Top Telly: Bad Girl Rachel Bailey

BaileyMy current favourite Bad Girl is a cop. Of course, crime fiction – whether it’s in books, films or on television – is over-populated with strong-willed, impulsive, foul mouthed, chain smoking, heavy drinking, bed-hopping cops. But with Detective Constable Rachel Bailey, in the gritty British TV series Scott & Bailey, that cliché is given a kick up the jacksy because the cop in question is a woman.

Rachel Bailey – a firecracker of a performance from actress and series co-creator Suranne Jones – is a wild card, indeed. From the offset we see she’s trouble. She’s having a fling with a barrister and risks losing her job when she uses the Police National Computer to check up on him. Discovering that he’s married, and that she’s pregnant, she blackmails him into letting her live in his swanky apartment. She later commits perjury and jeopardies a murder inquiry.

When the barrister is beaten to death, Bailey doesn’t even know if she killed him as she was blind drunk on the night of the murder. She eventually finds out that the killer was her brother- who thinks that she actually wanted him to beat up the barrister – and she lets him escape.

In a misguided attempt to stabilise her life, Bailey gets married to a boring but nice childhood sweetheart. Any stability is short lived, however, as she quickly rushes into a drunken one night stand and pretty much moves into the home of her partner DC Janet Scott, creating friction within Scott’s family. Friction which ignites when she drunkenly shags one of her colleagues in Scott’s home.

Rachel Bailey is 100% trouble and one of the strongest characters on British television at the moment.

(This first appeared over at Crimeculture)