Television Review: Broadchurch Season One

Ah, the wonders of streaming. Where I can “discover” a “new show” 8 years after it first aired. Well, if you’re like me, and you haven’t watched Broadchurch (available to stream on Netflix), then let me bring it to your attention.

David Tennant (the tenth Doctor Who) stars as DI Hardy, the lead detective on a case of the murder of an 11 year old boy in Broadchurch, England. He’s assisted by Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth in the latest Crown seasons). Jodie Whitaker (the twelfth Doctor Who) plays the murdered boy’s mother. The show features great acting and the first season has a fantastic plot. 8 episodes, all of them well done.

I enjoyed the way the show delved into the impact an event like that can have on a relatively small town, as well as the impact the investigation of that event can have. You get to know the characters of the town because the investigation goes on for so long. True, there were a couple of plot developments that felt like a bit of a stretch to me (and they used practically the same plot device twice, which was a tad weak), but by and large the investigation doesn’t feel padded.

I also really enjoyed the interaction between Tennant and Colman. Tennant is brash and inconsiderate, a newcomer to Broadchurch. Colman is a lifelong resident. She knows all the people and thinks the best of everyone, but in a murder case, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Seeing the two of them argue about approaches and techniques set up a great dichotomy that plays out wonderfully.

The tensions rise with each episode, and the finale of the season was fantastic. Always a big plus for a television show. (Sadly, two episodes into the second season, it’s felt much more contrived. Hoping that changes soon.) The show is TV-MA for some harsh language, but there’s not much in the way of blood/violence and no sex I can recall. Overall, I gave it an 8.5/10. Very good television.

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2 Comments

  • By Libby Casas, August 24, 2021 @ 3:09 pm

    I watched the Broadchurch series, and though I thought it was excellently done, it was really a bit too dark for my tastes. I don’t think I’ll revisit it. Once (though well done) is enough.

  • By Bryce Moore, August 25, 2021 @ 8:50 am

    That’s very true. It’s not exactly a show you walk away feeling bright and sunny afterward.

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