Broadchurch (TV Review)

Broadchurch (TV Review)

Simply put, Broadchurch is one of the best crime dramas I have ever seen. From the beginning, the British thriller is engrossing, taking us in to the small town lives of the people of Broadchurch, who are reeling over the discovery of the murdered body of an 11-year-old boy. Like a good crime drama, this is a town that has secrets…and everybody has something to hide.

Typically, a show of this nature is able to successfully point the suspicion on a couple of characters that we legitimately believe have a chance of being the killer. Broadchurch manages to blow this up, as at certain points, we suspect nearly every character of being a murdered, due to the incredibly intelligent writing on the series. The mystery builds up from the moment we hear of Danny’s death, and people come out of the woodwork to become suspects with every new episode.

broadThis provides us with a constant state of excitement in watching, wondering who could have committed the terrible crime that is in danger of ripping the town apart.

There are people with mysterious pasts, questionable actions around the time of the murder, and tremendous back stories that are haunting and horrifying.

And watching the whole thing unfold is absolutely incredible.

There can be comparisons made to the great crime thriller The Killing, a show that was adored by many in its first seasons of trying to determine who killed Rosie Larsen. As exciting and twisting as The Killing was, Broadchurch is just better. Starting with a fantastic filming location, on the cliffs of England, to the spectacular writing and phenomenal writing, Broadchurch is as close to perfect as a series could be.

broad2The actors excel in their roles in this show. Starting with Jodie Whittaker, tasked with the role of the young, grieving mother, she makes us feel for her plight. She owns the pain the character feels, and it never comes across as hammy or over-acted. The detectives, played so well by David Tennant and Olivia Colman (who is more traditionally seen in comedic roles like Peep Show and Twenty Twelve), bring more depth to the show, as we care about their lives as well. Tennant is the outsider, new to the town, and Colman is the detective who has strong roots in the community, and their clashes while trying to solve the murder are clever and important to the development of the story.

There are many layers to the story here, so it is not simply a story of trying to resolve the murder of a young kid. There are stories of friendship, abuse, professional drama, personal drama, marital issues, questions of the role of the church, the role of media, the importance of our past following us, and more. All of it is wrapped up beautifully in the dark series.

Be warned, Broadchurch offers very little in the way of levity, or comedic relief. It is a hard, edgy, dark show, and this helps us cope with the brutality of the situation that the people of the town are going through.

Don’t hesitate on Broadchurch. It is so incredibly well done, it is pretty much guaranteed to be worth your while. It will keep you guessing until the very end, and there are a ton of plausible candidates to be the murderer. It is dark, and constantly mysterious, and an absolute thrill.

The best news just might be that there is going to be a second season of the show that begins in January.

Twenty Twelve: Season 1-2 (TV Review)

Twenty Twelve: Season 1-2 (TV Review)

Twenty Twelve is another pseudo-documentary from Britain’s BBC, that is, of course, pretty solid. It seems like every TV show out of Britain is at least pretty good, going all the way up to excellent. They are simply different from what we are used to, and there is generally always success.

The story of Twenty Twelve is quite simple: a group of people are in charge of organizing the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and they are being filmed while trying to get things done, while avoiding humorous crisis after humorous crisis. The gang in charge, all with their own level of British silliness and foibles, are generally enjoyable, as they do their best not to muck up what is to be the largest sports spectacle in the world. The characters range from the head of the whole thing, the PR lady, the head of legacy and sustainability, the traffic guy, the doting assistant, and the poor former athlete, who is generally confused with what is happening the whole time, while delivering some of the worst motivational speeches you will ever see. The actors here, as with many British shows, have been seen before: there are people from the gamut of UK television and film, like Downton AbbeyShaun of the Dead, and the hilarious Peep Show. It provides the show with an instant sense of familiarity, and allows us to instantly like the characters, even if they are annoying at times.

2012Twenty Twelve is typically British, in that it really does use the typically sedate and dry sense of humour in order to push the show forward. There are some spectacular scenes, including the discussion on the bathroom situations in the athlete’s village, and the double-entendre discussion of how plumbing works for men and women. Something lovable about British TV shows, is that we can honestly ask ourselves if something was meant to be funny, or just was, or that’s just the way they are. As usual, as with most TV series from across the pond, it feasts on our ability to watch awkwardness, and Twenty Twelve is another solid producer in this. Not to the extent of the original The Office, but there are still scenes that are able to make our skin crawl, because it is just painfully awkward.

As usual, I stumbled across this show on Netflix, and it is a decent watch. The two seasons are short, only a few episodes each, so there are not significant demands on your time to pour through the two seasons of the whole thing. The stories themselves are pretty engaging, and manage to provide some decent entertainment. The leadership group getting lost in London due to the miserable traffic and construction delays is excellent watching.

2012-3This show does not belong among the cream of the crop of British TV. It is consistently good, but never really great. As with these mockumentary-type shows, it is partially about the humour, and a little bit about the drama. There is that blend here as well. Neither are exceptional in Twenty Twelve, but neither are bad, either.

I wouldn’t rush out to watch the show, but if you have nothing else going on in your Netflix queue, there are worse things you could be viewing than Twenty Twelve.