episode 406 - August 18, 2008
Shower scenes. Always a great way to start the day or an episode! The water is always too cold and the modesty costumes are always too transparent...but that hasn't stopped writers from writing them into shows since Adam took his first cold shower in the Garden of Eden and Eve demanded a brushed nickel designer multi massaging showerhead from Restoration Hardware down at the Garden of Eden Galleria. When Brenda stepped out of the shower and into the bedroom she wrapped herself in a vintage 1930's Beacon robe that I found at The Way We Wore. They remind me of robes my grandfather used to wear so that means that Brenda's grand daddy would have worn them, because if Brenda is an extension of Closer Creator James Duff, then Brenda is an extension of me too. When I shop for the character I truly channel her quirky sense of style. I had my costumers with me once when we were power shopping and they were choosing very Brenda like outfits, or so they thought, maybe they weren't off enough, or were too nice for Brenda, I kind of go into a trance like state and out comes the odd and wonderful combinations that only Brenda Leigh Johnson would think beautiful, be it at Neimanís or Mervyns!
Serge's mother was played by the wonderful actress Cheryl White. I worked with her on The D.A., another James Duff/Shephard Robin ABC series from 2004, and I totally credit her with the use of vintage on a contemporary character. Cheryl was scheduled for a fitting back in 2004 and I had pulled clothes from Bloomingdales perfect for the wife of a Los Angeles D.A., however, nothing fit her but the pants. So I ran down to the Costume Department of Warner Brothers where we were shooting the D.A. and a Lili Ann suit from the 1940's just jumped out at me. Cheryl had the perfect body and air of class to pull off a hybrid look like that and how apropos that for her appearance on The Closer I had Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson interrogating her character wearing a Lili Ann jacket from the 1940's! Brenda's jacket had great collar detailing that featured three different shades of gray in a deco inspired pattern that repeated at the hem. Almost identical to what I had chosen for Cheryl's character four years ago. Cheryl had to look a bit dowdy this time around, wearing a wild rice linen sport coat with a t-shirt and slacks as the accessory to the murder. I had Carlos stitch up a pair of charcoal gray cashmere wide legged slacks for Brenda that matched perfectly the details of the vintage jacket.
I suppose like everybody everywhere whenever you see a photograph or a video of some event in ones life you can remember exactly what you were doing or where you were. When I watch these episodes the night they air, we have actually shot them weeks before, but in the opening scenes in the tent, a roof was being re-tarred, in a near-by neighborhood and the smell of fresh tar was overpowering, or the day at the tunnels it was 110 degrees in the shade, down at the tunnel set below ground it was rather cool, but the stench of stale water and swarms of bugs was overwhelming and lunch that day was a delicious beef brisket that John Tenney said I HAD to have, and I did and went back for seconds. Odd little bits of trivia that will stay with me forever.
Did any of you catch yours truly co-hosting the T.V. Guide Channel's Fashion Team last Tuesday? Don't know if they repeat it on the channel or on the web, but they devoted the hour to The Closer and a behind the scenes tour of my office, to the tailor shop, the fitting room, Brenda's closet and even the wardrobe trailer. Check it out!
Tomorrow's a location day for episode 410...I've got a new batch of Huggable Hangers, the ONLY hanger to use, found either from Joy Mangano on Home Shopping Network or at your local Target, I gotta hang a bunch of Brenda's costumes on them and get ready for over 100 extra's so until next week, au revoir from the quirky couture capital of cable...the Closer Closet!
The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer/speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc.