The Good

A great show. Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless are amazing.

The Bad

Paltry Extra Features.

Cagney and Lacey is a 1980s police show featuring Sharon Gless as Detective Cagney and Tyne Daly as Detective Lacey. These two women are both very strong willed but like everyone else they also have their sensitive sides. They don't want to be treated any different on the force because they are women, but they also don't want to be impeded in doing their jobs because of that either. This show is always well done as it oftentimes focuses on drama that's not even occurring on the job. We see the ladies home lives, their relationships (or lack thereof) with their significant others, and at all times Cagney and Lacey: Season 1 goes out of it's way to confront hot button issues.

We open with "Witness to An Incident" which sees the Cagney and Lacey ruffling each other's feathers when they both have different accounts of a police shooting. Then there's "Conduct Unbecoming" which looks at what it means to be gay and a police officer (even today this sort of episode would be seen as cutting edge. "Date Rape" sees Cagney and Lacey again butt heads but this time their falling out is over whether or not the victim courted it. Lastly, "Chop Shop" focuses on Cagney and Lacey having to help out their partner who was taken hostage due to their lack of "back up."

Features

Breaking the Laws of TV

Broken up over two parts this featurette, in total, clocks in at about 30 minutes. It examines he complicated history it had to making it on the air, and how once it got there fan letters essentially helped keep it there. This featurette touches how this show related to the feminist movement, and what ultimately started things was writer Molly Haskell pointing out that there were no buddy movie for women. Originally, the powers that be wanted Ann-Margret and Raquel Welch in the starring roles, but the creators realized that even though that would get the show on the air it wasn't right for this material. Eventually, they did get things rolling but the network didn't like Tyne Daly. Once they started shooting they didn't like the original Cagney, Meg Foster, and eventually they got Sharon Gless to play the first part of the title role. This "making of "is well done, interesting and best of all as current as can be.

Video

Full Screen - 1.33:1. As usual Fox has done a very fine job bringing these shows to DVD. As I had seen these things on TV before, I was quite familiar with how they looked in their analog form. On these discs, I didn't see any hits on the picture and I can't even recall seeing any dust. The colors also seem strengthened and even brightened up a bit by the compression process. Of all the companies doing TV on DVD, I think Fox is the one that I have had the least amount of issues with.

Audio

Dolby Digital. English Mono. Subtitled in English and Spanish. Close Captioned. The sound on these DVDs was good. Nothing about it really blew me away but it was at least as sharp as the picture quality. I didn't hear any pops in the audio and as I recall, I really didn't even need to turn things up that loud, either. Truthfully, I also give Fox credit because, unlike some companies, they don't seem to alter their TV on DVDs from when they aired to their DVD release.

Package

It seems like they have really slicked up the front cover of this slipcase. We get Cagney and Lacey toting guns with a shot of the city behind them. The back cover features our main characters continue to tote guns, and it also features some promo shots taken when this show was on the air. There is a Feature listing, a description of what this show is about and some technical specs. Fox has housed all four discs in two slim cases, both of which have the same artwork as the front cover of the slipcase that stores them.

Final Word

This is yet another show that I used to watch on KDOC in Orange County. Sadly, it is no longer on the roster but it's really nice to have Cagney and Lacey: Season 1 on DVD. I love the conversations between the characters. I especially love getting to see these women's lives when they are not on the job. In fact, some of the best moments are when Lacey argues with her husband, Harvey (John Karlen). Aside from how angry these two seem to get, their is a reality that is captured that we don't usually see on TV. So much of why Cagney and Lacey works has to do with the humanity of all the characters on the show. As a viewer, I found that I liked everybody from Isbecki (Martin Kove) to Lt. Bert Samuels (Al Waxman) equally as much as the main characters.

The breadth of issues discusses in this show is both compelling and still relevant. Fox has done a brilliant job bringing Cagney and Lacey: Season 1 to DVD.

Cagney & Lacey was released .