Our Favourite Female Characters: Catherine Carwood of ‘Happy Valley’


Across all three seasons of modern BBC classic ‘Happy Valley’, Catherine Cawood is a female character who consistently appears strikingly realistic. Strong-willed, sweary, and blindingly loyal, Catherine is a woman who constantly battles with a deep, personal trauma but never strays from doing what is right. Between her neon green battle armour or donning her infamous rainbow knit “mum” scarf, this is a woman who kicks ass whether she’s taking down criminals or battling through parent/teacher meetings. The brooding and mysterious traits we find in many tragic cop show leads, are devoid here in place of tightly gripped cups of tea and exasperated cries of “what a shit week!”. There’s a remarkable humanity to her as a hero, and Catherine is totally committed to doing what’s right and ensuring the course of justice, placing these values before herself on multiple occasions.

I find Catherine most inspiring for her ability to manage a normal, safe, and wholesome family life as she can manage in spite of the burdens she carries. From my own background of working in support work and previously studying social work, the attitude Catherine brings to handling people in high-risk situations rung remarkably familiar from the offset. Her use of humour, empathy, and firmness all intermingle into a beautiful “do no harm, take no sh*t” approach to protecting others in both her work life and social life. She feels real, because the way she approaches situations is real.


About Author

Leave A Reply