Broadchurch – Series 2 Review

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Warning – there will be spoilers!

Right, stop your moaning Facebook and Twitter and everyone else, this was the way the second series was set up to go. Gripes about the lack of realism, factual inconsistencies of the court case and it not being as tense as the first series – all wrong in my opinion and here’s why. It’s a Drama, not a documentary.

Chris Chibnall has written two series now about human beings, their relationships and how we can be tested to our limits by the shit that life throws at us. All good drama, be it soap opera or Shakespeare must have great characters at the heart of the story otherwise we can’t route for them and want the good guys to triumph. This series has been about Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan’s performances of a couple and their life after the death of their son. It was raw, tragic and heartbreaking and the combination of performance and script was sublime at times. No it’s not car chases and whodunnits but it’s about the reality of a relationship under the worst stress possible.

The two of them carried this series emotionally, whereas Olivia Colman’s Ellie got stronger as the series went on. Broken from the revelation her husband killed their son’s best friend she took huge strides to pull her family back together and to sort Alec Hardy out too. In the end it was her tenacity that solved the Sandbrook case. The final episode belonged to David Tennant and his rejuvenated Alec Hardy back from having the pacemaker fitted he roared and growled to finish the case that almost finished him. The acting was subtle but powerful and showed just why this show has the dedicated audience it has.

The complaints about things being unrealistic obviously never saw an episode of Morse, Lewis, Eastenders, Midsomer Murders, The Killing, Fortitude, Perry Mason, Corrie, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Wire in the Blood, Vera and any other show that has had a whodunnit or court case – TV drama uses these situations to drive plots and to open characters. If you want realism get down o your local court and sit and watch the cases there. I’m not tuning in for “realism” because I live that – I sit and watch a show like “Broadchurch” because of the fantasy, the writing and the escapism. Yes it played fast and loose with the format, but so what? I enjoyed it all the same.

Then there are the grumps that have already dismissed the way the series ended and “Won’t be watching another series of this!” We know they couldn’t have killed Joe Miller – as much as we all wanted them to, we know that they would then be as bad as he was. We can’t have characters like Beth and Mark or Ellie and Rev Rory (or whatever his character was called) stooping to his level – and you know what his punishment is classic Shakespeare; exile. More powerful and meaningful than death.

There have been so few new dramas in the last ten years that have been about character driven performances. In the first we saw a tour de force from Olivia Coleman, David Bradley and Jodie Whittaker. In the second Eve Myles, Andrew Buchan, Charlotte Rampling and David Tennant all shone through. Who wouldn’t want another series to see his great cast at full force?

JD

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