In the summertime when my usual forensic shows are off the air, Monday and Fridays are the nights I watch television.  (Masterpiece is for all-year-round fun).

Last night two of the best shows on television premiered: The Closer, with Kyra Sedgewick, and Saving Grace, with Holly Hunter.  These two beat just about anything being written for TV, the dark and light of the best, on several counts: great writing, strong female protagonists, interesting storylines and secondary characters, a touch of humor that relieves the seriousness of the fact both women are involved in crime.

In The Closer, the lighter of the two, Atlanta native Brenda Leigh Johnson finds her skills put to the test as a Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief solving Serious Crimes.  With her fondness for candy and her loathing of LAPD politics, Brenda’s investigating and interrogating skills usually win the day with a fair amount of humor.  The steadiness to her ditzy factor is her fiance’, FBI agent Fritz Howard, played by the luscious Jon Tenney, who we could stand to see more of in the

Moving to the darker side gives us Grace Hanadarko, an Oklahoma City detective whose has lost a sister

in that tragedy.  The question of faith is served up deliciously in the persona of the angel Earl who visits her.  Hunter’s Grace is a hard drinkin’, heavy smokin’, sexually promiscuous kinda gal.  And in this season we learn the reasons why.  She is also tender hearted, loving and generous, and more than one is attracted to the rambunctious Grace.  Her team and her family are well-drawn, interesting characters, who allow Hunter to spread her own wings and imbue this character with gusto.

So the next time you think there’s nothing good to watch this summer on TV, just wait for Monday nights on TNT, 9-11.

For Fun Friday, watch this spot!