James Duff


Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Risk Assessment"

I read once — somewhere in the long ago — that character must be tested like a blacksmith tempers metal. Our personalities are forged in the furnace of our circumstances, pounded into shape between the hammer of our ambitions and the anvil of daily life. I have taken a bit of poetic license here, mainly because this particular metaphor seems slightly overwrought, but let's stay with the fiery image because, when confronted with flames, heroic characters often run toward them instead of seeking safety... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Curve Ball"

Tony Denison, G.W. Bailey

I was supposed to post some afterthoughts about "All In,"  last Tuesday or Wednesday and, instead, I am late with my entry about this week's new episode, (which was directed by Jon Tenney, better known to our fan base as Special Agent Fritz Howard). It just goes to show you that our best intentions can suddenly be overwhelmed by the unforeseen. In my case, the surprise was sinusitis and a prescription for some fierce, energy-sapping antibiotics that have forced me to adjust my professional plans. While physically irritating, it has made me even more sympathetic to the detectives in Major Crimes, all of whom find themselves dealing with the unexpected when their holiday vacation gets derailed by a shopping trip to Venice Beach.

We begin with Flynn and Provenza ambling through one of the kookiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "All In"

Mary McDonnell, Graham Patrick Martin

If the recent exigencies of the Great Recession have taught us anything — doubtful, honestly, considering how easily it could all happen again — it's that humans tend to take for granted the status quo in unhealthy ways, and that, worse, we tend to equate being rich with great wealth. During the financial downturn, many people were amazed to find how ephemeral their finances turned out to be. We woke from a sleepy sense of entitlement to find we had been living in a bubble.

So our victim tonight, the manager of a very small investment fund, turns out to have taken on more risk than he knew; his friends and family, who trusted him with their money, are horrified to find that he essentially sold their cow for magic beans, and their lives on country club estates are more tenuous than they first supposed. read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Reflects on "Jailbait"

Graham Patrick Martin , Bill Brochtrup

As we discussed in the previous blog, one way of dealing with those who hurt us is to forgive them, and another way of dealing with them is murder. Forgiveness seems to be the better route.

This is not to say I'm for dismissing charges in a homicide. The law should have its own say in dealing with criminal behavior.  Grace is a human reaction; governments must look at murder in another way. But allowing the justice system to manage our passions and anger and desire for revenge could be one of the best innovations of human civilization.

Clearly, however, the justice system has flaws... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Jailbait"

Esai Morales, G.W. Bailey, Mary McDonnell

Perhaps no single trait builds character more than the capacity to forgive. Compassion for those who have offended us can be hard to learn. Yet this is the curious paradox found near the center of the human heart: those who hurt us the most, are usually the ones most in need of our sympathy. Still, how to pardon an injury that can never be redressed? And what happens to us when we can't? ... read more

Major Crimes Creator Reflects on "Pick Your Poison" and Rusty

Graham Patrick Martin

Here's a short post to talk about our continuing story on Major Crimes: the ordeal of the material witness, Rusty Beck, as he travels toward his appointment with destiny.

Series regulars on crime shows tend to represent those most responsible for the proper arrest of a criminal. But the justice system oftentimes depends on witnesses; even DNA evidence must be presented by the person who analyzed it, providing a human face and voice to the dryer aspects of court proceedings... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Pick Your Poison"

Major Crimes

Major Crimes returns this Monday, November the 25th, with eight new episodes running through the holidays and on into the first of two weeks of January. Last summer ended as  threatening letters to Rusty were discovered by DDA Emma Rios, and Sharon Raydor was taking her material witness into Chief Taylor's office for a conference on his future... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Previews "Road Block"

The Closer

For most of our last season, the questions we've been asking about love deal with its passionate side. In the five winter episodes, we have veered slowly towards the costs of that passion. As I have noted before, the only real promise you ever get with love is that it must end; that we go on loving, in the face of certain loss, is one of the nobler traits of humanity; in fact, it may be our saving grace as a species.

Devotion and adoration are not restricted to things that are good for us... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Previews "Relative Matters"

Kyra Sedgwick, Frances Sternhagen, Barry Corbin

One of the greatest side benefits of my work on The Closer has been the time I get to spend thinking about our themes. This last season, which revolves around love, has provided me countless hours of reflection, examining the best of all human emotions and, to my mind, the most powerful. When you have a choice, and love is one of the options, the decision usually becomes obvious.

For me, life is broken down into a series of families... read more

The Closer Creator James Duff Previews the Show's "Jolly" 100th Episode

Kyra Sedgwick, Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin

In our season-long examination of love, The Closer would be remiss if it didn't pause to consider the fuzziest of all human passions: a fondness for our own golden past.

Hardly anything tickles warm, childhood memories like the holidays. Gifts, decorations, friendly gatherings, family feasting and favorite songs blend to paint a glowing patina over our best memories. Unfortunately, the American brand of nostalgia borders on amnesia, and holding on to our youthful attachments oftentimes requires overlooking a host of problematic truths, or so our intrepid civilian tech, Buzz Watson, discovers when dragging his younger sister, Casey, on their annual trip to a local Christmas fair... read more

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