What Did Bailey Do? The Rookie's Most Hated Character Controversy, Explained

What Did Bailey Do? The Rookie's Most Hated Character Controversy, Explained
Image credit: ABC

John Nolan is married to a superhero, and the fans don't like it.


  • Over the course of its six seasons, The Rookie has featured many characters whose strengths have been their weaknesses.
  • This is not the case with Bailey Nune, who is considered by many to be the most disliked character.
  • The writers need to give her more agency outside of Nolan's arc.

We appreciate it when writers give their characters backgrounds and developments that add much-needed depth and variety to even the most mediocre scripts. However, there are many bland ones who only expose the weaknesses of the writing. And while some characters we dislike because the writers want us to (and because the acting itself causes us to feel that way), others we dislike because the writers try too hard to make us like them.

This has been the case with The Rookie for several seasons now. The ABC series has been very popular with audiences. This is since the series, created by Alexi Hawley, is character-driven, perfectly balancing the crimes the L.A. cops deal with and the personal drama of each of them, portraying the characters as living people with their own strengths and weaknesses. Except for Bailey Nune (Jenna Dewan), who is incredibly out of place in the story.

Let's get to the bottom of why Bailey is such a disservice to The Rookie's script that fans are not shy about calling her the most disliked character on the show.

Why Do Fans Dislike Bailey So Much?

The main thing fans dislike is the way Bailey is written. She is successful at everything, which makes the viewer less invested in her story, as opposed to characters who are vivid and believable enough because of their flaws.

Throughout the show, we have learned that Bailey is a firefighter, a paramedic, a US Army Reserve officer, a martial artist, a capoeira master, an accomplished chef, and a painter. Sure, juggling multiple jobs is a harsh reality of the modern age. However, these aspects never made the character more interesting in the first place. Even dying, as she claims to have survived five cases of clinical death in her life.

What Did Bailey Do? The Rookie's Most Hated Character Controversy, Explained - image 1

Perhaps it would be misleading to call the character a Mary Sue, because it's not that she excels at everything, it's just that it's easier for the writers to fit Bailey into virtually any situation because she can be useful almost anywhere, rather than providing really thoughtful reasons for including her in the story.

Bailey Has to Be More than the Protagonist's Love Interest

Unfortunately, the problem with the way Bailey is written is that she is presented primarily as John Nolan's love interest and not as an autonomous character in her own right. This is not only a disservice to the story, but also to Bailey herself, as she is denied the chance to shine as a living person. In the end, their romance feels too artificial.

From the beginning, Bailey is presented as nothing more than a plot device. In fact, instead of introducing her to Nolan as part of the cops and firefighters working together, she was presented in a very objectifying context (when Nolan caught her wearing only a towel) as a 'sweet' moment of love at first sight.

In other words, the writers must do Bailey justice by giving her more context outside of Nolan's

When Can We Expect The Rookie Season 7?

The Rookie has started each season in the fall, with the exception of two years due to Covid-19 and Hollywood labor disputes. However, Disney TV Group has set the premiere of S7 for midseason in order not to limit the series by time and resource constraints.

Thus, The Rookie Season 7 is expected to premiere in January-February 2025. In the meantime, all released episodes are available for streaming on Hulu.