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Friday, 4 May 2012

Television Review: Scott & Bailey S2

I had fairly positive thoughts about series one of Scott & Bailey with some caveats. However, I think the second series really got the balance between work and home right with some intriguing crimes and good acting all round. This time we had eight episode instead of six, which was an improvement though it still felt very short.

Janet Scott's (Lesley Sharp) personal life hit a new level of complex as she threw her husband out and pursued a fling with colleague, Andy. However, this soon turned sour when she ended it and he became a little obsessive. Meanwhile, Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) had a tumultuous time as her jailbird brother appeared on the scene along with an old boyfriend and the man accused of trying to have her killed at the end of S1 is let off due to insufficient evidence. If you add that to DCI Gill Murray's (Amelia Bullmore) difficulties with her cheating ex-husband you have a pretty wide spectrum of personal problems to look at. Surprisingly, though, they still found time to solve crimes.

The episode that sticks most in my memory involved a racist attack. Aside from the good portrayals all round one moment struck me: when the family learned the truth about the attack there was silence. That scene summed up the best aspects of this programme and the confidence of the producers who recognise that silence is an integral part of television. Equally, the scripts were strong and the setting was absorbed seamlessly into the series.

I found series two to be an improvement in many ways. The friendship between Janet and Rachel was much more established by this point and I particularly liked the episode that took Rachel and Gill away to visit a murderer without Janet. The dynamic was altered along with the way an investigation proceeds with two volatile personalities working on it. The crime investigations felt a little more complex, frequently leading the viewer (and officers) on wild goose chases. I rarely put my money on the right candidate. Finally, a special mention has to go to guest star Pippa Haywood. I love that woman and at the moment she seems to pop up in most things I watch.

Since Scott & Bailey has been nominated for a Bafta I think a renewal is definitely on the cards. You won't find me arguing with that.

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