Series: Cagney & Lacey

Cagney & Lacey — Two female cops, Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey, fight crime in New York City. It was groundbreaking in its time (The '80s); for that matter, you don't see many series like it today, either.

Was recently repeated on BBC2 on weekday afternoons. (Oct-Dec 2013, March 2014 - currently running)

Cagney & Lacey provides example of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Both leads, being female cops, qualify for this trope.
  • 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: a rare female example, possibly the first.
  • Cop Show
  • Chase Scene
  • Dirty Harriet: Both characters in the very first episode. Lampshaded:
    Det. Lacey: "They call these plain clothes?"
  • 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 '80s: made and set in the decade. Occasionally it shows.
  • '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: the title characters, naturally.
  • MAD: "Grabme & Spacey."
    "We're Starsky & Hutch! We want to report a robbery! Somebody stole our show and replaced us with two women detectives!"
  • 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 Marcus Petrie and Victor 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.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: You wouldn't expect a show with frequent Downer Endings to have such an upbeat, cheerful theme tune. (In fact, when Bill Conti was signed to compose a new theme from season two onwards, he was specifically told to not advertise that it was for a cop show because CBS had scheduled it after a comedynote  and they didn't want to lose the audience.)
  • 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.