Going to (Broad)Church: British Drama a Religious Experience

Broadchurch Season 2

Being a TV Show Junky compels me to find a series that rivals that of BBC America’s Broadchurch for its beautiful poetry of plot execution, realism and emotion as well as its ethereal, cinematic charm.

My work is cut out for me.

There is nary a show on air anywhere that can match it, that I’ve seen anyway.

Broadchurch Season 2, which Netflix streamed this fall, picks up where its predecessor left off: The trial of Joe Miller, accused and the confessor of Daniel Latimer’s murder. The entire town of Broadchurch is devastated, but no more than Mark and Beth Latimer, their daughter Chloe or Officer Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), who was demoted from detective sergeant after beating up husband Joe following his confession.

Miller and DI Alec Hardy (David Tenant) return to endure the heart wrenching trial while they partner on the case that brought Hardy to Broadchurch in the first place, and that nearly costs him his life. As all the drama unfolds, viewers lose themselves in the emotions of all the players, a journey made possible not only by creator Chris Chibnall’s (Doctor Who, Law & Order UK) story but even more so by John Conroy’s luscious cinematography that captures the essence of what each character is thinking, struggling with. The editing, a far under-appreciated aspect of any production by the common audience member, is also superb.

While some have opined that Joe’s verdict was disappointing to say the least, if I have a beef it’s that the series seemingly wrapped up all necessary questions, and the word that Season 3 plans are underway concerns me as a selfish play. So far, more has proved to be better for Broadchurch, so Chibnall must avoid the pitfalls of certain series, say, Nic Pizzolato’s True Detective, and go to the well one too many times.

But after going two-fer, Chibnall is awarded a pass and I along with millions of others will be front-row center for the last episodes.

Tenant’s Hardy provides a glimpse at what Season 3 might be as he takes a dramatic pause before getting into a cab to leave Broadchurch. Colman has already dispersed rumors that the Series will explore a romance between Miller and Hardy, which gives me hope that the final act in this trilogy will continue to re-invent the hour-long crime drama.

There is nothing procedural about Broadchurch or a host of other recent TV shows, especially that have originated from the UK. The successful formula has given rise, of course, to similar entries in the U.S., namely American Crime and How to Get Away With Murder. Series like Broadchurch have moved the bar in a positive direction, and is Exhibit A why feature films have suffered as a result.

About Ryan Gray

An award-winning, professionally and academically trained journalist. I'm a reporter and editor of news, business, sports, and entertainment and manager of the entire production process for print, online and multimedia/interactive for my company. I drive our brands and those of our clients via storytelling and audience engagement. I also direct curriculum development for related conferences and provide quality assurance on all projects and facilitate teamwork throughout the company and convert traffic and readership into dollars. In my spare time I enjoy music, playing with my daughter, blogging and consuming great TV shows and films. Specialties: News/feature reporting, editorial direction, editorial production management, video direction, multimedia, blogging, content marketing strategy, social media, editing/proofreading, page layout, HTML, public relations, photography/videography

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