Cagney & Lacey
— Two female cops, Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey, fight crime
in New York City
. It was groundbreaking in its time (The Eighties
); for that matter, you don't see many series like it today, either.
Was recently repeated on BBC 2
on weekday afternoons. (Oct-Dec 2013)
Cagney & Lacey provides example of the following tropes:
- The Big Rotten Apple: This was a New York that was still mired in the various troubles and squalor that defined it for most of the late 20thC. A lot of the crimes in the series related to the gang turf wars, social divisions, and the poverty inherent in the city.
- Buddy Cop Show
- Cop Show
- Chase Scene
- Dirty Harriet
- Drives Like Crazy: Christine apparently drives like this, mainly we just get to see Mary Beth's reaction shots from inside the car though due to the budget.
- The Eighties
- '80s Hair: Especially obvious in the first season opening, when they go undercover as hookers.
- Entitled to Have You: "Rules of the Game" introduces a high-flying Detective Captain decides that he's entitled to have Chris after she engages in some (very) mild flirting. He threatens her career and even her job itself if she turns him down. He thinks that mild-flirting means that Christine doesn't have the right to turn him down.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Regularly used, often Christine will play the bad cop, then Mary Beth will act all sweet and conciliatory. Watch out, however, if Mary Beth plays bad cop because then there is trouble.
- Hide Your Lesbians: A constant worry of CBS was that the two female characters would be perceived as lesbians — as a result Mary Beth Lacey was married, and actress Meg Foster (playing Cagney) was replaced by Sharon Gless because she was "too aggressive and likely to be perceived as a lesbian by viewers". CBS hoped Sharon would be a more "high-class" and "feminine" Cagney, but fortunately the producers resisted this Executive Meddling and kept Cagney's tough working-class character.
- Lovely Angels
- Made-for-TV Movie: The pilot and four sequels (aired in the mid-1990s).
- Name and Name
- Pretty in Mink: Cagney wears a fox fur coat in the second opening.
- Salt and Pepper: One of the other detective pairs, who would occasionally get A Day in the Limelight, of Petrie and Isbecki. In contrast to the usual, the black detective, Petrie, was the firmly middle class buttoned up by-the-book cop and the white Isbecki was the streetwise rebel.
- Shirtless Scene: Given this show was for the ladies, Fanservice for them was only fair. Plus it was the best kind that TV standards at the time would allow.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Some of the tropes mentioned above, as well as the (occasional) treatment of gender roles, the presence of typewriters and rotary dial phones in the squadroom, etc. can tend to make it this.
- Very Special Episode: "Rules of the Game" tackles sexual discrimination, and sexual intimidation in the workplace, when a visiting Detective Captain tries to pressure Christine into sex.