03 November 2011

Note to Readers: The Library

I have been, bit by bit, updating The Library to reflect what I am reading and what I have read this year. Just so's ya know.

TV: Cagney & Lacey, Pt. 2

I've finished Season 1 (with erstwhile Cagney Meg Foster, she was growing on me). It was like riding in a time machine! I am big fan of the police procedural. and have spent many happy hours with Olivia Benson, Brenda Leigh Johnson, Kima Greggs, et al. Becoming acquainted with Dets. Cagney and Lacey for the first time from this vantage point...WILD!

An epi on domestic violence.  C&L respond to a call where a little girl is standing on a rooftop ledge of a 14-story building. Lacey rescues her with her particular superpower, Mommy Genius, and the kid won't say a word, for hours. They release a photo and then the kid's grandma calls, the next day, and tells them where the kid lives. So, they take the kid home and leave her with her spooky weird vibe family, very few questions asked. The questions not asked: why didn't you report her missing? why is a six y.o. hanging out on the ledge? why won't you let your wife answer any questions. As they leave the apartment Lacey asks Cagney, Did that seem weird to you? Cagney: Nope.

I won't spoil the rest of the story for you, except to add that when C&L go see the department shrink to help them get a read on the situation, he tells them that their experience as women has made them too sensitive and over-likely to suspect abuse.

The show has a very realistic vibe, so all I have to go on is to think that their consultants kept things pretty true, but...did women detectives really conduct police work in skirts and heels (even though loose and short, respectively)? And I'm not talking about Benson-type chunky heels. I mean the kind that I would not want to pound the pavement in. And, note: Deputy Chief Johnson does not pound the pavement, so don't throw her back to me as an example.

I was not expecting the ongoing love affair that is the marriage of the Laceys. It kinda reminds me of my own domestic semi-bliss. How adorable is Harv? And how gorgeous are those kids?

The last epi of Season 1 has C&L protecting a Phyllis Schlafly-like character who's receiving threatening phone calls and stalkings, etc. The ERA! How did that not pass? But on the other hand, it's kinda good to know I can't be drafted. The look on the anti-feminist's face when Lacey uses her Mommy Genius to apprehend the stalker is priceless, and no more needed to be said.

I gotta say, it's nourishing to a pop culturist's soul to watch a show that relies solely on excellent writing, acting and directing. No sensationalism, no gizmos (they didn't even have cell phones? How is that possible?), nobody is impossibly gorgeous and well-dressed, no gory details (CSI, I hate you!)....   It's like one of Harv's home-cooked meals. (I'm pregnant and constantly starving, so expect frequent references to meals over the next few months.)

01 November 2011

TV: Cagney & Lacey, Pt. 1

Cagney & Lacey is one of those classic shows I've always meant to watch. Tyne Daly! Groundbreaking! Crimes to solve! I'm home sick, so yesterday I started watching. The first thing I noticed was that Sharon Gless was not in it. This is interesting, so a little bit of research was in order. Meg Foster played Christine Cagney for the first season, which was six episodes, eventually replaced for being a bit too butch. God, that must have pissed her off, especially with all the acclaim the show eventually went to garner. She'd not be considered butch at all by today's standards, and even if she were....We've come a long way, baby. Also, what a risky move (unless the backlash gave the producers cover), to replace the actor for an established character? I'm only on Ep. 3, but I'm very curious to see how this transition goes. Foster had great chemistry with Daly.

Something else to notice. In Ep. 3, the issue is a murdered Guatemalan teenager brought over illegally by a coyote. Cagney and Lacey have a tiny argument about illegals taking jobs. (I guess this was when Americans actually wanted those jobs?) And someone gives a statistic about 2,000 illegals entering NYC every week. If that figure was true, and held true, that's 3 million over the last 30 years.

Speaking of 30 years...wow! It is so cool to watch this time capsule. More later....