Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Older Woman As Lead Not a Major Crime

I'm alive!

In Episode 2 of its first season, Major Crimes' star Captain Sharon Raydor, played by the ever-amazing Mary McDonnell, states her displeasure with those who think her too old to run the department. Commander Taylor tells her why she hasn't proven herself leadership material and clarifies: "The job is a promotion and it's a gift, one that usually doesn't happen to people after they qualify for retirement."  Raydor retorts quickly: "So considering how many people would like to replace and how old I am, I should just take this job and be grateful, is that what you're saying?"  It is this confrontation in the show that provides the rationale of this show;s very existence.  Can a show with a female lead take off?
I think they're about to cross....and just look at all those men.  Barely enough room for the two women!

Though this is an ensemble cast, McDonnell's Raydor is clearly the character of which the show revolves.  And clearly McDonnell is the only reason why this show has been created.  This is a rarity.  We may get all-female casts, but one in which a woman is in charge of men is highly unseen.

The great thing about this show is that it does have a female lead and that she is of an older age.  The bad thing: it's boring.  While it's not a traditional crime drama with conflict residing in finding the suspects and and ultimately the guilty party, the show enforces more of an internal struggle with Raydor and her team.  She cleans up; she doesn't go out hunting bad guys with guns.  Her struggles reside in saving the department and the city money, as well as her ability to enforce leadership while gaining respect of her subordinates and colleagues.  I want to love this show and to continue watching, but if the quality stays at its present bar, I won't be watching in a few weeks.

Are you watching Major Crimes?

UPDATE: The show is getting to damn awesome with McDonnell providing a truly well-rounded character who asserts authority as well as learns to be more sensitive to others. Now that the characters and main inner conflicts have been introduced, we seem to be getting into more intense plotlines and slow ongoing character plotlines, particularly with Rusty.

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