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Cagney is innovative drama

As MIT students, we don't get the opportunity to watch a lot of TV (compared to the general public). For instance, did you watch "Cagney and Lacey" last night? If not, you missed a a very worthwhile show (What? Television worthwhile?).

For those of you who don't watch this show (perhaps because you have problem sets on Tuesdays), "Cagney and Lacey" is a series revolving around the lives of two women detectives who work in a city precinct. One is married and has two children, the other is single. These women are sensitive and compassionate, yet they also possess the aggressiveness and the strength necessary to succeed in their occupation. The whole premise of the show is that these two women, working closely together, are successful both as partners and as friends. This is what makes this show unique.

When television first became a part of American society, women were cast in traditional roles of mothers and housewives. In the 1970s, popular shows such as "Laverne and Shirley," "Three's Company," and "Charlie's Angels" portrayed women as mere "airheads" and sex objects. Today in the 1980s a few shows recognize women as equals. Characters such as Joyce Davenport on "Hill Street Blues," Debbie Allen on "Fame," and Chris Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey on "Cagney and Lacey" reflect the increasing role of women professionals in society.

"Cagney and Lacey" recently received the Emmy Award for Best Drama Series against such shows as "Miami Vice," "Hill Street Blues" and "St. Elsewhere." Just as "Hill Street" was recognized a few years ago for its contribution to innovation in television drama, so will "Cagney and Lacey" be recognized for its unique and realistic portrayal of women. Perhaps television will eventually provide more of these quality shows.

Jean Fitzmaurice '86->

David Collins '86->