Crime dramas are all over the airwaves, from “Law & Order” serious to “21 Jump Street” funny. More rare is the female-led crime drama, because in a genre where men are the leads, women are trusty sidekicks, or sassy partners. TNT, the popular drama network, decided to change that.
TNT’s “Rizzoli and Isles” takes crime solving to a whole new level when a lady cop and a lady medical examiner team up to take down criminals. The show follows Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli, and her best friend, medical examiner Maura Isles, as they work together in the police department to solve crimes. The best friend dynamic itself lets this show fall into the “dramedy” category-a drama with comedic elements.
Jane is a street smart and tough cop who grew up in the back streets of Boston where she learned just how hard life can be, and she helps take care of her family, along with helping coach and protect her little brother, Frankie, who is a street cop for the Boston PD. Maura Isles is an upperclass Boston princess who grew up in mansions with her loving, wealthy parents, but who also had a craving for adventure. The two are unlikely best friends, and the only love that they have that’s bigger than the love for their jobs is the love they have for each other.
A good crime show isn’t complete without an amazing cast. Jane Rizzoli is played by Angie Harmon, who has graced the television screen and the silver screen. This isn’t Harmon’s first crime show, as she was Abbie Carmichael in Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit. She also played in the movie Fun with Dick and Jane as Veronica Cleeman. Maura Isles is played by Sasha Alexander, best known for her role in NCIS as Agent Caitlin Todd, and on Dawson’s Creek as Gretchen Witter.
The other cast members include Bruce McGill as Jane’s former partner Vince Korsak, Lorraine Bracco as Angela Rizzoli, Jane’s mother, and Jordan Bridges as Frankie Rizzoli Jr., Jane’s brother. It wouldn’t be right to leave out a very important former cast member, Lee Thompson Young. Young played Detective Barry Frost on “Rizzoli and Isles”, and after 56 episodes, Young was found dead in his home in Los Angeles, California.
“Rizzoli and Isles” isn’t the only police drama with female leads, even if it is the most well known. Other shows like The Closer starring Kyra Sedgwick, and Rookie Blue starring Missy Peregrym also feature tough-yet-caring lady cops who are just as capable as men at their jobs. As other genres of television follow suit, it looks like the ladies are taking over the television airwaves.
“Rizzoli and Isles” have completed four seasons, and viewers who want to catch up on the latest plot can do so well before season 5 is set to start on June 17. Episodes are available for stream on numerous websites, including TNT’s website at tntdrama.com.

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