Some Nightingales! What’s with Women and the Dead?

Woman with Scalpel
If she’s on TV, odds are she’s devoted to the dead.
Here’s what I learned from TV: if you’re a guy and you go to med school, you’ll probably end up saving lives; if you’re a woman, you’ll probably end up cutting up corpses.
Seriously. You can’t swing a dead body in the world of crime television without hitting a female Medical Examiner. At first I thought it was just the endless re-runs of Law & Order: SVU starring Tamara Tunie, but I was wrong. No sooner did I switch channels than I ran across Khandi Alexander sweet-talking the dead on CSI: Miami. Which might make you think that all female MEs are in spin-offs and/or stuck in syndication.  But no, there’s also Medical Examiner Lanie Parish on Castle, played by Tamala Jones.

Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Lanie Parish in Castle
Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Lanie Parish in Castle: Those Heels Look Deadly!

And those are just the secondary characters! Rizzoli and Isles, Crossing Jordan and Body of Proof all feature female ME’s in lead roles.  
So you know how they say that if you die in dreams, you die in life? Well, apparently, if you die on TV, you get sliced and diced by a woman. Something to consider.


  1. Julie

    Don’t forget Leslie Hendrix as Elizabeth Rodgers in Old School L&O and also CE.


  2. Laura K. Curtis

    Julie –

    I knew I was missing a Law and Order one, I just couldn’t remember who it was! Thanks for coming to my rescue.

  3. bungluna

    I saw the promos for a Lifetime show, “The Protector”, and it sound like a Rizzoli and Isles wannabe. Sometimes I miss Quincy.

  4. Esri Allbritten

    It’s funny because it’s true.

  5. Clare 2e

    @bungluna Not sure about The Profiler (I mean) The Protector either. Guess we’ll see, but that Mancini (?) theme from Quincy is one of my ultimate earworms! Da–da-da-da-dat-DA…!

    I miss him and Sam and that station wagon.

    @esri So true. Still being typecast as Weird Sisters?

  6. Leigh Lundin

    >if you’re a woman, you’ll probably end up cutting up corpses.

    (dryly) During job interviews, some find the career perqs irresistible:

    “I get to cut up men? Really?”

  7. Laura K. Curtis

    LOL, Leigh! That one really did make me laugh out loud.

    bungluna – like Clare, I am in the “wait and see” camp on that. I sometimes find that actress really annoying.

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