Thursday, August 31, 2023

Wandering Through The Shelves:TV Edition- Female Investigators


Wandering Through The Shelves picked a great theme this week and, believe it or not, my first pick is what popped into my head first. Strange how the mind works since I followed it with the other 2 and Charlie’s Angels didn’t come into my head until now. Without further adieu, here are my 3…

1. GET CHRISTY LOVE-1974-1975

Teresa Graves plays an African American police detective who would work undercover to nab the bad guys. This started off as a TV movie of the week but became a series albeit a short-lived one. This was during the blaxploitation films that were big in the 70s. I just remember thinking she was pretty and unique since she was a female in a male dominated job plus she was black. I remember her saying " You're under arrest, Sugah." The star became a..gulp...johovah witness and made sure the scripts were cleaned up. I'd live to see this again through older eyes.

2. POLICE WOMAN-1974-1978

Angie Dickinson plays a sexy police detective with Earl Holliman as her superior who would help her out of difficult situations. She had a team who helped her when she needed it or vice versa. I always wanted the character of Pepper and the police captain, Holliman, to get together. I was only 10 the time.

3. CAGNEY & LACEY-1982-1988

2 lady detectives work in a grungy police station, which is more realistic than the shiny stuff we see today. Cagney is a sexy but tough cop who is single, independent, a bit upper class while her partner, Lacey, is married with kids struggling to pay the bills. Both are good friends and cover each other’s back. Al Waxman (a famous Canadian actor) plays their superior. They dealt with some big topics of the day (and even today) like abortion and rape. Either one or the other actress won an Emmy every year the show was on.  Loretta Switt was the original Cagney when they made a TV movie but she couldn't do the series since she was under contract with MASH. 

what female cop show or PI show can you think of? There are quite a few.


  1. Never even heard of your first choice. Heard of your second but don't think I ever watched it. May have seen a few of Cagney and Lacey. My first thought was Rizzoli and Isles. Saw everyone one of those on reruns.

  2. Never heard of the first one either.
    Murder She Wrote!

    1. I've seen all of those too, just in the last few years on Hallmark.

  3. I thought you'd pick Murder, She Wrote! I almost went with that myself. I haven't seen your picks.

  4. I watch many female lead detective/mystery shows from Europe. Homicide Hills (fun and character driven), Sophie and Luna (or is it Luna and Sophie?). Best friends and cops. Captain Marleau (eccentric cop). I think these are on MHZ choice, a streaming service that is inexpensive.

  5. How about "The Division," whose logline reads "Five female cops in San Francisco struggle with their personal and professional lives." I think it was on Lifetime.

  6. I know of your picks, but can't say I've seen any of them. In fact I can't really think of many for this category, but since I haven't been a big show watcher since I was a kid I've not kept up with shows.

    The first thing that came to my mind was Rizzoli & Isles. I think I saw one of those shows after having read a book based on the duo. Or maybe Nancy Drew? Seems like I've heard of a show based on this series, but I've never seen any episodes.


  7. Hi Birgit!

    I LOVED Get Christie Love! when it was on originally. I knew Teresa Graves from her time on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (a show that has NOT aged well) so when this came on I started watching right away and was sorry it only lasted a brief time. I was so sad when I read about her death in a fire years later.

    I only watched Police Woman off and on when it was running. It wasn’t a bad show, but it seemed every time I looked at it Angie was going undercover as a hooker! I’ve seen an occasion episode since, maybe someday I’ll binge it if I find it on streaming.

    Speaking of binge streaming, that’s exactly what I just did just within the last year with Cagney & Lacey. I’d always been curious about the show since I’m a fan of both the stars, but it was on the wrong night back when that was a deal breaker, before recording programs was a common thing. I forget on which service I stumbled across it, the entire series was available however so I worked my way through over a couple of weeks. Quite compelling, the entire cast was excellent, but it was easy to see why Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly won all those awards. Both were extraordinary.

    My first two thoughts were Murder, She Wrote & Miss Fisher Mysteries both of which I adore but I’ve used them before. So, I went with these three instead:

    Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977-1978)-Pamela Sue Martin played the curious and dauntless teen who saw mysteries and suspicious activity everywhere and bumbled her way to finding the culprit. During the show’s second year it was blended with the ongoing Hardy Boys mystery show with Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson and Pamela’s role was reduced leading her to bolt the show.

    Mrs. Bradley Mysteries (1998-2000)-Short-lived but terrific show originated on Masterpiece Theatre and starred the magnificent Dame Diana Rigg as famed 1920’s feminist writer Adela Bradley. With the help of her trusted chauffer George (Neil Dudgeon) during her travels they unravel puzzling murders that seem to pop up along their way. I may have used this one as well but it’s such a little gem I like the shine a light on it when I can.

    Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004-2013)-Just what the title states dramatizations of all the Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries with St. Mary Mead’s intuitive and crafty spinster of independent means whose boundless curiosity always finds the solution to a murder that’s stumped the local constabulary. Geraldine McEwan played the intrepid Jane for the first three seasons with Julia McKenzie taking over for the final three years. The ladies offer different interpretations of the role, but both bring out her native intelligence and sharp wit.

  8. I haven't seen any of those, but I have heard of the last two. I was too young for them when they were on. Immediately, I thought of Remington Steele. Rizzoli and Isles was already mentioned; good show. That makes me think of The Closer and its spin off Major Crimes. That's more than three, so I'll stop there.

  9. BIRGIT ~

    I've heard of all three of your cherces, but I have never seen a single episode of any of them. For the most part, cop shows (and actual cops) aren't my mug of beer.

    The first and only one that came to my mind is a major exception, however. I gotta go with Maddie Hayes of 'MOONLIGHTING' fame. She actually became a better detective as the series went on, coming up with ideas that even David Addison could get behind... and on top of, and... well, I've said too much.

    ~ D-FensDogG

  10. I've seen Police Woman around lately and it looks like an interestin show! Great list!

    Here’s my Thursday Movie Picks

    The Surreal Movies and TV Blog: WORLD’S WEIRDEST MOVIE AND TV BLOG!

  11. Haven't seen any of them...but I have heard of the last one which is often referenced.

  12. The ones that come to mind for me have already been mentioned by others. How about The Bionic Woman? Does that count? Brooklyn 99. Scooby-Doo. Buffy? The X-Files.