By now, you’ve had to have heard about the BBC show “Broadchurch,” which just aired it’s season 1 finale in the US last week. Not only have critics raved about it (it has a stellar 91 on Metacritic), but even public figures have tweeted about it, like John McCain!
It’s no surprise that over the summer after “Broadchurch” had aired in the UK, before the first episode even premiered here in America, Fox immediately announced its plans to make its own version of “Broadchurch.” However, I (and many others who love the show) don’t really know if this is necessary… the original season literally just aired! AND we’ve already had a similar story with “The Killing” on AMC (R.I.P. again). Can Fox maybe chill out a bit? Let those who are a little delayed get into it first, maybe?
If you haven’t watched the show, you should. Add it to your list of shows you need to catch up on, but move it to the top! Even if the Fox version turns out to be great, you want to see the original “Broadchurch” first. Season 1 is only 8 episodes, and you can seriously watch them all on one rainy (or sunny) Sunday. Each hour is so exquisitely crafted – from the performances to the cinematography to the music and art direction – I did not want it to end. By the end of the first gripping episode, you already feel like you are one of the residents of the Broadchurch community. It’s one of those shows that grabs you and holds on to you so tightly that you’ll realize it’s 2AM and you should get to bed and save the next episode for tomorrow.
I won’t give anything away in the story – and no one should! This is a show where really no details, big or small, should be mentioned to those who haven’t watched! But the basic premise is that a boy has gone missing – and we discover in the first episode, through the eyes of detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller, that he has tragically died. Whether that death was a suicide or a homicide is a question that’s brought up constantly, and everyone in town is a suspect. There’s a particularly beautiful shot of plumber Mark Latimer walking through the main street of town saying hello to everyone that’s quite memorable; not only is it a great shot that’s well choreographed, but it’s foreshadowing. The people that Mark thought he knew will turn out to be entirely different people.
This show has some of the best actors out there. Of course there’s David Tennant of “Doctor Who” and “Fright Night” (the remake) fame as Detective Hardy, who’s come to Broadchurch with his own demons to solve this puzzle, but there are other less famous performers who are amazing: Olivia Colman steals the show as Ellie, Jodie Whittaker captivates as Mark’s distraught wife Beth Latimer, Carolyn Pickles is fun and feisty as newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe, Pauline Quirke is extremely suspicious and brings on the scares as Susan Wright (I loved the showdowns between Maggie and Susan), and last but not least, David Bradley is heartbreaking as Jack Marshall the store owner. The lives of these people, and others, are turned upside down by the tragedy that strikes Broadchurch, and I could rarely ever tell what was going to happen to them next. Later on in the season, I did predict something that happens in the finale, but in no way is it obvious or cliche.
Another great thing about “Broadchurch” that other shows lack is a great marriage of cinematography and music. Whenever there is a heavy moment, the producers made the perfect decision to show it in slow motion, accompanied with music that gave me chills at times. Sometimes slow-mo is cheesy, but not here. It adds more to already solid sequences.
Between this and “Orphan Black,” BBC America has caught my attention! Our very own Tom Ciuba loves “Broadchurch” too, claiming the season 1 finale was better than the “Six Feet Under” series finale, which, until recently, was his all time favorite (that one holds a special place in my heart, too!) American TV (especially broadcast networks) needs to step it up – and that doesn’t necessarily mean remaking shows.
AND, THIS JUST IN: Our very own Nicole Walker just posted this very interesting news article from “Entertainment Weekly.” David Tennant will play the same role in the American version on Fox! http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/10/02/broadchurch-david-tennant-fox-remake/