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28 January 2012 @ 08:49 pm
Cohen's Daughter is Mentioned in "Amateur Night"  
I had FK's "Amateur Night" on while I did some other things tonight.  I pulled up short when I heard Captain Amanda Cohen say, "My daughter jumps rope."  "My daughter"!  This means that a) Cohen canonically, indisputably, has a daughter, and b) I have failed to fully absorb this fact for an awful lot of years.

"Amateur Night" is nobody's favorite episode.  I think it's underrated and deserves respect as a Schanke vehicle (with some intriguing Natalie tidbits on the side), but even I rarely rewatch it.  What do we all rewatch?  "A More Permanent Hell."  Everyone has seen AMPH a dozen times, and AN a couple, so we absorb that Cohen has photos in her office in AMPH, and miss that AN tells us who one of those photos depicts!

Okay, maybe none of you did that; maybe it's just me. ~grin~  Certainly, fanfic usually depicts Cohen as the mother of a daughter (on the rare occasions that Cohen's personal life wins a mention).  If only I had studied Cohen back when I was writing character FAQs, I would have learned better.  I have always known that Cohen has that photo of a girl in her office, but from time to time, from forkni-l to here, you'll find me ruminating on the question of whether the girl is Cohen's daughter, niece, sister, or herself as a child (alongside similar questions about the photographed couple with the leis).  Well, one question answered, anyway!  Cohen has a daughter, and she is at least as old as the girl in the picture, and still young enough to jump rope.

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waltdwaltd on January 30th, 2012 10:11 am (UTC)
Amanda, we hardly knew ye!
I've always been a fan of Cohen and felt that she was a rather neglected character. Stonetree had a couple of episodes where he was the focus (or at least a "real" co-star), Reese had a couple of episodes where he starred. About the only episode Cohen had more than a peripheral presence was AMPH.

Plus I've always kind of liked the fact that nothing was made about her 1/ being a woman, and 2/ being Oriental. It's got to have been hard to work her way up the ranks in the 70's or 80' as she must have done. But there seems to be no resentment from any of the male officers. Nick and Schanke certainly seem to treat her with the respect that a captain deserves. The same thing about being Oriental: it's never made a case. There could probably have been some interesting stories along that line (as in her being an outsider in at least two ways similar to the way that Nick is an outsider), but it was never brought out.

For Amateur Night, personally I guess *i* go against the grain in that I prefer AN to AMPH. I have real trouble accepting the "science" in AMPH -- it so ludicrous it puts me off. AN on the other hand, strikes me as being basically the plot basis of Angie Dickenson's old TV series, "Police Woman". Plus, I think the lead character goes through a great deal of growth -- and Schanke seems to have a bit of a bigger role here than usual, which is always nice.

Thanks for bringing this up. :-)
Amy R.: Nick Solemnbrightknightie on January 31st, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Amanda, we hardly knew ye!
I agree that Cohen was neglected! You're absolutely correct that where Stonetree had "Fatal Mistake," "Dead Issue" and a smidgen of "Dance by the Light of the Moon," and where Reese had "Jane Doe" and a smidgen of "Dead of Night," to reveal their experiences and values, that "jump rope" reference may be the most personal revelation Cohen ever shared.

It's all the more unbalanced among the captains when we consider that second season has 26 episodes, while first and third have 22 each. I sometimes wonder whether some writers may have hesitated to tackle Cohen's experience in their stories because of the unexplained, unusual conjunction of her surname and her ethnicity; it may have seemed too much to handle around the edges of the customary episode structure.

>"and 2/ being Oriental."

Please forgive my pedantry! But in case other people read here, I must note that "Oriental" is no longer considered a polite term for a person. "Asian" is preferred. Here is Wikipedia on contemporary usage in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. "In modern Canadian usage, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, the term 'Oriental' is considered offensive..." (As you know, "oriental" literally means "eastern," and so is an entirely Eurocentric designation.)

>"There could probably have been some interesting stories along that line (as in her being an outsider in at least two ways similar to the way that Nick is an outsider), but it was never brought out."

I think that your idea of paralleling her with Nick is great, and it's too bad that no episode ever explored that! However, my guess is that being Asian in Toronto was not an extremely isolated position, even two decades ago. In 2006, according to Wikipedia's "Demographics of Toronto," 32.6% of the Toronto population was Asian. For realism, perhaps more of the people in FK's precincts should have been Asian! On the other hand, perhaps the police department does not mirror its community. Yes, there could have been stories touching those possibilities.

>"I prefer AN to AMPH"

AN is a better episode as a standalone unit, in my opinion. However, AMPH contains Lacroix's vampiric "origin story," among other revelations related to the ongoing continuity, so many people watch it over and over to glean every detail. I believe that episodes driven by guest stars tend to be dwelled-upon less than episodes driven by the regular cast. ~shrug~

Thanks for playing FK with me! :-)
waltdwaltd on February 6th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
Re: Amanda, we hardly knew ye!
>>"Oriental" is no longer considered a polite term for a person<<

Thanks for letting me know. I did not know this.

>>However, AMPH contains Lacroix's vampiric "origin story,"<<

Ah, yes, there is that. AN and AMPH each have their points and strengths.