Why ‘Graceland’ Is the Badass Female Show You Should Be Watching
When you think of the most badass female characters, Chicago P.D.’s Erin Lindsay and Law & Order: SVU’s Olivia Benson probably come to mind, but they’re not the only take-charge cops on TV. Flying slightly under the radar are the women of USA Network’s Graceland , DEA agent Paige Arkin (Serinda Swan) and FBI agent Charlie DeMarco (Vanessa Ferlito), who often go deeper undercover and put themselves in more danger than the men on the show.
Throughout the show’s first two seasons, we’ve seen Charlie shooting up heroin to save her cover and take down a drug cartel, and Paige posing as a sex slave to infiltrate a major human trafficking operation. That is just the tip of the iceberg for these fearless ladies. When Bustle visited the Fort Lauderdale, FL set, the two stars teased that Season 3 is only going to get crazier.
If you’re not currently watching the show, Season 2’s final episodes delivered some of the most insane twists and biggest storylines of the series to date, including Paige putting her ex-boyfriend and fellow agent Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) in danger, and Charlie finding out she’s pregnant with her sometimes-shady-boyfriend — and again, agent — Paul Briggs’ (Daniel Sunjata) child. These aren’t soap-opera-style twists, though — even though platonic and romantic relationships have a place on Graceland, it’s more about the ripple effects these bombshells make than who’s hooking up each episode.
As we head into Season 3 — premiering June 25 at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network — Vanessa Ferlito revealed that Charlie won’t slow down one bit because of this pregnancy. In fact, she just works even harder because of her baby on board. “I don’t think she realizes the severity of having a baby. She’s like, ‘I’m pregnant, but I’m going to go get [revenge on the bad guy] Jermaine or roll in the mud,’” she tells Bustle. “I think it hasn’t really hit her yet. It’s still very early on, and she’s still in the house and running wild with crazy people. She’s just out of control, really.”
Even though she admits that Charlie will have to “sit out for a little bit,” no one will dare to tell her what to do. “Nobody’s tried to talk sense into her at all. Briggs actually tries to shut me down and I just go right over him. I kind of do something really bad,” she reveals. “It’s really scandalous. It’s like some real Maury s**t.”
Clearly a man can’t hold Charlie back, as Daniel Sunjata reiterates. “She threatens to go do something and start some mission, and Briggs is like, ‘I’ll have you on maternity leave before you push back from the gate!’ And she does not like that,” he says with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Paige is working to get out of the dark place she ended up last season, with Mike flatlining in the hospital after she sold him out to dirty cop Sid in a moment of resentment. But, actress Serinda Swan is fine with being the bad guy for once.
“She’s strict with her emotions and makes sure she walks that line correctly. I mean, she’s a badass. She’s definitely done some things like, ‘Let’s sweep under that rug.’ … It’s fine being the bad guy,” she says. “I think it’s something they wanted to push the boundaries with and I’m open to that. You never want to hold your character to a place where they’re so precious that they can’t dip into the darkness. I just have to fight my way out of it.”
Clearly Season 3 is going to be full of awesome action and badass women, so, obviously, we should all tune in come June 25. I know I'm going to.
Images: James Minchin III/USA Network (1); Jeff Daly/USA Network (2)