Rakshita (Raks) Patel (rakspatel) wrote in mycroft_brolly,
Rakshita (Raks) Patel

A tribute to Cagney & Lacey

Photo credit: http://innocentdonuts.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-miss-cagney-and-lacey.html

Yesterday, over at the BFI, they celebrated the 30th anniversary of Cagney & Lacey.

Cut and pasted from the BFI website:

Multi-award winning 80s television series Cagney & Lacey, starring Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, was often the highest-rated television drama on both sides of the Atlantic. It explored the professional and private lives of women who "just happened to be cops" with such emotional honesty that, some 30 years later, fans are still claiming it changed their lives. It also changed television history when a letter-writing campaign succeeded in reversing the show's cancellation.

Illustrated with clips from the show, Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly and Barry Rosenzweig, the show's executive producer, took part in a panel discussion examining how this iconic series changed representations of women, and influenced subsequent television history.

Raks's Take and Write-Up

I will state upfront that I absolutely LOVED Cagney & Lacey. This show was airing during my formative years as a teenager and a young woman and Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey were THE best role models a young girl/woman could have. I don't think they have their equal on television now, let alone then.

Cagney & Lacey were real women doing real jobs. Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly and Barry Rosenzweig made it clear that they wanted them to be "women who happened to be cops" rather than "cops who happened to be women". They explained that the series was made BY intelligent people FOR intelligent people (I personally wish we could say that about more of our television output now - although you can, of course, say that of Sherlock!).

Cagney & Lacey were real three-dimensional women, who were not perfect, but flawed. The show represented them in all their different roles, not just at work, but in their personal lives too. You got to see them at work and at home.

Cagney & Lacey were totally diffferent from eachother, almost the complete opposite of eachother - Cagney was an ambitious career woman, Lacey more of a wife and a mother - yet they had the strongest friendship and professional partnership going (yet another Sherlock reference - everything leads back to Sherlock for me!). Both Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly talked about the strong "chemistry" they had together. The show was very much about female friendship, and it celebrated female friendship.

It was never afraid to tackle "big social issues" - they had a storyline for Cagney being an alcoholic and a storyline for Lacey on breast cancer, at a time when the big C was unmentionable, let alone breast cancer. They always came at stories from a liberal standpoint. Both Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly said that they had not wanted to play the "victim" as they did in these storylines (alcoholism and breast cancer) but they had done so because these were social issues facing women that they wanted depicted on television.

The screening was fully booked and was full of people who, like me, just loved the show. Without a shadow of a doubt, the show spoke to women very strongly and still does. Personally I think that has everything to do with the fact that it showed strong independent feisty women, in their work and home lives, portraying them as fully rounded three dimensional characters, who were aspirational and yet flawed. It also has a lot to do with the chemistry between the two actors and their strong powerful portrayal of an enduring female friendship and professional partnership.

Let us give it up for Cagney & Lacey!

"Cagney & Lacey" are in town because:
Sharon Gless is appearing in "A Round Heeled Woman" at the Aldwych Theatre from 25 Nov 2011 - 14 Jan 2012
Tyne Daly is appearing in "Masterclass" at the Vaudeville Theatre from 21 Jan 2012 - 28 April 2012

Thank you to yvaine24 for providing this information.

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

Cagney & Lacey was an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from October 8, 1981 to May 16, 1988. A police procedural, the show starred Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as New York City police detectives who led very different lives: Christine Cagney (Gless) was a single, career-minded woman, while Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) was a married working mother. The series was set in a fictionalized version of Manhattan's 14th Precinct (Midtown South), which in real life was located at 357 West 35th Street. The two main actresses combined to win the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama six straight years in a row, a winning streak unmatched in any major category by a show.

Photo credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-451942/TV-cops-Cagney-Lacey-reunite-DVD-launch--25-years-on.html
Tags: bfi, big society, sherlock, tv
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