Tele-Tuesday: TV’s Female Cops We Love to Love

Last week, we joined three other writers to share TV’s top 10 men with (and without) badges that we love to love.  In order for Tele-Tuesday to not appear sexist, we’re including a few of television’s strong and beautiful female cops we love to love today.

Sadly, most female character roles are not written as well as their male counterparts.  It’s actually quite predictable to determine which of the typical attributes the female stars on TV programs will have today: will they be weak and dependant on a man; or damaged beyond repair; or haunted by their past to the point of repetitiveness; or flat-out boring?

There are, however, a few female protagonists written today that could quite honestly kick their male co-star’s rears.  Perhaps not because they are insanely muscular like the women of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment for those that don’t follow Raw), but because these ladies have an inner strength that makes them as enticing as any male star; these women have the intelligence and drive to support themselves in what is sadly a man’s world on TV, and we love them for it.

Oh, and did we mention they are beautiful too?

Brenda Leigh Johnson – The Closer

 

Brenda Leigh is a southern belle from Atlanta running the all-male major crime squad in Los Angeles.  At the beginning, one may have wondered exactly how she landed the job as Deputy Chief (having had an affair with her boss and all), but she has proven herself in case after case after case.

No one can convince a criminal to confess the way that Brenda Leigh can, and she is about as polite as a she can be at the same time with her catch phrase, “Thank you, thank you very much.”  We can always tell when Brenda Leigh is having a bad day or stressing out over the case when she opens her desk drawer full of chocolate.  Who can relate, ladies?

Jane Rizzoli – Rizzoli & Isles

Detective Jane Rizzoli is about as tough as they come, even with her scarred hands as a reminder that she has come close to death on numerous occasions from the maniacs she chases around Boston.  She hails from a working class family where she picked up just as many tricks of the trade as her younger brothers.

Despite her absolutely stunning good looks, Jane is quite the tomboy; she loves to play baseball, field hockey, or any other sport with a ball.  Of course, these physical activities have to attribute to her long and lean body, one that all women wish they had (and men too, ha-ha).

Calleigh Duquesne – CSI: Miami

Another southern belle, with a to-die-for accent, Calleigh Duquesne is a brilliant criminologist working with other Crime Scene Investigators for the Miami-Dade Police Department.  She is an expert in ballistics and she speaks fluent Spanish (a bonus for law enforcement in Miami).

Calleigh has escaped death numerous times; she has been stalked by a serial killer, she almost perished in a fire in the lab and another fire at a crime scene, and she nearly drowned when her Hummer was forced off the dirt roads in the Glades and into the swamps.  Regardless of her day’s work, she always manages to smile – and capture the bad guy.

Jackie Curatola – Blue Bloods

Partnered with the Police Chief’s son, Detective Jackie Curatola is assigned most of the major cases for the great city of New York.  Not only does she and her partner investigate the biggest cases of the squadron, they also manage to capture the bad guys under constant scrutiny from those that oppose the Police Chief.

Jackie left home when she was just a teenager and she has been on her own ever since.  She made a few bad decisions in life (drugs, bad boys, etc), but she turned things around and put herself through school.  Jackie has the looks of a classic beauty, and she has used this to her advantage to work undercover as a high-priced call girl where she arrested a team of serial killers despite having been drugged herself.  Jackie holds her own…

Juliete O’Hara – Psych

Juliete O’Hara has proven herself to be more than a pretty face.  Partnered with the head detective for the Santa Barbara Police department, Juliete has fought her way through the frustrations of her coworkers not believing her to be the best suited for the position.  She faced similar scrutiny while also working as a rookie in Miami.

No one can believe that this petite, blonde girl can take on the bad guys roaming the streets.  But she can; between her con-man father and her military trained brother, Juliet isn’t as fragile as she appears.  With her aviator glasses and tailored suits, Juliete is one sharp-looking, yet tough, police officer.

Many other female TV cops deserved to make this list, including Jennifer “JJ” Jareau and Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds, Annie Walker from Covert Affairs, and Kensi Blye from NCIS: LA….

What do you think?  Are you a fan of these ladies?  Which of TV’s female cops do you love to love – past or present?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Come back next week when we include a few of the female criminals we love to love….

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Studying the Behaviors of the Criminally Inclined

The new television season has arrived!  Many of our favorite programs have returned, so Amber West and I decided to share a few more Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews to check out two additional CBS hit series – The Good Wife and Criminal Minds

First up – Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds follows a team of highly trained FBI agents who profile criminal behaviors for the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU).   There are tons of police procedural programs on TV today, but none like this. 

The BAU team’s home base is at the famous Quantico, Virginia location; however, they travel around the United States once a city’s local authorities request their presence at the scene of a crime.  The unit studies the unsubs, or unidentified suspects, instead of the crime itself.    

The team is led by Unit Chief Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson, Darma & Greg).   Hotch’s dedication to his job cost him his marriage.  After his ex-wife Haley (played by Meredith Monroe) was murdered by serial killer “The Reaper” (C. Thomas Howell), Hotch gained custody of his son, Jack. Hotch attempts to make amends by being the best father he possibly can; he even coaches the little guy’s soccer team. 

Due to the graphic nature of his job, Hotch rarely smiles and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders; but, despite the difficulty, he will do everything in his power to protect his team.      

Next in line is Senior Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore, The Young and the Restless).  Excelling at his job, Morgan has been named Acting Unit Chief when Hotch is out.  He was in line to be the next Unit Chief of the New York field office, but he declined the position.   He is strong and fast, and is by far the most physical on the BAU team (he’s pretty to look at too). 

Morgan had a difficult childhood: he witnessed his father’s murder and he was sexually abused by the local boys’ club caretaker.  As an adult, Morgan was framed for murdering a few of his hometown’s local boys, but was later proven innocent by his team.   

Also serving the BAU as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent is David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna (Joan of Arcadia).  Rossi is credited as one of the founding members of the BAU, but he retired to write books and lecture on criminal analysis.  He returned to the team after Gideon’s untimely departure (see below), and seized the opportunity to solve a cold case that had haunted him for decades. 

Rossi has been married and divorced multiple times, and often jokes that divorce lawyers are the only people in his personal life that he can make happy.            

Special Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster, Friends – remember Kathy?  She dated Joey and Chandler….) joined the team after Elle walked away (see below).  Early on, Prentiss felt she had something to prove being that Hotch and Gideon suspected her mother’s position as a U.S. Ambassador had something to do with her joining the BAU team. 

Prentiss served Interpol for years, where she worked undercover hunting international arms dealer, Ian Doyle.  This past year, Doyle killed her Interpol colleagues one-by-one, blaming them for the death of his only son.  Doyle finally found Emily, hunted her, and killed her.  Or did he? 

Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler, Alvin and the Chipmunks motion picture franchise) is probably my favorite member of the team.  Reid is a genius; he graduated high school before he was a teenager; he has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology; he has a Ph.D in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering; and he has an insanely high IQ – all courtesy of his eidetic memory.  Reid reads faster than anyone on the planet (he scans the page with his finger and remembers it verbatim), he remembers everything he sees, but he struggles with certain things that he hears. 

Reid suffers from inexplicable headaches and fears that he has inherited his mother’s schizophrenia.  He is not as physically fit as the rest of his team, which probably led to his being held hostage twice (once by a character portrayal by Luke Perry and another time by James Van Der Beek).     

Special Agent Jenifer “JJ” Jareau, (AJ Cook, Tru Calling) also serves the team as the media liaison.  JJ joined the FBI after attending one of Rossi’s lectures, and she is the only non-profiler on the team.  Because she isn’t a profiler, JJ has a hard time understanding how people can commit such horrible crimes, but she remains professional and battles through each case. 

JJ recently returned to the team after she was forced to take a position at the Pentagon.  Besides Hotch, JJ is the only BAU team member with a child.   

Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia, played by Kirsten Vangsness, serves the team from Quantico.  Garcia joined the team after the FBI caught her hacking into their systems.  Rarely does she accompany the team to crime scenes; instead, she prefers to stay locked inside her computer lair wearing bright eye shadows and lipsticks while  frantically surfing the internet and databases for information to assist the team. 

Garcia is one of the only BAU team members to have an actual romantic relationship (fellow FBI analyst, Kevin Lynch, played by Nicholas Brendon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).   

The BAU team has suffered its share of casualites over the years.  Previous team members include: Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin, Chicago Hope) silently walked away without telling anyone after his former girlfriend was murdered by a serial killer; Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini, The Sopranos) left the team after she was shot following an undercover assignment; and Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols, Alias) was transferred out to another department, explained by Strauss downsizing the BAU team. 

Recurring characters include: Reid’s schizophrenic mother, Diana Reid (Jane Lynch, Glee); former New Orleans police liaison and father of JJ’s son, William “Will” LaMontagne (Josh Stewart, No Ordinary Family); and  BAU Unit Direct Supervisor, Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson, 24).    

The Criminal Minds franchise took an unfavorable dip last year with the one-season-and-done spinoff, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior starring Forest Whitaker and Janeane Garofalo.  I have to admit that the story improved as the season moved forward, and unfortunately it ended with a cliff hanger.  Maybe the Criminal Minds team will do another cross over episode and close out that story line for us?

Regardless, the original remains strong airing new episodes every Wednesday night on CBS and in syndication on A&E and ION.  At almost any given time, one can find an episode of Criminal Minds to enjoy. 

As if my love for the characters isn’t evident by the length of my post, I must give Criminal Minds a GTV rating: it has everything we want and more, especially for this fiction writer.  Criminal Minds is an excellent source of research for understanding a potential protagonist’s actions in murder mysteries.  That’s my excuse for watching so much of it, anyway.  Yes, I’m going to keep telling myself that…     

What do you think? Have you watched Criminal Minds?  Who’s your favorite BAU team member? Were you disappointed with the cancellation of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of The Good Wife.  Amber was very adamant during the Tambery Awards production that Julianna Margulies win best actress – and she did!  Congrats, Julianna. 

Come back next week when Amber and I click over to NBC and review two of the channel’s hit programs – Harry’s Law and Law & Order: SVU.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

%d bloggers like this: