Cagney & Lacey (TV Series 1981–1988) Poster


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One of the best police shows in TV history
david-bartlett5 December 2005
Cagney and Lacey was one of the best acted, best written, best conceived police shows in TV history. Ranking alongside Hill Street Blues and Morse in terms of its quality, I would suggest it is one of the finest television series ever made, greatly surpassing most TV made today. Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless kept this series going so beautifully, with never a dull moment, and never anything less than perfect performances. So instinctive, so moving, so engaging and so charming - the two are among the great television partnerships. The gritty, honest dynamic those two wonderful actors generated is a beautiful achievement. It is actors like this that make television occasionally magnificent. What a shame we don't have anything to compare these days to this.
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Not Nice! But Excellent!
Syl9 April 2007
Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly redefined female relationships. No, they were never lovers and the thought had never occurred back in the 1980s. They were partners, allies, friends, and comrades in a man's profession. They were unlikely heroines. Mary Beth was married to Harvey with two sons and a daughter. Christine was the troubled single woman. Partnered together, they formed a dynamic duo with the likes of Starsky and Hutch and Miami Vice but with estrogen and a women's touch. As Cagney and Lacey, the audience realized that women can be more serious and intelligent than the other female duo of Laverne and Shirley. No, this show was serious, thought-provoking, and entertaining. We loved Cagney and Lacey and it was a show that it's audience fought to bring back to the airwaves with passion. Unfortunately, shows like Cagney and Lacey probably wouldn't come back. The idea of having mature, plain women like Daly and Gless is gone. Although the show garnered plenty of honors including Emmys for both Daly and Gless, it is hard to imagine that nowadays a show like Cagney and Lacey wouldn't be more Police Woman and less serious. On screen, Daly and Gless proved to be a dynamic duo. You knew you had two strong actresses giving the performance of their lives as female cops. Gone was the glamor and present was the seriousness that women should be taken more seriously. Unfortunately, actresses like Daly and Gless who are terrific American actresses of the highest caliber who can turn any guest appearance into an Emmy nomination should not be forgotten and discarded like yesterday's garbage. Daly and Gless proved that audiences didn't always go for glamorous, attractive, but a realistic portrayal of women in a man's department. It's still a man's world but Cagney and Lacey proved that they had what it took to make it there after all.
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Wonderful Cop Series
Big Movie Fan14 August 2002
Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless did a great job with Cagney and Lacey in the 1980's. Not only did Cagney and Lacey have a great theme tune but it has great plots and dialogue throughout.

Like a lot of great cop shows, this series presented it's characters as real people with real emotions. Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless were aided by a brilliant supporting cast throughout.

The show wasn't just about police work. Both Cagney and Lacey had their fair share of personal problems outside their job ranging from alcoholism to conflicts of interest with their job. We got to seem them convey a whole range of emotions throughout but we still got to see them do some wonderful detective work. I actually think they were both convincing as detectives.

All in all, this was a great series, possibly the greatest buddy cop series of the 80's.
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Cagney and Lacey
gregoryshnly1 August 2006
I enjoyed this show from the pilot movie with Loretta Swit of MASH fame as Chris Cagney,single and hungry to carve a career in the police force and Tyne Daly,as the sensitive,married mother of two,Mary Beth Lacey,both women recently promoted from uniform to plain clothes and dealing with highly chauvinistic male colleagues. When the TV series started,Tyne Daly was back but an actress with striking blue eyes,Meg Foster was now playing Chris Cagney. Apparently there was a feeling that the two women were now too alike,now,I haven't seen any of the Meg Foster episodes for 20 years,so can't really remember them but always felt Foster got a bit of a raw deal,when she was axed after just six episodes. Anyway,the series came with a catchy new theme tune and Sharon Gless now as Chris Cagney,who funnily enough,was always the production team's first choice for Cagney and the matching of Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless was excellent and according to Miss Gless the secret of playing Cagney was "talking tough and wearing pink!" The writing and acting was always first rate,one of my favourite episodes was "Burn Out" when Lacey,all set for a much needed vacation has her leave cancelled at the last minute and goes AWOL and ends up on a beach and after spending time with a woman of a similar age,who has drifted all her life,Lacey realises although she sometimes has to juggle so many things,she loves her life. Cagney and Lacey were not best friends,they could argue very forcibly,like the time when a member of the public was shot by accident,Cagney said he had a gun,Lacey didn't see it,leading to Cagney saying Lacey was just a cop for the money,not like her for a career,she later had to apologise for that one. I hope this entire series comes out on DVD soon,including the Meg Foster episodes too,I highly recommend it.
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Outstanding example of compelling, convincing TV drama
branlloer1 July 2004
Unlike most cop show on TV, "Cagney and Lacey" did not try and dazzle us with car chases, mind-bending mysteries to be solved or sex kittens posing as police officers (mind the nails!) . It was always about the characters. It was their experiences and reactions to the case and the crime around them, the pressures of the job, the conflicts with each other, that was the focus of the show. And the "Perps", or criminals, had their story, too. At its best, the crime-of-the-week drew you into an issue, a POV , a social problem, whose solution was dramatically argued through the reactions of the police officers involved - primarily the leads, of course.

Besides the writing, what made this work was that we cared about the leads, and we cared what they thought. We especially cared what happened to them. Outstanding, often stunningly realistic, acting from Sharon Gless (Christine Cagney) and Tyne Daly (Mary Beth Lacey) made us feel like we knew these 2 people, and they made us root for them. Their acting rapport was such a lucky happenstance; they complimented each other's styles and characters beautifully. You can't buy that kind of performing chemistry.

Can you tell I'm a fan? Yes, if you want your crime drama with a large dose of humanity, wit, and intelligence thrown in with the obligatory car chases, check it out where you can!
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When network TV was worth watching
calvinnme1 May 2010
This show was unique in that it was the first time that two basically average looking women played the leads in a TV show that was not about the fact that they were just average looking women. The show was also ground-breaking in that both detectives in the partnership were women - smart, capable women. Women had gradually been integrated into TV police forces over the 15 years prior to this series, but they were usually part of a crime-solving team such as on "Ironside". The balance in this show was not through the well-known old cop/young cop formula. Instead, both detectives were 30-something women. The contrast came in the form of their marital status and their personal situations. Lacey was married and a mother, and Cagney was single.

There was a pilot and six episodes during the 1981-1982 season starring an actress other than Sharon Gless as Detective Christine Cagney. In the 1982-1983 season the show settled into the dynamic that made it so popular and which most people remember.
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One of the greatest dramas on television.
siderius29 July 2001
Cagney and Lacey was an amazing television series that addressed several tough issues through the eyes of two women protagonists. One of the only dramas on television to star two women, Cagney and Lacey was remarkable in portraying women as serious participants in a tough and dangerous profession. The series starred Tyne Daly (4 Emmys) and Sharon Gless (2 Emmys) - in my opinion the best acting team on television. The show featured two very different women bickering, laughing, crying together and backing each other up through a series of triumphs and crises. The women were not victims - they were ordinary women doing a rough job and doing it well. The characters and the story line developed over the run of the show. Mary Beth had a baby; almost lost a son and fought cancer. Chris struggled through a series of unsuccessful relationships; was promoted to sergeant and faced her alcoholism. This show wasn't just a cop show - it was a show about two women who happened to be cops. The series was canceled three times and has the distinction of being the first series to returned to the schedule because of massive fan protest at the original cancelation. Well worth watching if you get the chance. It is, however, rarely shown on television.
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A very nice television series.
Rosemea D.S. MacPherson18 September 1999
Tyne Daly (Christy) played Detective Mary Beth Lacey. Sharon Gless, (The trials of Rosie O"Neill) was Detective Christine Cagney. This was a show about two women who worked together and became good friends outside their job. Harvey Lacey,Tony LaTorre, was a nice and understanding husband.This show was really well done and we enjoyed watching it. It is always good to see women playing that type of role. There is one episode that stuck with me. It was about Hispanic illegal aliens in the United States living in horrible conditions, even in the attic of a building. They were chasing them and purposefully missed them, by saying: "there is nobody here." That was a nice episode where they showed a lot of compassion.
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GroundBreaking Show!
ShelbyTMItchell21 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Two cops with different personalities show that two women can be a force in the work force despite some male chauvinistic attitudes like in the police department at NY.

Chris Cagney("MASH" Loretta Swift in the original, Meg Foster now a B-Movie actress, and finally Sharon Gless later of "Burn Notice" who lasted the longest)is a tough and driven single lady who wants to make a name for herself in the police department despite the male dominating population Mary Beth Lacey(Tyne Daly a Broadway and theater actress)is a married mother of two soon to be three later in the series. And the sensitive caring, mother hen and a little more level headed of the two.

As both had to put aside their differences and personalities when they began to work together. And they later become the best of friends and confidantes over time.

Groundbreaking show of two women trying to make it in the working world full of men. But they managed to pull it off with pretty much ease despite that.

Great acting and writing. As quality show. Nearly got canceled but tons and tons of viewers saved it!
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Harvey Atkin and the actors are the best
jprice-424 June 2000
It's too bad that Harvey Atkin (Desk Sgt. Ronald Coleman) wasn't invited to the 4 Cagney & Lacey reunion movies. He was a good actor. This show was great and thanks to TNN for showing the reruns of the show.

I like Tyne Daly (Juddging Amy) as Lacey ,and Sharon Gless as Cagney. I like John Karlen(Dark Shadows)he was talented. Martin Kove, Carl Lumbly, and the late Sidney Clue was great.

I was great.

I give it *****.
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One of a handful of Cop shows from the 80's I loved
nomoons114 January 2012
Most from the 80's will throw out Hill Street Blues as the greatest but to me there were others that were equally good but just never got the recognition. This was one of those shows.

This show really hit hard with issues like drug addiction to killers to the gay issue and even teenage prostitution. It ran the gamut. And it was no white-washed make everything rosy by the end of the show typical of usual TV shows of the day.

From Dt. Cagney, the single can never find the right guy who happens to be beautiful and hard nosed to Dt. Lacey, who was a wife, mother and housewife...on the side. Both characters gelled together. Couldn't have been a better yin and yang type duo. Both were women but both were totally different in personality.

I think my biggest complaint about the show is that it got to "political" towards the end of its run. Too many shows where the topic was preachy. You know, where they'll deal with a topic where it's pretty clear what their agenda was. I don't care for those types of shows as I can make up my mind on issues without any help.

To me, this was a great cop show of the 80's. Don't be off-put by the show having 2 female leads. If you are, you'll miss out because this was a really good show in it's day.
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Where it might be seen
Mart-1327 June 2003
I saw and also happened to follow Cagney and Lacey on German or Finnish TV a few years back. What had me interested was the dynamic of the series and its lead characters, though I don't remember much else than emotions of seeing it.

As for availability, then I don't rule out that it might be shown somewhere in Europe. Since the show is about 20 years old now (as of 2003), few TV channels are likely to put it on their prime time slot. If possible, grab a chance to take a look at it, because I feel that the show was in many ways ahead of its time.
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Happily Ever After (1985) from Season 4, Episode 13 deals with timeless issues
Andrew_S_Hatton19 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The difference between being married or in a relationship, what it means to be a real couple rather than two singles living together, how not to be an actor in our personal lives, living free of addiction and just for today, "He who pays the piper calls the tune", "Sufficient until the day is the evil thereof".

These are just some of the themes explored in this fast moving drama.

I saw it early one morning when I was trying to avoid my day.A day I had avoided my morning meditation because I am feeling particularly lazy.

And yet, what I turned to for light relief offered all these challenges.

It was written in 1985, I guess the reason it is being repeated in 2008 on ITV 3, a UK digital station, is because it still pulls in the viewers so that the shareholders get their return from selling the advertising space. Today the whole daytime TV being sponsored by a diet company. To keep us spending they have to keep us believing that their diet method works, as my wife told me it did when she joined me. However, for me no diet works because I am an addict and I need a programme of recovery, that helps me make the best of today, whatever is going on around me. Chris Cagney reinforces that lesson as she opts for singledom rather than acting up to the man who wants her to marry him.

It gives me much food for thought as I revalue my relationship that has lasted for 44 years. I wonder if I had really thought about the issues involved as portrayed so accurately, would I have ever got started on my lifetime relationship? Is this is the first posting about this episode, have you seen it, what do you think?
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