I’m writing articles lately on female characters who actually work, so brace yourself for multiple Da Vinci’s Inquest posts.
Detective Angela Kosmo is ambitious, hot-headed and occasionally lazy. She wants to get ahead, and is quick to jump on opportunities (as is every other cop on DI). Though she’s generally a very good detective, sometimes she stops investigating a case when she’s got the answer she was expecting. And when someone’s screwing with her behind her back, she lacks the patience and finesse to strategize: she just goes right to the offender, spoiling for a fight.
You know why this character works? Because her profile doesn’t fit a female stereotype. She’s not Miss Perfect, she’s not tougher than her male counterparts (on this show, everyone has strengths and weaknesses), she’s not hankering after any men (the one time we see her in a relationship, it’s refreshingly normal stuff), and she’s fully qualified for her job. She’s a cop who happens to be a woman, rather than a woman cop. If she’s faced any discrimination, it’s left offscreen along with her bathroom habits and sleep time: something irrelevant we don’t need to see.
In later seasons, she’s partnered with Mick Leary, who balances Angela by being less hot-headed and better at manipulating people. This is especially helpful when Angela develops a mortal enemy in the form of Detective Brian Curtis, a very bad cop and likely sociopath who’s skilled at setting people up to look bad. Mick forces Angela to question her assumptions about Brian, and the sources of her assumptions, but ultimately trusts her judgment and backs her one hundred percent. They could easily switch genders or both be of the same gender, and it would work: it’s a partnership of individuals, not a partnership of a man and a woman, or (worse) a “cop” and a “woman cop”.