Last Night’s TV: Broadchurch

ITV, 9pm

It’s fair to say Broadchurch has been getting somewhat of a kicking in the media lately. Despite both the public and the press lauding over the first series, this time around the viewing figures are rapidly declining and the critics are sharpening their knives.

One of the harshest critiques comes from Vicky Frost in The Guardian in her excellent ‘Broadchurch Recap‘ series, posted after each episode. This week’s article echoes several of my own views about the show, many of which are repeated in the comments. Rather than posting my own review, here’s a transcript of my contribution to the debate:

“I grew up in Bridport so feel almost obliged to stick with Broadchurch, but unfortunately it’s been laughable at times this series.

There’s a chance people may be remembering the first series with rose-tinted glasses though. Some of the acting and accents were awful back then, coupled with huge plot holes and far-fetched storyline tangents. But as a viewer you were so gripped with the intense central mystery that you didn’t mind.

Now the crux of the piece is taken away, the poorer aspects are laid bare. Suddenly the countryside looks dayglow instead of beautiful, sub-plots come and go with little if any impact on the narrative, and the whole piece feels devoid of the emotion and community togetherness that the first series thrived on.

There isn’t a twist that would genuinely shock now, so farcical have some of the narrative threads become. Sandbrook is a dead-weight, and the court room scenes hilarious at times.

It’s such a shame that what could have been an incredible standalone series has been tarnished by this second attempt. You can only hope it redeems itself slightly towards the end.”

And I genuinely mean that. The first series was so wonderful, both in terms of entertainment and the way my hometown was portrayed, that I’d hate for people’s views on the series to be tainted by a poor rehash. With four episodes to go there’s still a glimmer of hope that it could turn out sunny, at least for the viewers if not for the residents of Broadchurch themselves.