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Broadchurch - series 1 (2013)

I came across Broadchurch pretty much by wiki-hopping. Chibnall was supposed to write episodes for series 8 of Doctor Who and a line about it said that based on the success of Broadchurch (which he helms) and its renewal for a second series, he might not have the time to do that. I've never liked what Chibnall had to offer on Who or Torchwood, but i thought, "it seemed to be a big hit, it's only eight episodes, David Tennant is the lead DI, let's see what it's about."

And overall i'd say it was a pretty damned good.

Sure, it has some standard mystery-murder tropes that i had problems with - the main one being that if you paid close attention to how the whole series was shaped, there were really only two people that were realistic suspects by about the mid-point. (i had this fear at some point that there was going to be a twist-answer, a Hot Fuzz kind of answer, but thankfully that didn't happen.) Sometimes the gradualness of information revealing - both relevant and irrelevant - had this level of artifice to it, a "we need to fill out eight episodes, so let's meander this way to fill time" feel to it. And the whole tone of the series was all deep tragedy with hardly any light-heartedness in it whatsoever and that's not generally my sort of taste - the main reason i could never get into the new Battlestar Galactica.

But those quibbles ended up falling to the wayside because the story was absolutely gripping and many of the main characters and their development in that short span of time were pretty outstanding. Tennant and Colman's characters and how they played them were pretty brilliant, as were Jodie Whittaker, Pauline Quirke, and David Bradley specifically. For me, Bradley shone in particular since the few things i've seen him in otherwise were more minor or comedic roles in which his age stereotype was played pretty hard, but in this, he had a huge spotlight and he did it well.

There's an american remake of the series that's set to air in October called Gracepoint, and although Tennant is still the lead and Chibnall and James Strong are leading the helm, I feel pretty skeptical about how it will turn out. I'm pretty sure that i won't watch it because i'll just get distracted by how it differs from its UK counterpart and not be able to judge it on its own merit. Maybe i'll make someone else watch it for me and tell me if they think it's good.

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March 2017