The murder of a young boy in a small coastal town brings a media frenzy, which threatens to tear the community apart.The murder of a young boy in a small coastal town brings a media frenzy, which threatens to tear the community apart.The murder of a young boy in a small coastal town brings a media frenzy, which threatens to tear the community apart.
At its best, 'Broadchurch' was some of the best television to grace my television set, not just in recent years but in general. Simply adore mystery dramas and the positive word of mouth was near-universal, reasons enough to watch it. Was riveted and couldn't look away throughout all three seasons and was thirsty for more, that's the mark of a great or more series. Like 'The Missing' and the Danish version of 'The Killing', as far as series from the past decade go, 'Broadchurch' came incredibly close to perfection. It isn't quite but even the little that didn't quite work weren't enough to stop it from being exceptional.
The ending of Season 1, while very shocking, was a bit of a let-down after the rest of the season being so flawless. It just felt rushed and contrived and the perpetrator and motive did seem on the unlikely side. While Season 2 was still incredibly interesting and enjoyable, with lots of tension, suspense and poignancy to spare with greatly written characters and engaging court room scenes, the old case mystery was atmospheric and tense but felt shoehorned in initially and forced in placement with Hardy out of character, though did get better and more interesting later on.
With all that aside, 'Broadchurch' is fully deserving of the acclaim. It started off absolutely brilliantly with Season 1 let done only by an ending that didn't do it justice, wasn't quite as good but good enough to not lose interest in Season 2 and, contrary to what a few have said, Season 3 does something different with a new case but referring to previous events and still has the ability to shock, absorb and move.
'Broadchurch' is one of the finest visually series seen by me. The locations are gorgeous and so atmospheric, and the series is beautifully photographed, fluid and brooding. The music is both haunting and tragic.
Standing out also is the writing. It's rare to find on television recently to have a series so intelligently written and be so layered and meaty. While the pacing is deliberate in places, a lot happens to keep one gripped and ensure that the tension and mystery never slips. Aside from the multi-layered and utterly absorbing cases, all three series have many characters and subplots and do justice to all of them, rare these days in television and film.
Characters, lead and supporting, are interesting and never black and white, having redeeming qualities as well as flaws. 'Broadchurch' does a particularly good job with Ellie in Season 2. The subplots are a perfect balance of dark, sensitive and emotional, especially in Season 1. The direction is accomplished throughout.
You couldn't have asked for better performances either. Particularly outstanding is Olivia Coleman, now this is an actress who brings many emotions and nuances to a role that few actresses of the television medium do so well, and sometimes in an understated way. David Tennant's acting here is some of his career's best, bringing conflict and likability to a deliberately flawed character.
David Bradley, Pauline Quirke, Jodie Whittaker, Charlotte Rampling, Eva Myles, James D'Arcy, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Sarah Parish are standouts in support.
In summation, exceptionally riveting. 9/10 Bethany Cox
- Aug 23, 2017