Brit Fix: Scott & Bailey is Manchester’s Answer to Cagney & Lacey
The thing I love the most about Scott and Bailey, a more richly layered take on Cagney and Lacey that airs on ITV is the way in which it was conceived. Actress Suranne Jones (Tennant fans may remember her from her stint on Single Father) and her pal, Coronation Street veteran Sally Lindsay were crushing a bottle of wine one night and bitching about how they aren’t enough good, solid, independent roles for women anymore and as the evening progressed, came up with the concept of the show – an older female homicide detective, and her younger female partner. It’s a simple formula with a proven success rate, but I guarantee you that you’ve never seen women interact on T.V. like this before. The new second season started in mid-March, so do what you can, and watch the hell out of these ladies. It’s clear Mireille Enos has been taking notes.
Did I mention this show is like a woman-powered venture? Created, directed, written, starring! It’s a feast! A feast, I tell you! Look guys, a bunch of ladies made a show! Isn’t this awesome? Between this and the aforementioned the Killing, I is a happy Rebecca Jane as of late.
It would go to follow the two heroines would be opposites, and to a degree the Janet Scott and Rachel Bailey are – but Wikipedia’s description of Rachel as “impulsive” and Janet as “wise” made me laugh, as the kids say, out loud. Yeah sure, Janet seems “impulsive” in the series premiere and the episodes following it – because as the story starts up she (and it goes to follow we) find out that the man she had been exclusively dating for two years, who she thought she was on the precipice of marrying – is married to someone else, and has children, and has been dicking her the fuck over. So, less, impulsive and more, oh my god the need for vengeance – VENGEANCE! While Janet may seem like Rachel’s opposite, the reality is she’s just more experienced, because she’s, you know, older, which Wiki is all “WISE” about. In reality, Janet has her own demons involving infidelity and a young murdered girl from her childhood.
So yes, they are ladies, with lady-problems, but they are also – NOT BIG TALKERS, YOU GUYS. While they are partners at the office and both exceptional detectives (making the blindspots they have in their personal lives all the more humanizing) they talk – or very often – don’t talk, the way women really do. Rachel has no issue talking about terminating a pregnancy. She also doesn’t feel the need to explain herself when she does something outrageous LIKE BLACKMAIL HER EXBOYFRIEND. These women are dangerous, intelligent, and super relateable. They are kind of what you always imagined female detectives would be like. And did I mention that my girl Lesley Sharp plays Janet? Because she totally does. And her eyes are so blue. So blue. The bluest!
Also the show is set in Manchester, and the Manchester accent is one of favorite thing. Weirdly. NO APOLOGIES!
Next week on Brit Fix……………….. Fat Friends!
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