Written by: Terry Louise Fisher & Steve Brown
Directed by: James Frawley
Starring: Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, James Naughton
- Interview with series creator Barney Rosenzweig
Released by: S’more Entertainment
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Rent It If You Are A Fan Of The Show
Christine Cagney (Gless) and Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) kicked ass and took names as police detectives of Manhattan’s 14th Precinct. While their partnership could be rocky, they went after criminals and watched each other’s backs. But that was then, this is now. Cagney is now a lieutenant in charge of the District Attorney’s detective squad and married to the wealthy and politically connected James Burton (Naughton). Lacey retired from the force after working her twenty years and takes care of her husband Harvey and daughter. As it happens with friends, their different lives caused them to drift apart. Circumstances bring them back together. A load of confiscated guns are stolen and it appears cops may be involved. Cagney is assigned to the case but she needs help. Lacey needs a job to help with her husband’s medical bills. So Cagney hires her as an investigator and together they track down the guns before Manhattan gets turned into the OK Corral.
[ad#longpost]First off, Cagney & Lacey: The Return is a network TV movie, so don’t expect anything innovative in terms of storytelling or cinematography. This is just a showcase for Cagney and Lacey to get back together and rediscover their partnership. Gless and Daly have amazing chemistry and slip back into their roles as easily as their characters fall back into their friendship. It’s a real friendship of two proud women who are more than willing to yell at the other if they are being a bit of a jerk. I’m not so sure about the amount of time they devoted to Lacey having a hard time getting back into working and Cagney starting menopause. The movie seem to dwell on the two getting older and that time could have been used to develop more of a plot. The writers seem to assume that you’re not going to be watching this for any sort of crime story. I say this because the investigation doesn’t take up a lot of the movie. It’s a shame they didn’t give more for the actors to work with it terms of interaction with other characters. Everyone else is pretty much flat. The movie is still watchable, but they could have done a lot more with it.
The only feature is an interview with series creator Barney Rosenzweig. It is an interesting discussion on how the show began. It started back in the late 70s as a a buddy cop movie with women instead of men then evolved into a TV movie. Rosenzweig was quite savvy in shooting the original TV movie in Toronto, anticipating it becoming the Hollywood of the North. His cost-saving measure also brought the first season way under budget by renting a disused warehouse for studio space and production offices. All in all, a fascinating glimpse into the beginning of a pivotal series. So if you’re a fan of Cagney and Lacey, you’ll enjoy this DVD. But if you’re unfamiliar with this duo, maybe you should check out the first season of the original series instead.