Cagney & Lacey were real women. Cagney and her alcoholic father (oh the tragedy when she turned out to be an alcoholic too), her roll-neck sweaters, her lovers, her out and out ambition and her love of shopping. Apart from the alcoholic father, here was a woman you actually might want to be.
And Lacey. Oh poor Lacey. Living in Queens (I always thought this must be the worst place to live in NYC judging by this show), with Harvey, Harvey Junior and Michael all demanding of her time. Proper blue collar working mom.
But when they got together and worked. It was total magic. The men in this were relegated to being side characters. Like the women have always been. And the two leads were allowed to shine. This was top television. And we haven't even talked about the theme tune yet.
Let's talk about the theme tune. Never ever in the history of television has there been such a great theme tune. Perfection. The little sax opening, the jaunty bit kicks in and you see them busting crime round Manhattan (and jogging and looking in shop windows), the flasher. What does Lacey say to him? I've always wanted to know.
There was the ladies room where they had heart to hearts knowing that nobody would interrupt them as they were the only female cops in the precinct.
It was simply magnificent. The later seasons did get a bit challenging and I never agreed with giving poor Lacey yet another kid to look after. But vintage C&L with all the original cast is my contender for best cop show on TV. Maybe just of the 80s because NYPD Blue was pretty damn good too.