Phew! It’s been nearly a month since the second series of Broadchurch (ITV) delivered a perfectly passable final episode that just about managed to tie up the confusing plot strands thrown at us over the previous eight weeks. Unfortunately, this series did not captivate me like the first did…
Well for one thing, I thought the acting in the show as a whole was brilliant, particularly that of David Tennant and Olivia Colman, although that’s not to say the performances of the supporting cast were any less impressive; even though the writing meant that some characters lacked depth, all of the emotional scenes were well executed. And some of the final moments where, as a community, the residents of Broadchurch united to dish out their own brand of justice were reminders of the strengths of series one and left me feeling very satisfied with the overall ending of the show.
I really didn’t know what to make of this series and for this reason it’s taken me quite some time to gather my thoughts. What I do know is that I didn’t connect with it nearly as much as I did series one, and I just felt like there were several issues that really impacted my enjoyment as a viewer. First and foremost, Broadchurch continued its original story by following the trial of the killer (revealed last series, but I won’t spoil it here!) and presented us with the most unconvincing court proceedings in the history of television. It might seem petty, but the details can seriously make all the difference.
The main problem, which became abundantly clear, was that although the plot progressed the characters had nowhere new to go. Most of their secrets were already out in the open – to the audience anyway – and so many of their stories felt repetitive. Not only that, but the new characters introduced this series appeared to be blandly two-dimensional and the attempt to add interest via the Sandbrook storyline simply split up the narrative too much, making things unnecessarily complex and altogether unengaging.
It would have been far more satisfying for the audience to see a few more twists and turns back with the Broadchurch trial, the case we actually cared about, and its effect on the residents we had come to know. Instead, by the last episode literally eighty percent of what transpired was utterly predictable. Compare this to the final episode of last series when no-one knew what was going to happen and it’s not hard to see why people were disappointed. The widespread success of series one was largely based on the fact that it was more about a community’s response to a tragedy than about the crime itself. It was a terrific, fresh concept that we responded to in our millions.
I don’t feel like I can give Broadchurch Series Two any more than 1.5/5 stars. It was okay but it wasn’t a patch on series one. Personally I think the show has become a victim of its own success and as a result everybody has such high expectations that some parts inevitably fall flat. A third series has already been confirmed, but I’m still unsure whether I’ll watch it or not. At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.