Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cagney and Lacey: A female-fronted cop show

Cagney And Lacey was an American police procedural show that ran between 1982 and 1988, lasting seven seasons. The show depicts two female leads with contrasting attitudes to the role of women in the work place and withing in the family. Cagney (Sharon Gless) was depicted as single woman driven by her career, whereas Lacey was a working mother who was happily married. What is notable about Cagney and Lacey is that it is one of the few examples of a stereotypically male-orientated genre, the crime drama, being presented from an entirely female perspective. This could be seen as an indication of a growing diversification in female roles on television, but it is also something of an anomaly, as since Cagney and Lacey ended it's 1988, there have been relatively few female orientated crime dramas, and certainly none that have even come close to matching the success of Cagney and Lacey. Despite this, virtually all of the mainstream American crime dramas, most notably shows like NCIS, CSI and Bones, all feature central female characters, a trend within the police procedural that could be seen as being established in the 1980s.

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