Broadchurch is a TV program with 8 episodes from BBC America. I just finished it a few days ago. After watching the first episode, I was able to confidently recommend it to all of my Facebook friends. Now that I’ve experienced the entire first season, I stand behind that recommendation.
This TV series gives the viewer a brand new experience, and is not your everyday cop show. When I found out that it was about the murder of a small boy in a coastal town, I immediately thought of The Killing. In fact, there are several similarities to The Killing, in that we slowly uncover secrets behind all these prime suspects and get a decent hook from episode to episode. The only difference is that it isn’t dragged out into 13 episodes, where plot twist after plot twist begins to feel like a reach. We get a similar, but much better experience in 8.
Broadchurch invests several episodes (maybe 2 too many) in developing several characters. The setting is gorgeous and the camera work is excellent. The investment you put into the first 7 episodes will be worth it, when you ride the roller coaster of pain and emotion that is the 8th episode. Never has a TV program took me on that kind of ride.
Several TV shows have tried to take me on this kind of ride, but it is usually one of reflection after the show is over. In discussion afterwards, I can reflect on what several characters were feeling at different points along the show (if I want to). This is not necessary with Broadchurch. Indeed, I felt all of these emotions in the last episode. This is the success of Broadchurch.
How would you feel if…
- you found out you lived with a killer?
- you found someone close to you was living with a killer? How is it possible that they wouldn’t know?
- you found out you were adopted?
- and on top of that, your biological father was a pedophile?
- all you wanted in your whole being was to catch the killer, but in finally reaching your goal, you ruin innocent lives?
- there was no reason why the killer is the way he/she is?