I have a confession to make, and you’re not going to like it. Until just yesterday I had never before viewed an episode of Broadchurch. Yes. I know. I did warn you. How can I possibly consider myself a TV commentator, you demand furiously, if I have not watched one of the most talked about series in the last five years? I quite agree. And so I decided to rectify the situation. By watching the entire series. In one day.
*pause for dramatic effect*
Did I enjoy it so much I could not bear to peel my gaze away, you ask, or was I simply so lazy I could not rise from my sofa for eight hours? I answer yes to both questions, with pride. I should probably confess I did not intend to partake in such hardcore viewing, but after the first episode I became trapped in the murder masterpiece: the quintessentially British small town which is permanently overcast, the joy at David Tennant FINALLY getting to act in his own Scottish accent, and Olivia Coleman being so sweet it almost hurts. The channel just wouldn’t change.
As the plot progressed each of the ensemble was allowed to shine, and thus become a suspect in the gritty murder inquiry. I was regularly reminded of ‘The Killing’ as the episodes passed- the shock-waves throughout the tight-knit community and the plot that defies prediction, set in a landscape of suspicion and grey. Unlike its Scandinavian cousin, Broadchurch allows humour to sneak in through the darkness, black though the comedy may be. When a shocked Coleman first greets Tennant with “you stole my job” while transfixed by the body before them, I sniggered in spite of the dead child on screen. This is either a damning insight into my psyche, or proof that the genre of crime can be comical.
The star investigators shine their way through each episode, but Jodie Whittaker is gut-wrenching and raw as the newly bereaved mother, and David Bradley( Lord Frey to you and me) is perfect as ever in his short but tragic turn as the victim of mob mentality.
I presumed the final revelation would be a punch straight to the heart, yet I only twigged the culprit in the penultimate installment, and even then I really didn’t want to be right. And I LOVE being right. The kleenex was insufficient.
Now I have absolved myself of this hideous omission in my TV education I am eager drink down season two in greedy gulps…what do you mean I have to wait a week?! Talk about criminal…