By Julie D'Acci
Defining girls explores the social and cultural building of gender and the meanings of lady, girls, and femininity as they have been negotiated within the pioneering tv sequence Cagney and Lacey, starring ladies as long island urban police detectives. Julie D'Acci illuminates the tensions among the tv undefined, the sequence creation workforce, the mainstream and feminist press, a number of curiosity teams, and tv audience over competing notions of what ladies might or couldn't be—not in basic terms on tv yet in society at large.Cagney and Lacey, which aired from 1981 to 1988, used to be widely known as an cutting edge remedy of operating girls and constructed a wide and dependable following. whereas getting to know this booklet, D'Acci had unparalleled entry to the set, to construction conferences, and to the full construction records, together with correspondence from community executives, exposure corporations, and millions of audience. She strains the usually heated debates surrounding the improvement of girls characters and the illustration of feminism on prime-time tv, exhibits how the sequence used to be reconfigured as a 'woman's program,' and investigates questions of girl spectatorship and feminist readings. even supposing she specializes in Cagney and Lacey, D'Acci discusses many different examples from the heritage of yank tv.
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Extra resources for Defining Women: Television and the Case of Cagney & Lacey
I am grateful to many friends and colleagues for sending me articles and press clippings, videotaping programs, granting me interviews, discussing the project, offering suggestions, and inviting me to present and publish papers. They include Helen Baehr, Cathy Shaker Breit, Robert Breit, Juliet Brodie, Maxine Fleckner Ducey, Gillian Dyer, Elizabeth Ellsworth, Lisa Freeman, Todd Gitlin, Timothy Haight, Teri Hall, Debbie Hanson, Henry Jenkins, Kathleen Levenick, Denise Mann, Elaine Marks, Biddy Martin, Tamar Mayer, Patricia Mellencamp, Carol Miller, Laura Stempel Mumford, Mary Beth Rhiel, Susan Searing, Lynn Spigel, Gabriele Strauch, Kristin Thompson, Sasha Torres, Marianne Whatley, Kathleen Woodward, and Nancy Worcester.
He talked to me about it and I went to my partner, Barbara, and we talked about it. " 14 One of the main motivations behind Cagney and Lacey from its inception was the creators' notion that two women could, in fact, be represented as friends who worked and talked together, rather than as more conventional competitors. Both Avedon and Corday recalled that the relationship between the protagonists was modeled (if somewhat unconsciously) on their own eight-year relationship as writing partners and friends.
Rosen related the troubled history of the property, emphasized its importance for feminism, underscored the specific feminist characteristics she believed Cagney and Lacey brought into "distinctive focus," and ended with a pitch for a weekly series. The feminist characteristics especially applauded included the presentation of women as the subjects of narrative action and adventure in a traditionally male-dominated genre, as holders of traditionally male jobs, and as friends. '' Rosen concluded, "Watching Cagney and Lacey, it is virtually impossible not to think of its potential as a Page 21 weekly series.