Like a lot of TLC's shows, Police Women of Maricopa County (premiering tonight at 9 p.m. ET) is a series about women, for women. In Season 1, Police Women of Broward County, viewers got to ride along with four female officers on drug busts and various other bad guy takedowns. And since this is The Learning Channel, there's a dual focus on education and entertainment. Season 1 was a hit on both counts.
Season 2, I've got a feeling, is going to lean more toward entertainment. The sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, is Joseph M. Arpaio, who's famous for his controversial law enforcement tactics, like forcing prison inmates to wear pink underwear. And he's hosted reality TV cameras before: Remember the unseemly 2008 Fox Reality Channel show, Smile…Your Under Arrest!? A cross between Fox's Cops and MTV's Punk'd, the show's producers lured low level fugitives to participate in fake movie shoots or spa openings—only to be arrested by law enforcement when they arrived. None of the new detectives on TLC's Police Women were cast members of Smile, but their boss was featured.
And speaking of the show's new batch of policewomen, all of the Maricopa County ladies are attractive with lanky hair, perfect teeth and long, manicured nails. In this clip of Detective Deborah Moyer, she's perfectly made up, and fixing her long locks in the mirror as she talks to the camera. I can't help but think of some college frat guy watching this. "Check out the babe cop!" he might say. "I wouldn't mind her pulling me over." Let's be honest: Women in police uniform are a staple of the sex industry, and this feeds into it.
I genuinely don't think that's what TLC is going for here! But when you're trying to entertain and educate, these are some of the pitfalls.
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Do you find this TLC show entertaining, educational, or both?