The second series of Scott and Bailey may be halfway through but just keeps getting better and better.
The popular police duo DC Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) and DC Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) and the other members of the Major Incident Team are back as good as ever, but the script’s been tightened up so there’s no clunky dialogue and no more dubious plots (the odd sequence of events after Janet’s stabbing in series one, anyone?)
On the contrary, this series is extremely believable which is just one of the reasons I like it so much. The way the characters interact with each other and their teasing and irreverent dialogue, underpinned by a real warmth sounds completely natural. The pace of the action too seems realistic. Whilst it’s kept lively with the characters’ personal sub-plots and little moments of humour, the sometimes slow nature of the police’s progress is reflected accurately.
You rarely get the impression the story is being rushed for dramatic effect. There are frequent bouts of excitement, but it comes after lots of interviews and gathering of evidence. It all feels thorough, intelligent and real, not just detectives racing around in fast cars, sirens blaring, making violent arrests. Even the interviews are kept real, with Janet (Lesley Sharp) in particular, conducting them in such a level and unemotional voice it could be seen as dull. But then you realise that’s just because we’ve become so used to police dramas where there’s pacing around, banging fists on the table and shouting, which looks good on the telly but really isn’t what happens. After all, Janet rarely fails to get results!
It helps too, that they’ve created a set of thoroughly likeable people. The three main characters -Scott and Bailey and their fiery boss, DCI Gill Murray are all such strong, independent women and good role models to show that girls don’t always have to be, as co-creators Suranne Jones and Sally Lindsay put it ‘wife-of, sidekick-to, mother/mistress-of’. They are each flawed and fairly dysfunctional in their various relationships but they all soldier on, passionate about doing their very best to get justice for victims of crime. It’s also nice to see how they support each other, showing that women don’t always need to be portrayed as jealous and bitchy, but can enjoy loyal and caring friendships at work.
Currently Rachel is seething at her hopeless ex-alcoholic brother having caused her to miss her sergeant’s exams, while Janet is struggling having just split with her husband and being pressured into a relationship with Andy. I look forward to seeing what the second half of the series has to offer.
Catch up with the series on ITV Player