10 Hot Female Detectives Throughout TV History from 'The Mod Squad' to 'Rizzoli and Isles'
Monica Rowling on The Shield
The Shield was a brilliant F/X drama about morally conflicted cops and the scumbags they’re protecting the world from, and when Glen Close arrived on the scene in season four as Captain Monica Rowling she did a brilliant job of portraying a smart, masculine woman in the modern work world. Rowling, who believes “in offering people a hand, even if they slap it away,” is as tough as the guys she commands in her mostly-white, mostly-male squad and her tough anti-drug policies (which call for seizing property of anyone busted dealing) make her a frenemy in the largely minority community she polices. Though she’s compassionate, the kind of leader that takes the best of those so-called gender differences in the work place and picks the best of practices, many scenes with her feel like the producers have thrown a match on a powder keg. Electrifying.
Lieutenant Van Buren on Law & Order
For 16 years, S. Epatha Merkeson (she once said the “s” stood for “Sweet”) held roost as the crème de la crème of TV’s lady cops. She was sharp and witty and never afraid to fight back and hold her own against her bosses as well as her employees. One year she’s forced to shoot a mugger off duty; her eyes alone imparted every single emotion in that moment, but that was Merkeson’s mastery with Van Buren. For many years we knew little about Van Buren’s personal life except that she had a kid, and so convincing she was as a woman who could embody any sexual orientation, so it came as a surprise when later in the series she has a man in her life. Her storyline in that final year was tough, fighting cancer, but it was yet another that resonated with queer women.
Jane on Rizzoli & Isles
The best lesbian buddy cop TV show ever—even if, as many lesbian pundits before us have suggested—the producers and writers don’t know it yet. And Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli is all tomboy swagger, a snorting, butchy, softball playing gal who can stop a bullet, take down a perp, and still find time to flirt with her BF (er, I mean BFF) Maura.