Broadchurch (TV Series 2013–2017) Poster


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Mesmerizing. A show somewhere between your most beautiful imagination and your darkest fears.
reviewcentralny2 May 2013
An enthusiastic reviewer started writing about this show when it started filming, speaking with great anticipation about the creator of the show's previous work and then the premise of his new show - a crime story, inherently tragic, focusing on grief, dark puzzles and a small community in which everyone knows everyone. I immediately thought of 'The Killing' and whether I would feel the same sense of of despondency when I watch shows like that.

Turns out I was both right and completely wrong. And I'll get to the emphatic 'yes!' for this show in a moment. The storyline, like in most crime shows these days, is hardly original. And you could say that like many British TV shows with veteran actors, intriguing plots with a dark narrative devoid of hope or a happy ending (contrary to most American TV shows with a similar premise), this show too, relies on intriguing characters to keep your interest in the puzzle and the secrets each character holds. But Broadchurch does all that without ever indulging in tragedy or hopelessness. No easy feat.

The acting and casting are flawless. The story feels real and unfolds with a steady, organic pace. David Tennant's nuanced take on the character, which could have easily been another self-important anti-hero with a troubled past, instead offsets Olivia Colman's character wonderfully. Her genuine, sincere approach to life, creating inevitable friction is a surprisingly fresh take on the traditional mismatched police partner or 'buddy cop' dynamics.

And then comes the beauty. Each shot framed like a painting featuring the stunning cliffs and beaches around the Dorset coast in all its rugged glory. Even interviews with suspects are photographed with elegance and an unexpected ethereal quality, using blurred light and colors. The stunning landscape setting is used not just as a backdrop, but a powerful narrative, contrasting its vastness with the small stories of each one of the locals. The calm, reflective moments in each episode feature scenes without dialog, allowing you to absorb it all.

This is where the music comes in. Too often an afterthought, a necessary element to invoke emotion or underline the words, here the music becomes one of the main characters of the show. An understated yet stunning soundtrack by Ólafur Arnalds, featured prominently throughout the series. And what a revelation it is. Allowing you to watch Broadchurch both as a sophisticated detective story and as an evocative, elegant music video. And while concert halls featured the most talented composers in the past, sadly or thankfully, TV shows (possibly more than feature length films even), seem to be the perfect outlet for the most creative contemporary artists. Utopia, Breaking Bad and Battlestar Galactica come to mind.

You could say then, that it is Ólafur Arnalds' score who helps Broadchurch transcend the sadness and grief of the story told, but it wouldn't be fair to understate the the stunning cinematography and art direction, subtle and powerful storytelling and production by Chris Chibnall. And with a cast that is able to portray the characters with depth and authenticity, it helps Broadchurch stand out from similar shows, deserving a review beyond simple comparison.
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New standard
keith-777-26980728 August 2013
I enjoy British crime dramas. I find the pacing and depth of characterization is more engaging than the better American shows and there is often more emphasis on "mystery". Meanwhile I find the Americans are more innovative and the plots seldom have the holes that sometimes mar British crime stories. Broadchurch is a marvel. I have never seen a TV drama that explores the emotions of so many characters so convincingly. Crimes are traumatizing. Broadchurch gets this perfectly. Nor have I have ever seen a crime drama that packs a visual punch in so many scenes. The Dorset coast is a character in Broadchurch. It plays its role as effectively as any of the brilliant actors in this piece. And that brings up the acting. You won't find a weak performance and some are unforgettable. There were times when I was reminded of how exciting it was watch Sopranos for the first time. Broadchurch may even have the same kind of influence on future television filmmakers. It transcends comparisons between the US and the UK. It's a new standard and an instant classic.
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Beautiful Broadchurch
Pipkin_Sweetgrass26 September 2013
I can't say too much how much I enjoyed this series. Unlike most murder dramas, this story isn't about autopsies and gunfights. It's about human nature. It's about the tragedy of the murder of a child. It's about the court of public opinion, the sinister nature of irresponsible journalism, the failures, frailties and flaws of our fellow human beings. This is 'Shakespeare writes a detective story'.

Chris Chibnall has now gone to the top of my list as a writer. It was beautifully done. In no way has he broken the cardinal rule of show, don't tell. Nor has he made the horrible mistake of creating any perfect character. All of them, from youngest to oldest, are wonderfully imperfect human beings, and with no character is this more obvious than our protagonist, DI Alec Hardy, masterfully played by David Tennant as the world-weary detective with secrets of his own and a shadowy past. He is so wonderfully written by Chibnall and executed by Tennant that we find ourselves won over by a character that on the surface is quite unlikable. Tennant's performance has, IMO, overshadowed his role in Doctor Who with this work. He has proved before that he's far more than the Tenth Doctor. With his Hardy, he made me forget about all other roles.

Olivia Colman, too, is wonderful. Her character enjoys a growth that's wonderful to behold. Colman is as good as any actress out there. I've seen her before, but with her Ellie Miller, she has captured me completely.

In fact not a single actor or actress was badly chosen. From eldest to youngest and male and female, all of them turned in sterling performances. Even the dog! I was especially pleased with Arthur Darvill. Young Adam Wilson, who played Tom Miller, was quite impressive as well.

This series is what TV should look like. This is what The Killing should have looked like. This is TV at it's finest. The story arc was magnificent, centered, not on procedurals and junk science-based CSI (actual CSI is nothing like what's shown on TV) but on the tragedy of it, and how that tragedy bled into the lives of the people of Broadchurch, itself, even the ones investigating it. The dialog was wonderful, especially the banter between Hardy and Miller, whose polar-opposite natures should have been cliché, yet were pulled off masterfully by Colman and Tennant. Hardy's subplot was simply divine. We find out why he is so world-weary, yet, in the end are still left with the mystery of him, and know he is Broadchurch's greatest mystery still. Little touches, like the 'love thy neighbor' signs add further richness and poignancy and lend the tale yet more humanity. Rich in character development, beautifully photographed, the series ended in a perfect denouement. And the best part is we are left wanting more, which is the mark of a truly great story.
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Excellent drama, penetrating insights into the human condition.
barmstrong-782-6319705 September 2013
The only reason why I'm not giving it a 10/10 is because I have to leave a little room for humbleness. However, without a doubt, one of the best TV dramas that I have ever seen. It blends human frailty, melodramatic egos among professionals, frigid and temperamental relationships among small town residents, child anxieties, and mistrust, in a very artful way. It also shows the very real side of how people are often confused and blameworthy against everyone especially with the most flimsy of evidence.

I probably could come up with more adjectives, and penetrating analysis, but perhaps it is better for those who haven't seen, to see. It left me in tears at the end. I think about my own children, my own family, and it left me with a strange feeling of uncertainty and doubt. It will take me a long time to shake that.

Very good story-telling!
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Best mini series I have ever seen!
beth-clarke-783-1087224 September 2013
I have seen a lot of mini series, I love British TV - but I will have to say this is probably the best I have seen. Riveting. unpredictable and intense without over dramatization. At first it took me to a little slow but as i got to know the characters and the story that was progressing, I was hooked. The ending - I didn't see coming. But is was done so well. Relatable to so many people without being over the top. I found every character had such an important role that the ending almost came as a surprise. If you want a show that is realistic without being over the top - but at the same time relateable - this is it!!! I only hope season two is as good. The characters were amazing. The story line was believable. i could not stop watching it. If the other seasons are written with thew same demeanor and the same quality _ i will be sure to watch them all.
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8 Nearly Perfect Hours...
A_Different_Drummer3 September 2013
As if more proof were needed --- it is not -- here we see what happens when you allow a very talented production team to dig deep and come up with, essentially, a 7 hour, sequential, melodrama, or crime novel. (Eight hours less commercials). Even Hollywood on its best day can only do 2 and a half hours and is therefore handicapped (and when Hollywood tries to go the distance, the suits involved usually end up eating their own young -- check out ONCE UPON A TIME IN America, an extended melodrama that the late Roger Ebert once referred as the most disastrous editing job he had encountered in his career). Absolutely superb and near-flawless entertainment. Only possible criticism is that the last 9 minutes of the concluding episode are, well, gratuitous and out-of-place, oddly heavy-handed. The acting is stunning, not merely Tennant, who is always good, but the supporting cast is pitch perfect. The story is multi-faceted, a so-called simple murder in a simple town which probes the very souls of the characters involved. "How could you not know?" is a line of dialogue that pops up more than once, and is really the signature for the whole piece. If you can, watch it beginning to end and don't be surprised if you simply cannot hit the PAUSE button. It's that good. ------------------------------------------

Addendum June 16: Just starting the second season. In my other reviews, I flagged that most really great shows have one single character who is effectively the "glue" in the narrative, the character that keeps the viewer hooked even when there is no strong forward movement in the episode. Here the glue is the superb actress Olivia Colman, who (noticed this several times) can deliver a line of dialog with only one or two words ("Wanker!" "Still Married!") and still make the viewer smile or wince ... or even cry. Wow.
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An excellent British crime-drama
jamesbelotti2 October 2013
Broadchurch is a fantastic and refreshing British crime-drama. The 8 part series can be complemented on its beautiful cinematography, compelling acting (particularly the performance of Olivia Colman) and a story that grips you. While the story can be somewhat depressing the depth of the characters and the well constructed plot makes it hard not to watch the series in one sitting. Furthermore, unlike other television shows centered on crime, Broadchurch leaves some subtle clues through out the later episodes, which allows viewers to indulge in guessing the killer. The only criticism is that some of the younger actors/actresses give flawed performances, but this is to be expected. I would highly recommend watching this show.
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Crime show with a heart
fergis10 April 2013
I have been loving the emotional depth of this show! So often families of murder victims exist merely to give clues for the eventual solution but in Broadchurch we are exposed to the grief of a bereft and torn family.

I have never paid much attention to Olivia Coleman before but what an amazing actress! She will be added to my list of actors to follow from now on! She plays Ellie Miller a local detective who is not only charged with investigating the murder but who also knows personally the various suspects and players in the drama. An interesting mix and a fruitful tension!

I am very glad for her character because Miller's superior, DI ALec Hardy (David Tennant), is very much the clichéd grumpy dysfunctional detective we have all seen in a hundred other cop dramas. Having said that he plays his role well. If we must have this trope then Tennant brings some new life to it which is a tribute to his screen presence.

The setting is small town Dorset(Southern England). The village setting with its entangled relationships is fertile soil for the twists and tangles of the story.

After 6 episodes I am very much involved with the characters from the town of Broadchurch and am hoping the producers of this show will let it come to the end of its story arc in the scheduled 8 episodes.
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Once you start you can't stop watching.
deloudelouvain18 May 2020
Broadchurch is one of those Crime/Mystery series that once you start watching you can't stop. The urge to find out what is happening, who is guilty, is jus too strong and so you start binge watching it, well that's what I did. I watched the three seasons in four days, the first one I would rate with a nine, the other two seasons with an eight. The mystery level couldn't be higher, every episode you think someone else is guilty, what makes this series so interesting to watch. But also the class acting from Olivia Colman and David Tennant, the two characters and their (non)-compliticity are pleasant and fun to watch. To me Olivia Colman was the best actress, she's very believable in anything she plays, she's pure class. The rest of the cast wasn't bad either, some better than others, but overall they all add something to the intriguing stories. They could have made more seasons if it was up to me, this kind of stuff just never gets boring, certainly not with the quality story writing they have here, that's certainly the best thing about Broadchurch, the quality story writing.
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One of the most exceptionally riveting series to grace my television set
TheLittleSongbird23 August 2017
It took me a while to review 'Broadchurch', wanting to wait until watching all three seasons before reviewing. From the very start, 'Broadchurch' had me gripped and despite a couple of things that didn't quite work didn't let go.

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
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Drama of the year.
tgagbradley2 August 2013
The most extraordinary story ever, written & produced by Chris Chipnall, one of the top British writers today. A Brilliant cast, featuring the cream of British actors. The best drama of the year, keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entire film. The locations for this film are beautiful.

The body of a 11year old boy is found on the beach in Dorset, England. The murder and following investigation create a chain reaction that will tear this small seaside town apart. A town wrapped in secrets, like most small towns anywhere in the world, and they become known as the investigation proceeds. The Murderer remains veiled until the final episode and a surprise and more importantly the reason. The two investigators, DI Hardy a harden, efficient, and blunt outsider with the reputation for failure - played brilliantly by David Tennant - and DS Miller a sensitive and friendly local - played by the extraordinary Olivia Coleman. The interactions between these two is amazing - some of the best dialog and zingers - like when Miller tells Hardy "leave me alone or I will p--- in a cup and throw it on you." - Or when Hardy tells Miller "I pray nightly that you will leave me alone." The remaining Cast is spectacular - you can actually feel the grief and suspicion coming from their characters. The film is well worth watching if you love great drama and great acting.
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Good Show, Well acted, anti-male agenda in third season.
unhived24 April 2018
Pretty much what the title says. The first two seasons are fantastic. Well acted, compelling, interesting. Third season feels like someone decided that men are weak, selfish, bad parents and so on. Every male character falls into that category, including the male lead. Women tend to be more victims who persevere despite all the wrongdoings of the males.

Literally, not a single male character is safe. Even the child (teen) characters tend to be portrayed in negative light. This wouldn't have been noticeable if at least one or two characters wouldn't fall into this category, but no.

Don't misunderstand. I'm all for strong female characters, female-centric shows and so on. I loved The Good Wife, Resident Evil, Game of Thrones, The Americans and Into the Badlands. But any show that wants to make female characters appear strong by making all the males extremely flawed, is not my cup of tea.
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laurenhawkins-5536723 June 2020
This series was just full of surprises! I loved the twists and turns along the way. The two main characters make the show great with their dynamics together.
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Goes down hill from season 1
ptndle16 August 2017
Season 1 was fantastic, plot twists that had you guessing all the time. Season 2 was terrible, the court case was shambolic, the other story was idiotic and the whole thing was a mess! Then there was season 3, which made me write first review ever! If I hadn't invested so much time in it so far, I'd turn it off! Utter sexist, feminist crap. EVERY male character (except hardy) is portrayed as a sexual predator at every turn. At one point hardy says "I feel ashamed to be a man".....well so do I, as this drivel was actually written by a fellow man. Every man in this season displays the stereotypical behavior that feminists want you to believe men think. If it wasn't for season 1, I'd give it 1star
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A quality series, that's provided many weeks of guessing.
Sleepin_Dragon24 June 2017
So Broadchurch has finally come to an end after three series. Chris Chibnall recently rounded off, and moves onto his new project, Doctor Who. It's a difficult series to review overall, the first series was incredible, I think it raised the bar for this genre, it was devastating, engaging, and re-opened a genre that had somewhat been underplayed for so long, the whodunit. In each series that's always been the burning question, who and why. Series one was fabulous, and gained the show a massive following, getting over 10 million viewers. I enjoyed Series two, although it faced criticism, the third series got the show very much back on form, with a very dark and gritty story.

Dark, complex engaging stories, that have kept the nation guessing for weeks, will we see the like of this again for some time? A credit to the writer.

Dorset provided a stunning backdrop to the grief stricken town. The show always managed to look so good. Well acted throughout, Tennant and Coleman made a fantastic duo. I will never forget the impact of seeing Matthew Gravelle (Joe Miller) in my then place of work after the first series, talk about chilling.

I am glad that it ended with the third, when Chibnall finally decides to leave Doctor Who, he could revisit the show, maybe a spin off, maybe a new series? A brilliant series overall, 9/10
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Season 3 fell flat and got preachy
nerissavs19 August 2018
The first two seasons were engaging and well acted by a strong cast. For whatever reason, the writers decided to take the (wrong) turn too many series have done lately and used the show to preach rather than just tell a story; which, oddly, was a departure from the approach of the first two seasons.

I was left feeling annoyed that I invested the time in the last season.
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You know, it's just kind of okay
korereviews14 March 2017
Which is to say, I watch it, I enjoy it well enough, but I just can't understand all the gushing reviews about Broadchurch. I am a big fan of David Tennant; but frankly his character isn't very interesting or especially well-written here. Broadchurch is flat - there is no arc to his character. Olivia Colman is a great actress and if she weren't there I don't imagine there would be any life to this series at all, given that Tennant's character just walks around scowling. But mostly the format is rather trite and formulaic: small town, a heinous crime, wide cast of characters - everyone with something to hide, etc. etc. It's all been done a million times before. That doesn't mean it can't still work, but the writing has to be fantastic and innovative in some way. And this isn't. It's not awful, it's just kind of ... okay. By comparison, look at Happy Valley: also nothing revolutionary about the format or story, but the actors are great AND are given amazing material to work with. It's the difference that excellent writing makes.
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A good British mystery drama
donita518 June 2013
I have just finished watching this drama at two sittings. Tense it was, indeed, but its real strength lies in the portrayal of a small, closely-knit community and the explosion/implosion when disaster strikes. It takes place in a southern, sunlit town in Dorset, but the mood is sombre, with hardly a smile breaking the gloom.

The performers are uniformly good, but I have one reservation. As much as I like David Tennant as an actor and a comic (as seen on QI), I could barely comprehend his talking (mumbling would be more correct). I don't know whether it's his pronounced Scottish accent (I can't understand Sir Alex either) or the fact that he clenches his teeth whenever he speaks. Maybe it's because I am not a native speaker of English...

Apart from that picayune point, I enjoyed the show tremendously and am looking forward to seeing more British-made dramas such as this.
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Season 1 & 2 good, anti-male nonsense thereafter
jwp-5456721 August 2018
The first season was very good, with great acting and an interesting dynamic between the lead characters. Things start to go downhill with second season though.

First thing you notice about the second season is a deliberately 'diverse' cast, and by the time you get to the third season the quest for diversity has gone into overdrive. It's clear that following the success of the first season, Broadchurch ended up on the radar of some people with SJW agendas.

But it gets worse- it's abundantly clear that the entire plot of the third season is attributable to the SJW agenda, but this time it's anti-male feminism. That is, while seasons 1 and 2 were about murder, season 3 changes tact entirely with the detectives chasing a rapist. Throughout the entire third season there's an underlying anti-male theme, with the words "man" and "rapist" thrown around a lot, and all men are immediately persons to be feared and wary of, and from there on its villianisation of all males. There's even a pathetic attempt to link the young boys watching porn to becoming sexual predators.

Broadchurch started off strong with season 1, but is yet another example of a good series that was progressively ruined by the SJW agenda. A quick google search of 'Broadchurch' and 'SJW' shows that many viewers noticed there same. The cancerous SJW influence is not at all surprising given that it's by BBC.
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Another Great British Fail
anthony-burton426 October 2017
I don't know what it is about British Crime TV - it frequently feels like pantomime with the audience being led about on a leash.

Broadchurch, camera work aside, is no different. It frequently flatters to deceive, with some gorgeous sets, captured well, and a sterling performance turned in by David Tennant who made wonders out of a truly pathetic role. Jodie Whittaker also deserves praise for a very emotive performance

The problem though is that the whole thing is completely contrived, and it is painfully obvious to see. The story here would have made an OK film, maybe even a good one, but dragged out over 8 hours, half of it is simply spent in deliberate, undisguised misdirection, with a desperately weak conclusion that gave Lost a run for its money. Basically, the plot is at times non-sensical and frequently unrealistic. The cast do their best to deliver the story, but at the end of the day, they are polishing a turd. There's no doubt that at times the show moves you - and there is a hunger to find out "who did it" - but the result feels somewhat like a ruined orgasm.

My advice - unless you think Mr Bean is amazing, give this a miss and do something more meaningful with the 8h that would be wasted.
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Such a disappointment - massively overrated, sub-par drama
I finally got round to watching this after months of endlessly hearing how fabulous the series was, and seeing awards handed out like Hallowe'en candy at the BAFTAs. Perhaps all the hype set the bar too high - whatever the case, I struggled to watch the 8 - yes, eight! - episodes without launching myself at the screen at the lame acting, endless s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n, ridiculous plot developments and awful (dropped) accents.

No spoilers here - but I had nailed the culprit by the middle of episode two, and was actually disappointed when I was proved correct, as I had hoped for some ludicrous plot twist to at least lighten this leaden, mediocre production.

I mentioned before 8 episodes - which was about 6 episodes too long. If the director had curbed his enthusiasm for slow-mo moody shots of characters walking across screen, shots of the sea rolling and crashing, and an endless parade of the faces of the suspects at every opportunity, it may have come in at a couple of watchable hours. As it was, any sympathy one might have felt for the grieving mother was washed away with that rolling tide, as yet another slow-mo of her grieving face gurned its way across the screen.

It felt at times as if someone had decided to do a moody scandi-noir for ITV, but had missed the point about moody not being another word for downright miserable.

The two bright spots were of course David Tennant and Olivia Colman - eminently watchable actors both, but it was such a shame to see them mired in such a poor series. Even Colman's Dorset accent slipped a few times - I was actually pleased when it did as it was so hard to bear.
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Good but not "outstanding"
ronbell-239849 June 2020
I have only watched the first season. I've have it a 7. The actings fine and the storylines decent, but it's nothing special. I really don't get the hype around this show.
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Hand Me That Crossbow, Nige, Close Your Eyes Now, Son...
lincolnhawk-8737721 August 2020
Like a few of the other negative reviewers, I'm really typing this review in a bid to balance out the insanity of the glowing, virtually dripping 10-star reviews that have resulted in the 8-star overall rating. I imagine there are other people like me who don't watch actual TV as it is aired and instead use sites like this to assess whether an already aired show is worth investing the time to watch. The more shows I watch, the more I realise that it is the REVIEWS that are more fascinating than the actual shows. I watched the first season of Broadchurch. I try to see through the eyes of these 10-star reviewers, looking to understand how they could possibly have watched the same thing I did, sit down and give it 10 stars, 10 out of 10, perfect, no flaws, magnificent television. I cannot see it. Some of these reviews even go further, using the show as an example of how much better British TV is than US TV, suggesting that it is more about realistic characters and story than guns and action. It is also common in such reviews to suggest that people who disagree with their high ratings are either mentally deficient or unable to focus their attention on anything that doesn't have lots of shooting and car chases. This grows extremely tiresome; if people want to grossly overrate Paint by Numbers, formulaic TV that is one thing, there really is no call for insulting anyone who doesn't agree with their opinion. Broadchurch follows the same tried and tested formula that a lot of other season-long murder-mystery shows follow; start proceedings off with the murder of a child to get people feeling sad and wanting to know 'whodunnit', then pad the season out with endless red herrings, scenic shots, gimmicky lead police detectives, endless slow-motion scenes, whatever it takes to fill the space between the pilot and the final "big twist reveal" episode. I get why this formula is so often followed; it makes for easy pay cheques. Put your own "stamp" on it with a location that hasn't been done before, give the cops new gimmicks, knock out a lazy script with weak dialogue and Bingo Bango Bongo, job done, fingers crossed for a second season to keep the that easy pay cheque rolling in. In this case, the new location is Dorset, pretty little seaside town (much like a lot of the Scandinavian offerings in this genre, have the setting be a "character" in itself, save more energy on writing actual character development by having lots of shots of cliffs, the sea, the beach, the high street and quaint residential streets). Bonus - entertaining Dorset accents. Cop gimmicks? Let's make the lead male cop pig-ignorant, loud and give him a heart problem that will have him toppling over left and right. Female cop...let's make her local bumpkin PD, everybody's best friend with a heart of gold - THAT will make for a nice, clashing dynamic. The red herrings are your standard fare, neighbours and close friends with dodgy pasts, plenty of misdirection down child-molestation paths that lead to nowhere. Can't have guns and shooting, don't want to sink to the level of those lowly about a crossbow, one that doesn't get fired to boot? WE are better than that. There is nothing of substance here, it is absolutely bog-standard, formulaic TV. SOME shows can follow the formula yet still offer something of worth, be it in the dialogue, the characters, the casting of an actor who elevates the show simply by virtue of their involvement, the pulling off of the twist in a pleasing or at least acceptable manner. This show does not do any of these things. The actions of the characters are not believable, almost all character decisions contrived plot devices, done purely so the writers' can create "drama", soulless puppets at the mercy of their whim and fancy. Some of the acting is decent enough, most is acceptable, some is very weak, most notably that of the actor who played the biggest red herring, poor old Nige. The only emotion he exhibited that seemed believable was the constant, childlike joy in his face that he probably couldn't hide at being cast in a role. Good for you, son. The big, season-ending twist was as lazily written as the rest of the show, not something that was cleverly tied-in during the season and then revealed in a way that makes the viewer look back and connect the dots - it was completely disconnected from the preceding seven episodes. All in all, true to the formula at its most basic, do just enough to secure repeat viewership, not a jot more. I'm curious as to where this formula originated; Britain, Scandinavia, the US? The US seems to remake a lot of such British and Scandinavian shows, so perhaps they are just jumping on the bandwagon. The funny thing is that the US shows typically get panned by fans of the original British or Scandinavian versions - "don't settle for this sorry knock-off, watch the original" - ignoring the fact that it is the same base formula and usually of similarly low-quality writing, rarely that much worse than the original slop it was rehashed from. I am not American, I grew up in England and now live abroad, I don't love the US and hate Britain; I'm just tired of this type of TV being lauded as something "elevated" and "superior". It really isn't.
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Loved first 2 seasons. S3 a misandristic disaster!
plexys698 July 2017
Absolutely loved the first 2 seasons. Well acted, good story lines, and good plot development. S3 on the other was disaster from start to finish. Watched first 2 episodes and refused to watch any more because I could easily predict what was coming. After reading an episode synopsis of the entire season, my predictions were confirmed. From a 20 min rape examination tutorial in EP1, to brow beating a warehouse worker in EP2 because he has pics of scantly clad women in his workshop. Men are horrible and bad was the entirety of the plot. Not much else. Let's not forget the final scene with Hardy hugging Miller assuring her not all men are an abomination. Are they joking? What male in his right mind would enjoy this nonsense?
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over rated
kennethraine8 June 2014
I have been surprised and dismayed by Broadchurch being rated highly. I thought it was wooden poorly scripted, and contrived. As for the acting, David Tennant, one expression [ Blank stare only, held till his eyes water] And Olivia Coleman as a D.I. all the emotions from A-Z expressed twitchilly and consecutively was absolutely comical,[ D.I.,s expressions rarely shift as they try and illicit emotions from suspects being questioned.]. And it being an award winner, totally reeks of nepotistic collusion. Anyone who has recently viewed the six parter, Happy Valley, I am sure will agree it was far superior, regarding tension and authentic police procedure, with acting especially by Sarah Lancashire, who completely outshone both, Tennant, and Coleman.
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