Here at The TV Junkies it’s no secret that we love shows focused on female characters, and it’s even better when they come from ladies working behind the scenes as well. That’s exactly why Frankie Drake caught our eye when CBC released their 2017-18 programming slate earlier this week. StarringThis Life’s Lauren Lee Smith, Frankie follows Toronto’s only female private detective in the 1920s as she takes on cases the police don’t want or can’t handle and will air on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET on CBC starting in November. The series will consist of 11 one hour episodes and comes from Shaftesbury and Murdoch Mysteries‘ writers Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci.
We recently spoke with Smith at the CBC Upfront event to learn more about the series and found that we’re even more intrigued and interested. Along with her partner Trudy (Chantal Riley; Race, The Lion King), Frankie will investigate cases from airplanes and booze running to American G-men, Communists and union busters. We thought we’d list off just a few reasons why we’re already keeping an eye on this series that will see Frankie’s fearless sense of adventure get her into all kinds of trouble, and then show us how she always manages to find her way out.
An Interesting Female Lead
As mentioned, the thing that immediately caught our attention about the new series is Frankie Drake herself. We here at The TV Junkies love shows centered around tough, complex and multi-layered female characters and Frankie seems poised to fall right in line with that. “She is an incredibly strong, vivacious, very physical woman who, in a man’s world and against all odds, is doing this for herself and creating this agency,” Smith told us.
Ladies Running the Show
Not only are there two women at the center of things on screen on Frankie Drake, but they are running the show behind the scenes as well. Murdoch Mysteries writers Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci created the show and are also serving as executive producers. That means ladies are front and center in front and behind the scenes on this show and we can’t help but support that!
Female Friendships At the Heart of It All
One thing that we don’t see enough of on television is female friendships. With Frankie and Trudy running the detective agency, Frankie Drake seems poised to deliver on this front. In fact, we’re very inclined to agree with Smith who said it’s a “smart premise to have these two women who run the show and get to kick butt, solve cases every week and have a sisterhood/friendship with each other.” She went on to say that “the audience will very quickly see the bond and closeness that these two characters have for each other and really look out for each other. Where Frankie has her weaknesses, Trudy is able to step up to the plate and vice versa. It is a wonderful working relationship/friendship/sisterhood.”
Ladies Who Kick Butt
“Frankie rides a motorcycle and she isn’t afraid to throw a punch when needed,” Smith told us. So even though this is set in the 1920s, Smith said one of the reasons she wanted to play Frankie was because “there was a lot of physicality” involved in the role. In order to get ready before the show starts production this summer, Smith said she’s “been in boxing training the last two weeks to help the physicality, confidence and stance.” Sounds like a good idea to us since she also said that “Frankie will be in instances where she’ll have to throw a punch.”
When one typically thinks of a series set in the 1920s your mind immediately jumps to uncomfortable looking corsets on most of the female characters. However, that won’t be the case for the motorcycle riding Drake who Smith says is partial to “tomboy attire.” Smith did go on to say that won’t always be the case though because “on the flip side we will see instances where they have to go undercover, so there will be time to dress up and play with costumes.”
Are you looking forward to checking out Frankie Drake? Sound off in our comments below!
Frankie Drake will premiere in November 2017 and air on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.