Your typical buddy cop shows are usually two men running around saving the day with action, intrigue and maybe some laughs thrown in. New to CBC’s 2021 season, Pretty Hard Cases puts two women in their 40s in the mix, trying to clean up Toronto’s streets with two different approaches.
Guns and Gangs detective Samantha Wazowski (Meredith MacNeill) crosses paths with Drug Squad detective Kelly Duff (Adrienne C. Moore) when they take down the same small-time drug dealer. He’s an in for the larger Stockwood Gang who rule several Toronto neighbourhoods, and both detectives want the case meaning they need to work together. Samantha is by-the-book and somewhat annoying. Kelly is tough – she’s been through the wringer a few times and doesn’t suffer fools. They are from different worlds with different rules, what Kelly calls “law and order vs serve and protect.” Kelly operates in the grey zone, and there are some skeletons in her closet, while Samantha has an out-of-control teenage son Elliot (Percy Hynes White).
With Kelly’s street smarts, and Samantha’s nerdy, law-abiding rules to back up their actions, the two women begrudgingly combine their skills to make the city a safer place. There’s lots of ribbing between the women and plenty of action right from the first episode. With a blend of comedy and drama, the show puts a woman’s perspective on a male-dominated profession. Pretty Hard Cases boasts an all-female writing team, and the leads MacNeill, best known from her show Baroness Von Sketch and Moore from Orange is the New Black, gives us great energy and chemistry to take us on their ride along.