strong women. 

Edited by Distractible Me.
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yes, I am not usually one to jump on the "Duff is a dick" bandwagon, but that was really passive aggressive.  He's not upset that people are having an emotional reaction, he's upset that they're not having the one he wanted and expected.  When you create a drama, the whole idea is for your audience to have an emotional reaction!  That’s like, literally the point of a drama.  The fact that people are upset is a measure of how much the fans cared about the show and its characters.  To act like that's somehow misplaced or an overreaction, is dickish.

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I have no idea why Duff went with the ending he did, it made no sense on so many levels. I know Duff loves Rusty and sees Rusty as a fictional version of himself basically but the way the ending was done made no sense whatsoever. After we’ve seen their dedication to upholding the law for years, we saw what happened when Brenda used extrajudicial means to get justice and it cost her her job, and we saw how Sharon was devoted to the rule of law, and Duff decided to flush all that down the toilet for unknown reasons and have everyone suddenly get a thirst for bloodlust. 

And then it made no sense that Provenza would say he shot Stroh, anyone could see Rusty did it, and it would’ve been much easier to just tell the truth, whether you believe Rusty committed cold blooded murder, no one would charge Rusty, it would instantly be ruled a justifiable homicide given that Stroh had a gun and was on a killing spree and had tried to kill Rusty before. 

I have no idea if Duff was just giving a fat middle finger to TNT for fucking up the show or if he always wanted it to end like this and planned on killing off Sharon, but he couldn’t have done much worse than what he did with season 6. And then insulting the fans for being upset about it, what a douchebag. I would still like to track him down and let him know how much I don’t appreciate him giving a terrible ending to a great show and then attacking the fans for being upset about it, what a dick move.

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8 hours ago, kilda said:

 He's not upset that people are having an emotional reaction, he's upset that they're not having the one he wanted and expected.  

Not just that....he's decided that folks who are angry about the story he told at the end, are just angry because they are Mary fangirls:

Quote

But actually, you’re hearing from a dedicated minority of fans, and they are not fans of Major Crimes, but they were fans of Mary McDonnell, and that’s to be expected from that subset of fans. 

How on god's green earth can he think this is a good response to reviews??!!  I mean, I guess it is because he thinks that he is not good enough of a writer to evoke such passion (or is just an ego-fucking-maniac that any criticism of him should be dismissed out of hand, and deflected). Yet, while he may be lacking, the actors weren't.

Honest to god, how can a show creator offer the defense that he didn't create a character as interesting as the viewers thought he did and then ask to be taken seriously as a developer of a drama in the future? 

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I'm glad that interview has been posted and discussed, because when I read it, my brain short-circuited from anger and I didn't want to share it until I could coherently address it, and then that never happened.

For now, I'll just continue to muse on the difference between the way he - who made the damn decision - has responded to the degree of fan reaction and the way Mary McDonnell has.  She's affected by it, contemplating it, respecting it, humbled by it, responding to that with which she agrees and that she doesn't fully get but seeks to understand, etc. and he's just dismissive.

And to get a good laugh out of the "it's just the subset of fans who are here for Mary" line of defense he's trotting out now.  Because, really?  First, I've seen a whole lot of people - including those who'd happily watch a Sharon-less show if this universe continued - take issue with killing her off, and why he killed her off.  Second, I don't think you'll find a bigger fan of Mary McDonnell on this forum than me, and I've been pretty nuanced in my reaction to this whole thing, even finding positives in the way her death and its aftermath was written despite my distress over its very existence, and, quite frankly, bending over backwards to understand his thought process in making this decision. 

But, at this point, fuck that guy.  He doesn't understand viewers having an emotional reaction?  Bullshit.  As said, he's pissed many are not having the reaction he wanted.  You don't devote your life to creating art if you don't want people to have an emotional reaction to it; specifically, you craft a character-driven crime drama rather than a typical procedural because you want the audience to care about the characters in a deeper way.  If a significant chunk of your audience reacts in a different way, or perhaps more accurately a stronger way, than you'd expected when you created and executed a HUGE plot point, examine that, don't shit on it.

Edited by Bastet.
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47 minutes ago, Bastet said:

And to get a good laugh out of the "it's just the subset of fans who are here for Mary" line of defense he's trotting out now.  Because, really?  First, I've seen a whole lot of people - including those who'd happily watch a Sharon-less show if this universe continued - take issue with killing her off, and why he killed her off. 

You make an interesting point. I wouldn't watch a spin-off and I haven't watched the last five episodes yet but the reason isn't because I'm too much of a McDonnell fan or because a spin-off would be Sharon-less. The reason is actually the other characters. I really, really don't want to see the pain that Sharon's loss is causing them and I wouldn't want to be confronted with the loss during each and every spin-off episode. I don't want to have to wonder what it's like for Andy or Rusty and how this or that affects them and the rest of them all.

I haven't watched an episode since I learned that he killed off Sharon. I'm not sure I will any time soon and I know that for the time being I won't watch any of the episodes that deal with Sharon and Andy's relationship because knowing how it ends just makes me sad.

Viewers care about these characters and they don't just care because they're a fan of the actors. They care because characters are likeable and relateable. If Duff doesn't get that or doesn't want to then he should get out of TV show business. Any business that deals with characters, really, so he shouldn't even think about writing a novel.

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I mean, I AM a big fan of Mary's, and he's right in that she is the main reason I watched the show, and certainly the reason I stuck with it as long as I did. That doesn't mean I didn't love most of the other characters though, and don't have genuine reasons to be angry at his choices. The writing of MC has often being off-putting to me, but the actors shaped their characters in ways that made it mean something anyhow. 

There are a lot of things tied up in my personal anger at this. Partly it was the strong feeling that Sharon was mistreated as a character, and that's been going on for a long time, but it culminating in her death just compounds it. A shocking, traumatic death that James Duff went out of his way to make worse, by the way, in numerous ways. 

Part of it is what I see as a strong streak of sexism in how the female characters on this show have been treated over the years, which, again, is compounded by Sharon's fridging at the end so the men could take over. And she absolutely was fridged. 

A good chunk of it has been Duff himself, and his attitude towards the fans, which, yet again, has been going on for a long time, but has become much more noticeable since Sharon's death. He is not doing himself any favors at all. Particularly in his need to keep explaining to women why they aren't allowed to see sexism anywhere.

He needs to recognise two things - one, that once he's created a piece of entertainment and put it out into the world, he has zero control over how people react to it. He can't keep on condescendingly explaining to people why his writing is genius - if people aren't 'getting it', then the problem is in the writing.

And two, that a piece of entertainment isn't just a piece of entertainment that stands alone. It sits within the wider culture and represents more than just the sum of its parts. So if people are seeing uncomfortable patterns in it, then maybe he needs to take a step back and look at what his show was saying on a wider level, rather than just dismissing it all as ridiculous and hysterical. Not a good look. 

Edited by Distractible Me.
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19 hours ago, betsyboo said:

what a dick.

"I’m sorry they’re having an emotional reaction to a television drama. I don’t know what else to say."

The day people don't have an emotional response to the drama you created is the day you failed as a writer. Moron. 

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He clearly has a hard time taking criticism.  I don't mind him defending his story choice, at all, just his need to dismiss and belittle the criticism of fans.  Saying that people shouldn't have such an emotional reaction to a TV show.  Or that fans who are upset aren't really fans of the show, just of Mary McDonnell.  (I detect a touch of annoyance that fans are pissed at him, but not at her about this whole thing.)

It would be perfectly possible to defend his writing choice without doing that.  You say something like "I understand some fans don't like the way things ended.  I wrote what I still feel was the right ending for the characters and show that I created.  The fact that people have such strong feelings about this is an indication of how much they also cared about the show and its characters and I appreciate that whether we agree about the ending or not."  See how easy that would be?  Even if he were right and this was a brilliant ending that we are all somehow failing to appreciate, the way he has handled the reaction would still be wrong.

My issue with the ending of the show has very little to do with Sharon being gone, in the end.  I'm not happy that Sharon died but I made peace with it and could have been satisfied if the final episodes had gone down a little differently.  Character death is a valid writing choice and can make a good, powerful story.  Ultimately I think the ending fails because it either betrays the values Sharon stood for, or at best sends a very unclear, muddled message about those values.  Which I will post something about in the final episode thread once I have my thoughts a little clearer on it.

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On 1/24/2018 at 3:54 AM, Distractible Me said:

It's so similar to Brenda's ending. I mean, someone on Tumblr pointed out how literally it's similar to Brenda. Both: 

- have Stroh pop up again after a long time of being quiet

- become personally obsessed with catching him 

- have their adoring, wonderful mother drop dead suddenly and unexpectedly a few episodes before the finale

- singlehandedly take down Stroh in one form or another

- receive a prestigious job offer from the DA's office to move onto, as a sort of reward

And then thematically it's similar to Brenda in the sense of there being ambiguities over whether they behaved rightly or wrongly, but were still clearly rewarded by the show in the end. 

this is fascinating.  I've only ever seen the last episode of The Closer, so I didn't know about the similarity of the mother dropping dead a few episodes before.  The other commonalities I hadn't really noticed but they sure are there.  I am now wondering if Duff's mother is alive and what kind of issues he has about her, because there's clearly something there.

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2 hours ago, kilda said:

He clearly has a hard time taking criticism.  I don't mind him defending his story choice, at all,

But is he defending it or simply trying to justify it? If you defend something you usually put forth good and convincing arguments. I have yet to see one of those. Most of what he has said was condescending to fans and an attempt to try and explain something he has no real answer to. And that this was the only way he could have had the finale he wanted isn't exactly a strong argument as the finale went against so much the show and the lead character stood for.

Did he really expect people to understand and/or not care? Can he be that ignorant and oblivious?

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oh, I agree - he's not defending it so much as belittling those who disliked it.  If he just said "hey, I thought it was the right story choice, still do," that would be very different than what he's doing.  He doesn't even have to make a good and convincing argument imo - just disagree with the fans without insulting the fans.

my bar is apparently set low <g>

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54 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

But is he defending it or simply trying to justify it? If you defend something you usually put forth good and convincing arguments. I have yet to see one of those. Most of what he has said was condescending to fans and an attempt to try and explain something he has no real answer to. And that this was the only way he could have had the finale he wanted isn't exactly a strong argument as the finale went against so much the show and the lead character stood for.

Did he really expect people to understand and/or not care? Can he be that ignorant and oblivious?

100% honestly, at this point, a good part of me thinks that the real answer to all of this is "to spite people who loved Sharon more than Rusty and to make Rusty the Teflon hero who can do no wrong because Rusty is me and I'm awesome". It seems as likely as any other answer. 

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5 hours ago, kilda said:

this is fascinating.  I've only ever seen the last episode of The Closer, so I didn't know about the similarity of the mother dropping dead a few episodes before.  The other commonalities I hadn't really noticed but they sure are there.  I am now wondering if Duff's mother is alive and what kind of issues he has about her, because there's clearly something there.

There are a few differences, obviously - the biggest being that I don't think anyone in the audience would have been shocked if Brenda had killed Stroh, but she pulled away from that impulse at the end for a number of reasons, at least one of which was having had Sharon there for a while slowly pulling her away from that path as much as possible. Whereas Rusty, who had had Sharon there doing the same for a lot longer, clearly threw all those teachings in the trash and did what he liked. What that says, I'll leave to everyone's speculation. 

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my hunch is that it just says he was saving that moment for the ultimate end of the series.  After the discussions of the last few days, I suspect that if the spinoff into Major Crimes hadn't been approved, and the end of The Closer was going to be the end of the whole series, she would have shot him dead in her kitchen.  

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On January 24, 2018 at 8:35 PM, Xeliou66 said:

And then it made no sense that Provenza would say he shot Stroh, anyone could see Rusty did it,

Provenza claiming he shot Stroh kind of fits with all the times comic-mode Provenza would try to write off an incident scene as a suicide or an accident so he and/or the team could get to sports or holiday events, but the problem here is that it is not a lighthearted moment.

 

17 hours ago, Distractible Me said:

100% honestly, at this point, a good part of me thinks that the real answer to all of this is "to spite people who loved Sharon more than Rusty and to make Rusty the Teflon hero who can do no wrong because Rusty is me and I'm awesome". It seems as likely as any other answer. 

Or maybe not so much "to spite" those of us who just always presumed Sharon to be the heir-apparent main character after the exit of Brenda, but rather that Duff just felt that after giving 13 years of his life to the show that he had earned the right to do what he had always wanted in the last few episodes by making Rusty the lead. And maybe if Rusty had been cast by a slightly more charismatic actor (or even written more charismatically?), it would have worked.

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23 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Or maybe not so much "to spite" those of us who just always presumed Sharon to be the heir-apparent main character after the exit of Brenda, but rather that Duff just felt that after giving 13 years of his life to the show that he had earned the right to do what he had always wanted in the last few episodes by making Rusty the lead. And maybe if Rusty had been cast by a slightly more charismatic actor (or even written more charismatically?), it would have worked.

I guess the reason, at this point, that I feel it was a spite thing is because of how Duff chose to sell this season to the audience, as well as how he's reacted afterwards. He spoke a lot about how much this season was written for the fans, how it was aimed at being satisfying and gratifying, how fans would love the send-off he gave the characters, how Mary's storyline was fantastic and written to showcase what an amazing actress she was... He's been in contact with fans a lot over the years, and he's known just how popular Sharon was and how much killing her off would upset a lot of people. So his choice to speak about the show in such a way to get them very excited about it, as well as telling fans that he wasn't killing Sharon off (which he did), as well as choosing not to give any kind of content warning (which I seem to recall them doing when Taylor died) does seem to me to be aimed at upsetting people. 

I don't know Duff. I don't know much of what happened behind the scenes. But I find it hard to read much of this as anything other than aimed at upsetting the people who had been bothering him for years by liking his lead character more than his alter ego. 

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Or maybe not so much "to spite" those of us who just always presumed Sharon to be the heir-apparent main character after the exit of Brenda, but rather that Duff just felt that after giving 13 years of his life to the show that he had earned the right to do what he had always wanted in the last few episodes by making Rusty the lead. And maybe if Rusty had been cast by a slightly more charismatic actor (or even written more charismatically?), it would have worked.

He can certainly do whatever he wants. But the success of (most) every form of art depends on the audience, not just in television, so if he chooses to do whatever the hell he wants, he needs to be prepared for the response. And he needs to be aware that whatever the hell he wants might not be what his audience wants. If he just expects the audience to like what he does because it's he who does it then he hasn't understood the concept.

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Between his prediction viewers would find the ending “satisfying” and his comments about Sharon needing to be gone in order to tell the final story, it seems clear Duff thinks 1) we all wanted the show to end with Stroh’s death, 2) it needed to be Rusty who did it, and 3) in order for that to happen, Sharon had to die.  So, in the end, yes, we are sad that Sharon is dead, but relieved that Stroh got his, and Rusty is no longer in danger.  (And, hey, the show was being killed anyway, and you can’t have the show without Sharon, so don’t you like the metaphor?)

Um, no.

First, I didn’t need the show to end with Stroh.  That was a loose end from The Closer, and to me Major Crimes resolved it at the beginning of season four, when – following Stroh’s escape at the end of season three – Rusty declares he’s not going to live looking over his shoulder in fear; no protective detail, no being glued to Sharon’s side – he’s living a normal life, and that’s his triumph over Stroh.  Sharon took a little longer, but decided the same thing; no more secret undercover detail, no more spending nights worrying instead of sleeping -- Stroh was gone, he had no reason to risk coming back, and they were going on with their lives.  So I didn’t need the Stroh storyline to be revisited to begin with.

Second, the only reason it had to be Rusty is that Rusty is Duff’s Mary Sue.

Third, Sharon did not have to be dead for Stroh to be killed; it could have been a clean shoot, or at least one that was morally murky but legally clean, so that she had some things she needed to deal with Rusty about but didn’t need to reveal that her second in command and her son had lied, so the system needed to deal with them.

So, yes, once Stroh turned back up, I wanted his raping, murdering ass on a platter.  But it damn sure wasn’t worth losing Sharon to get it.  If you have to kill off your main character to allow your stand-in to do something in the final minutes of the series, maybe that's not something the final minutes should consist of.

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Honestly, the way Duff is behaving reminds me of Russell T. Davies and killing Ianto on Torchwood. People were really upset about it and felt like he was killed in a way that made no sense to the story. Russell ended up saying something like that all the brouhaha basically amounted to nine hysterical women. It was insulting to those of us that were fans of the character. My point is that yeah, go ahead and say whatever crap you(showrunner) want to say. It's your right. But don't be surprised when people aren't interested in watching another one of your shows. Saying "I’m sorry they’re having an emotional reaction to a television drama. I don’t know what else to say." is just not a wise thing to say.

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52 minutes ago, festivus said:

Saying "I’m sorry they’re having an emotional reaction to a television drama. I don’t know what else to say." is just not a wise thing to say.

One could argue that saying this about a female lead to an audience who is probably predominantly female as man is currently even worse. Makes me wonder how sensitive Duff is to what is going on around him in general.

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3 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

One could argue that saying this about a female lead to an audience who is probably predominantly female as man is currently even worse. Makes me wonder how sensitive Duff is to what is going on around him in general.

Yes, I have thought about this and that's why it reminded me of the nine hysterical women thing. Like some of the posters have said upthread, there is a polite way to talk about your audience and it sometimes seems that these kind of things are said when an audience is mostly female or perceived as mostly female.

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19 hours ago, festivus said:

Yes, I have thought about this and that's why it reminded me of the nine hysterical women thing. Like some of the posters have said upthread, there is a polite way to talk about your audience and it sometimes seems that these kind of things are said when an audience is mostly female or perceived as mostly female.

Like the words "emotional" and "irrational" being used.

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Heads up for those who were wondering about syndication a while back -- in my market, which is one that follows the two episodes per week format (some just air one), the cycle starts over with the second episode tonight.  So, if you were thinking of watching again from the beginning, check your local listings, because the first episode may be on tonight.

I haven't watched in syndication other than a few minutes here and there since Sharon died (and I'll be out tonight), but a friend and I had a Sharon Raydor tribute night about a month ago and watched several of her episodes of The Closer and several episodes of Major Crimes.  I was pleased to find that I was not sad at all while watching; I loved them every bit as much as I always had.  Almost the moment we turned off the TV for the night, I got pretty melancholy with the whole "wow, I wish it had all ended differently" thoughts, but while I was watching, it wasn't on my mind at all.

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The season six DVD is out, and it's kind of a dud (I didn't buy it, I borrowed my friend's).  You can tell the difference in the network/studio's interest in the show over the years by looking at the effort put into each season's DVDs, and this one is no exception (let's start with the blurb on the back, which refers to the final 12 episodes of the series, when there are 13).  There are no deleted scenes (James Duff had said he wanted to put more of the wedding on the DVD, but that obviously didn't happen), just the blooper reel and one very short featurette with producers and a couple of cast members (as I recall, only Kearran Giovanni and Tony Denison, both interviewed on set) talking about why they think the show appealed to fans. 

So, there's my review - buy it if you want the episodes, don't buy it if you don't, because there is practically nothing there other than the episodes. 

I haven't been able to watch any episodes yet.  I've been giddily watching season one in syndication, but I don't know if I'm ready to revisit even the beginning of season six at this point.  It's such a weird experience to have a DVD of Major Crimes in my hot little hands and not immediately dive in to re-live the season.  Thanks a lot, Duff.

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