Thursday, June 21, 2018




Composer Findlay Crawford was rehearsing the orchestra on the score for Sidney Ritter’s newest film, “Corkscrew” and a scene involving a woman getting stabbed to death by some psycho.  At first upon seeing the close-ups of the woman, I thought it might have been a third appearance by Tyne Daly in the series. 

A quick search of the IMDb revealed her to be Susan Edwards, who I think could play Ms. Daly’s sister.  And that got me thinking that she could play a role in de-Zonking Ms. Daly’s series ‘Cagney & Lacey

I knew there would be other TV series in which that detective show would be mentioned, if only because it was a groundbreaking cop show with women in the lead roles.  (But they weren’t the first – I think Beverly Garland has that distinction with the show ‘Decoy’. See this coming weekend's Video Sunday entry.....)

So I thought I’d check the IMDb for other shows that might have made references to ‘Cagney & Lacey’ as a TV series even though they should be sharing the same TV dimension.  And there plenty of examples!

Here are a few of them in general:

  • Webster: The Truth Hurts 
  • Perfect Strangers: First Date 
  • Charles in Charge: Weekend Weary 
  • The Larry Sanders Show: Office Romance
  • Northern Exposure: Slow Dance 
  • Desmond's: Hatchet Job
  • Dinnerladies: Scandal
  • Joey: Joey and the Break-up
  • Red Dwarf: The Tank - Series VIII
  • 2 Broke Girls – Cupcake War
  • Sons of Anarchy: Suits of Woe 
  • Modern Family: Three Turkeys
  • Back: Episode #1.2

For the most part, any time the show is mentioned, it’s usually just the characters themselves and used in comparison to the TV characters in the other show.  For me, I see this as references instead to Chris Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey, the original police women who inspired the Toobworld version of the detective drama.

Here are the best examples of those comparisons to ‘Cagney & Lacey’:

The Mentalist: Cackle-Bladder Blood (2010) 
Mentioned by Samantha in reference to Lisbon.

Scarecrow and Mrs. King: Saved by the Bells (1983) 
When Lee is dragged to the office by two burly agents, he tells Billy "Tell Cagney and Lacey to let go, will you?".

Angel: Lonely Heart (1999) 
Cordelia calls Kate "Cagney & Lacey-Kate".

Trollied: Episode #3.12 (2013)
Ian refers to Linda and Sue as "Cagney and Lacey".

Caroline in the City: Caroline and the Watch (1996) 
Richard refers to Caroline and Annie as Cagney and Lacey.

Community: The Science of Illusion (2010)  
Jeff refers to Annie and Shirley as "Cagney" and "Lacey."

Diff'rent Strokes: Undercover Lover (1984) 
The drug dealers ask if Denise if Cagney or Lacey

Dempsey and Makepeace: The Squeeze (1985)
Spikings refers to Dempsey as 'Cagney or Lacey'

Gimme a Break!: Police Mamas (1985)  
Nell and Addie call themselves Cagney & Lacey

Taxi Brooklyn: Double Identity (2014)  
Cat says she can't tell if her mother and Leo are Mulder and Scully or Cagney and Lacey.

EastEnders: Episode dated 23 November 2015 (2015) 
Carmel calls Denise "Cagney" as they investigate a mystery.

Rizzoli & Isles: Fake It 'Til You Make It (2015) 
Det. Acedo says Jane and Maura are "like a regular 'Cagney and Lacey'."

Lucifer: Pops (2016) 
Lucifer calls Chloe and Dan "Cagney and Lacey".

Better Call Saul: Nacho (2015)  
Two cops are called Cagney and Lacey

2 Broke Girls: And the Two Openings: Part One (2016) 
J. Petto calls Max and Caroline "Cagney and Lacey".

Scorpion: Grow a Deer, A Female Deer (2017) 
Toby asks Gabe if he is Cagney or Lacey.

30 Rock: I Heart Connecticut (2011)
Liz says she sounds like Cagney and Lacey but without the "slutty clothes"

Psych: This Episode Sucks (2011)  
The vampire bartender refers to Juliet as "Cagney."

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Educated Guess (2011) 
A patient in a psychiatric ward tells another patient "Cagney and Lacey were just leaving."

Veronica Mars: Spit & Eggs (2006) 
Veronica responds, "Cagney and Pasty" after Tim says, "Starsky and Butch."

Burn Notice: Identity (2007) 
At one point in the episode Sam introduces himself and Fiona to the accomplices as Detectives Cagney and Lacey.

V.I.P.: Raging Val (1999) 
Maxine says to Val that the two of them are not Cagney and Lacey.

Timeless: The Day Reagan Was Shot (2018)  
Lucy & Jiya use the aliases of Cagney and Lacey
(These characters started out in Earth Prime-Time, but by the time of this episode they had created new timelines where the original cops, not just the TV show, might not ever come into existence.)

Long after the show ended, it still had a hold on the pop cultural memories of people all around the world.  And the same could be said of the televersion:

Kim's Convenience: Sneak Attack (2017)
Appa mentions the title characters.

Ghosted: The Wire (2018) 
One of the shows Leroy has finished watching

Growing Pains: The Marrying Kind (1988)
Bobby mentions his mother liking Cagney & Lacey.

Growing Pains: How the West Was Won: Part 1 (1988) 
Mike makes a joke about Cagney and Lacey.

Laat maar zitten: Kind noch kraai (1991)
Uckels mentions watching Cagney and Lacey
(Putting the "world" in Toobworld!)

Married with Children: Kelly Does Hollywood: Part 1 (1991) 
Al can't find anything to watch on his new cable channels. He rejects this show as well.

Married with Children: Kelly's Gotta Habit (1996) 
Al gives this show as an example for great cops working with another guy.

NCIS: Model Behavior (2005) 
DiNozzo pretends to be talking about the show.

The Gil Mayo Mysteries: Episode #1.3 (2006) 
Hope Hendrick gives watching a marathon of the older show on UK Gold as her alibi.

Married with Children: The Goodbye Girl (1992)
Marcy says she can't get enough of the 'Cagney and Lacey' exhibit at TV World.

Drop Dead Gorgeous: Episode #2.6 (2007) 
Annie mentions taking the Cagney & Lacey tour in New York City

Empty: Happiness (2008)
"Having to hum the theme tune every time somebody says Cagney & Lacey."

Friday Night Lights: Tami Knows Best (2008) 
Matt's grandmother is looking for a "new" episode of this show on TV.

EastEnders: Episode dated 9 March 2012 (2012)
DVD boxset shown.

Two and a Half Men: Grandma's Pie (2012) 
Lyndsey says that before meeting Evelyn, her mother used to play golf and watch the show

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Pilot (2013) 
Terry Jeffords' children are named Cagney and Lacey.

It even made its mark in other TV dimensions:

iZombie: Pilot (2015) 
"Cagney and Pasty"

Madam Secretary: Mitya (2018) 
Elizabeth says the VP is playing Lacey to her Cagney

So even with all of those mentions, I still thought I could make the claim that the actress who played the “Corkscrew” victim in that ‘Columbo’ episode might be considered as the actress to portray Mary Beth Lacey in the televersion of 'Cagney & Lacey'.
There is no Zonk in the fact that the detective show was not only real life, but also a TV show within Toobworld.  Their exploits on the force in NYC would have gained the attention of a producer wishing to recreate their exploits as NYPD Blue.

But then I found these two quotes that seem to suggest that Toobworld's Ms. Daly was connected to the show:

Psych: Office Space 
Shawn says,
"Damn you, Cagney & Lacey!"

"Damn you, Tyne Daly . . . and Sharon Gless."
[Based on what I read in the episode's script, Shawn had at least one coffee mug souvenir of the cop show.  There may two, with one belonging to Juliet.]

The Nanny: The Nanny-Napper
Fran says "It looks just like the police station on 'Cagney and Lacey'. No wonder they had so much crime in that precinct. All you had to do was out-run Tyne Daily."

So much for that idea of other actors playing the role.  Sorry, Susan Edwards!  But thanks for inspiring my look at the TV references to 'Cagney & Lacey'.....


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