Review: Scott and Bailey

I don’t normally review telly programmes, so this is a bit of a departure, but I just wanted to capture the glee which this cop series has induced in me. It’s such a joy to experience such wonderfully well-rounded female characters, so well-written, and with relatively realistic life-issues. I have to admit, it’s not at all realistic in one way: the idea that there are that many females bosses and high-profile female detectives in any single cop-shop in the UK is stretching credibility (the Chief Con, the Det Supp, and the DCI?). But the point is that the balance needs redressing, and Scott and Bailey does this brilliantly.

I loved it in the last episode that it was all the men sitting back in the office waiting for the female officers to sort the big kidnapping case out, instead of the other way round (I’ll try to avoid spoilers).

I loved it that as the two main characters, Janet and Rachel, had fallen out, they were having to fall back on their largely uncomprehending male colleagues to confide in.

I loved it that at the end, the final scene between three of the female characters took place in one of their bedrooms, with them all sitting on the bed talking about what had happened. Chaps may not realise this, but about 23% of women’s lives, from earliest girlhood, is spent just like this.

I also loved it that in the second to last episode, the tough lady boss got a bit of a come-uppance from a male detective whom she’d treated rather badly – she’s quite clearly not perfect. In fact, none of the characters is perfect – least of all the fabulous Janet and Rachel. Compared with the chisel-jawed colossi and scientist-ettes of CSIs: Miami, New York, etc., they are like real people. They even allow their clothes, hair and/or skin to look scraggy/greasy/unkempt/messy when appropriate.

I love it the way the women are allowed to be really, really brilliant at their jobs, and they way that they deal (or fail to deal) in various ways with the vagaries of their families and their love-lives. Again, a lot of the relationships outside ‘the Job’ are female to female: mother to daughter, mainly (in Janet’s case both with her mother and with her own daughters), but also sister-to-sister and friend-to-friend.

So, huge congratulations to the writers of the three series so far: Sally Wainwright and Diane Taylor, who also created the series, Suranne Jones (who also stars as Rachel), Sally Lindsay (who also played Rachel’s sister Alison in the second series) and Amelia Bullmore (who also stars as Gill, the DCI). Top women, all of them.

Click here to see the third series of Scott and Bailey on ITV Player.

Published in: on May 25, 2013 at 16:37  Comments (2)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I really enjoy this series too. A preview in one of the papers called it a “fantasy of female empowerment”, which is right as far as all the senior female staff go! But it’s not a total reversal of reality and I think the characters are really well done. Suranne Jones is FAB.

  2. I like it but it is Cagney and Lacey isn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: