Relatable Female Leads in British Procedural Crime Dramas

I just finished watching the second season of Prey on BBC America. Don’t be too impressed; a “season” of Prey is three hour-long shows. Each season is a contained story about someone on the run from the police, and the authorities’ pursuit and investigation of the crime.

I loved this show because of DS Reinhart, portrayed by Rosie Cavaliero. Reinhart is a hot mess. In the first season, she’s pitifully stalking her ex-husband, who’s remarried and is a new father. She lands a huge case and not only has to prove herself to herself, she’s got to investigate one of her own and hold her own among a male-dominated force.

This is DS Reinhart:

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She’s tired. Her meals consist of candy bars from vending machines. Her clothes are frumpy and nondescript; her hair is stringy and flat. She has to beg her supervisors for more manpower, more authority to hunt down leads, more political will to dig into the private lives of those on the force. She interviews witnesses who constantly call her “love.” Her subordinate (in season two) calls her by her first name despite protocol and good manners.

Basically, she looks and acts like a typical detective. She’d be me if I were a detective.

I sincerely hope this is a trend, because I’ve watched two other series with a similar lead: Happy Valley, starring Sarah Lancashire (second season just came out on Netflix; DON’T TELL ME SPOILERS)

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and Broadchurch, with the esteemed Olivia Colman.

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(The image above is what I look like when I look in my son’s room after he says he’s cleaned it up. I know it’s not a crime scene but … it’s … close.)

Obviously, television has more strides to make (and I have to find other shows to watch) because none of the people above are women of color, and I’d wager more than a pretty penny that there are interesting, complicated black, Latino, Asian, Indian detectives out there.

But these actors make television so much better for me, because it’s a heck of a lot more realistic and therefore more compelling. These are people who juggle parenthood and a job, loss and relationships, promotions and demotions, just like the rest of us do.

And they aren’t even models.

Dear Hollywood: More of this please. Hugs and kisses, Online Offal

 

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Relatable Female Leads in British Procedural Crime Dramas

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