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Cagney & Lacey: Season 1

4.6 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A ground-breaking show that re-defined its genre, Cagney and Lacey was something entirely new: a cop show featuring two strong and intelligent female detectives, with real lives and real problems--ordinary women doing extraordinary jobs. Now recognized as a true classic, this remarkable show tackles poignant social issues and explores the human side of hard-boiled detective work. Starring Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless as one of the most compelling detective duos of all time, this Emmy Award-winning drama is landmark television at its finest.

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Twenty-two early episodes of the breakthrough television series, Cagney & Lacey, are gathered in this Season 1 pack, though these do not include those with early Cagneys Loretta Swit and Meg Foster. Directed by Karen Arthur, written by a female team, and starring two filmic heroes of the feminist movement--Sharon Gless as Christine Cagney and Tyne Daly as Mary-Beth Lacey--the show pioneered on-screen presentation of independent, working women. With Cagney as the career-minded single woman, and Lacey as the mother/wife juggling job with home time, the two detectives serve as foil characters, the way other cop shows such as ChiPs, Moonlighting, or Charlie's Angels starred police with opposing opinions. But where other shows cast the foxiest people possible, Cagney & Lacey relied on character development instead of sex.

That is not to say that Gless and Daly aren't attractive, for indeed they are. Episodic narratives include Cagney & Lacey fighting female spousal abuse in "A Cry For Help"; date rape in "Date Rape"; racism in "Let Them Eat Pretzels," and many other issues targeted in the consciousness-raising feminist movement of the '70s and '80s. Many of the episodes, compared to the lightning fast-paced cop shows airing today, are slow and surprisingly non-humorous. But regardless of the show's occasional descent into tedium, Cagney & Lacey did much to promote the image of the self-made, multitasking woman. The two-part featurette, "Breaking the Laws of TV," starring heavyweights such as Gloria Steinem, critically places the show in TV history by contextualizing what was happening in the women's movement concurrent to the show's airing. Though the show may have its dull moments, it is fascinating to remember how television has changed over the decades. —Trinie Dalton


Special Features

  • Featurette "Breaking the Laws of TV (Part 1)"
  • A Cry for Help
  • The Informant
  • Featurette "Breaking the Laws of TV (Part 2)"

Product Details

  • Actors: Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless
  • Directors: Jackie Cooper, Alexander Singer, Allen Baron, Jan Eliasberg, Georg Stanford Brown
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 1083 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NDEXO8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,990 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cagney & Lacey: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Hornaday on February 15, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This four-disc set represents the first and long-overdue U.S. DVD release of the landmark police drama Cagney & Lacey.

This remarkable series, which dealt with controversial social topics, ended up being quite controversial on its own. It began with a pilot in 1981 starring Loretta Swit and Detective Christine Cagney, and Tyne Daly as her partner, Detective Mary Beth Lacey. When the show debuted as a series the following year on CBS, Cagney was portrayed by Meg Foster while Daly reprised her role. The show suffered poor ratings and Foster only last six episodes. She was replaced by Sharon Gless in the pivotal role of Cagney, while Daly remained in unforgettable portrayal of Lacey. It was widely reported that Foster's portrayal of the very tough Cagney along with Daly as a second woman lead, was making viewers uncomfortable that Cagney might be gay. Officially, the network explained Foster's replacement by saying they feared viewers might have trouble "telling the two leads apart."

Ratings remained low and the show was cancelled after only one season, but the saga was far from over. An unprecedented outpouring by fans who worked tirelessly to bring the show back on the air was rewarded by its return in 1984. It finally went off the air in 1988 after 125 series episodes, while four reunion movies followed.

The 22 of the first season episodes featuring Gless and Daly are on this set, along with a new two-part documentary about the show.

Cagney & Lacey redefined gender roles in TV dramas. Now, it hardly seems possible that a series starring two women leads would be a pioneer in overcoming the glass ceiling that prevented women from obtaining untraditional jobs, but it was.
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I am glad that the older crime dramas such as "Hawaii Five-0", "Ironside", and now "Cagney & Lacey" are finally being put on DVD. 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 prior to this 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.

Technically, this is not season one of this show. There was a pilot and six episodes during the 1981-1982 season starring an actress other than Sharon Gless as Detective Christine Cagney. This DVD set contains the 22 episodes that comprised the 1982-1983 season which is technically season two.
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recently i purchased all of the cagney and lacey episodeds from a canadian website...watching those episode reminded me of not only how great this show was, but also how so many of the episodes are stuff that drama's deal with in 2007 this show was really ahead of its time...i loved that cagney was so career driven and mary beth was all about her family...and even though they would argue, in the end they had each others backs..it's about time that they are finally releasing season 1. and even though i just finished watching every episode including the 4 movies i can't wait to order the 1 season..cagney and lacey dealt with breast cancer,racism, rape,gay issues,drinking problems and sexual harassment at time when many shows would not go near these issue or would make light of them...but the best part of this show was the relationship between christine cagney and marybeth lacey
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I'm glad this is finally coming out but like other posts I agree this is not season 1 its season 2!

I don't see why the pilot movie with Loretta Swit and Tyne Daly and more particularly the first six episodes with Meg Foster as Chris Cagney aren't included on this DVD set.

I haven't seen the Meg Foster episodes for over 20 years and I'd like to see Ms Foster's performance as the feeling was she dropped because of the pressure from the network that Cagney might be thought of as gay and that Meg Foster in general,got a raw deal.

The paring of Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless was of course ideal but like a lot of C AND L fans,I get annoyed that the Meg Foster episodes are being ignored.
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This was a landmark series. I remember it being part of the CBS Monday night line-up after Newhart and Kate & Allie. Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly dominated the Emmy Awards for the entire run of the series - no other dramatic actress on TV during the 1980s could come close. The most vivid episode I recall was from season 2, I believe as Sidney Clute was still alive, called "Heat." Mary Beth is held hostage during the summer in a boxcar. Tyne was - no IS incredible! I can't say enough about this series or the two actresses.
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It’s wonderful to watch this old series again. The stories were very good, the characters were compelling, but the development of the respectful but challenging friendship between the two very different women (Tyne Daly as Mary Beth Lacey and Sharon Gless as Christine Cagney) is what made it truly outstanding. There is a terrific ensemble cast. My favorite other character is Marcus Petrie, played by Carl Lumbly. He is anything but the stereotypical black cop, or, for that matter, a stereotypical white cop or white man or black man . . . . or whatever man. He plays a kind and sincere man who has a loving relationship with his wife. Harvey Lacey, played by John Karlen, is also a terrific character.
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