52 Authors: Week 43 - Madison Jones
Chris Rea: You Must Be Evil

Broadchurch 2

We (my wife and I) finished watching the second series of Broadchurch a couple of weeks ago. I liked it almost as much as the first one. The plot was more diffuse, taking up where the first series left off, with the trial of the murderer arrested in that case, and also re-activating the unrelated and unsolved case which seemed to torment Detective Inspector Hardy in the first series. Arguably the two pieces aren't really fitted to each other that well, but they're both strong stories, so I didn't mind.
The acting is mostly superb. I have to mention especially Olivia Colman as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, one of the two main characters (the other being David Tennant as Hardy). This is one of those portrayals that cause me to lose completely any sense that I'm watching someone playing a part. 
(I haven't decided whether this is a pattern or not, but it seems to me that a lot of these British TV shows deal more interestingly and effectively with their female characters than American shows do. Now and then I get a glimpse of an American cop show, and the policewomen and other female characters very often make it impossible for me to see them as anything other than beautiful and vain actresses. None of the women in Broadchurch is presented that way. Though several of them are quite attractive, they don't have that look-at-me-I'm-so-beautiful air. And Ellie is rather plain. That's part of what makes her so real-seeming and effective--Olivia Colman is willing to look downright ugly when her character is dealing with terrible pain, and she makes you feel it.)
And then there's the place, and the photography, and the music. I can't imagine how they make those seacoast scenes look as rich as they do--very soft but at the same time very clear and vivid. I can only hope no one sold his soul for the gift. 
I didn't find the lesbian subplot to be distracting, but it is superfluous. Except for the one scene in the last episode, the relationship could just as well have been a friendship. And, as has often been pointed out, that's an insidious thing about the current obsession with homosexual relationships: now any close friendship between two people of the same sex is at least suspected and often presumed to be a sexual relationship.
We discussed Broadchurch and the thrown-in lesbianism in the comments on #29 of the 52 Authors, Josephine Tey. It was brought to light there that the BBC actually has an official policy--part of its "diversity" code--of presenting homosexual relationships often and positively. It's becoming a cliche. My wife and I watched a good many episodes of the mostly excellent series Call the Midwife, up until the point where it became obvious that they were about to announce that one of the midwives was a lesbian. We gave it up in exasperation, not wanting to sit through another round of the Struggle Against Homophobia. Currently we're watching Home Fires, a drama about the lives of women in the early days (and presumably on) of Word War II. The preview of one episode showed the unmarried schoolteacher having an unexpected female visitor. "Well, here it comes," I said. And sure enough.... The lover came and apparently went in that episode, so maybe, as with Broadchurch, the lecturing is not going to get in the way. I would think homosexuals might find this diversity checkoff patronizing. 
SPOILERS ALLOWED in the comments.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I always think that if I lived next to a body of water like that that I could never be miserable, but, of course, I'm probably wrong.


Yes, you are. :-) But it does have restorative properties.

Speaking of Broadchurch, and the previous discussion: I disagree with Grumpy about the effect of Charlotte Rampling's presence. Or rather it didn't have the effect on me--I can see how it would on someone who had the image of her younger sexy self firmly fixed in mind. But I don't, so I just see her as "handsome older woman." I thought she did a great job btw.

That's right. I forgot you have experience of misery in the presence of a large body of water.


I thought that BC1 had a definite subtext of faith, whereas BC2 did not.

I think it's rather interesting that Broadchurch and Gracepoint both have those churchy-sounding names, and then the French version is Malaterra.


It's been quite a while now since I watched series 2, but I remember that I found the courtroom scenes unbelievable. And there were too many subplots. But because the acting was first-rate, I stayed with it all the way through.

Valid criticisms. It's definitely a somewhat jury-rigged (ha) plot, but those things really didn't affect my enjoyment of it.

And it's true that there wasn't as much of faith in it, but it did have Paul intervening to bring some reasonable degree of both mercy and justice out of it at the end. I didn't find that entirely convincing, but appreciated the effort, so to speak.

I see Gracepoint is on Netflix now, which I don't think it was last time I looked. Guess I'll give it a try. I know y'all said it wasn't as good.

It was to soon after seeing Broadchurch to adjust to the familiar characters saying the same stuff and looking so different, along with characters that had changed a lot. And the acting wasn't as good.


They have the Booker prize to a gay Carribean author. Its beyond parody.

To anyone who knows her work, which includes the director, the writers and the other actors, 'Rampling' means slightly perverse sex in thevsame way that Wayne means Western and Clinton means Dirty Harry

I watched both series based on Mac discussing them here and thought they were both excellent. I liked series 2 more than series 1 and maybe that was just my state of mind while watching? Who knows. I did think Charlotte Rampling was very good, along with Tennant and Colman especially. All of the subplots they threw in are probably there to ease the writers ability to continue the show!

With hindsight, I did enjoy Broadchurch2 a great deal.

I liked 1 a good bit better than 2, although the latter was still quite good. I thought 1 was almost flawless.

Just finished watching the first seasons of 'The Bridge' (Danish/Swedish) and 'Rectify,' which is a Sundance Channel series. 'The Bridge' is very good, if not quite up there with 'The Killing.' What makes it stand out is the winning performances of the two leads, the female of which plays a cop with something like Asperger's syndrome. Both she and her male counterpart are excellent.

'Rectify' so far is outstanding -- there are only 6 episodes in the first season. They were all very good, but the closer is a stunner.

"All of the subplots they threw in are probably there to ease the writers ability to continue the show!"

Yes, I wondered about that. And I think they could easily go off the rails if they keep trying to extend this basic story.

Haven't seen The Bridge. But have seen the first two seasons of Rectify...I think only the first two...and am not keen on it. It's very good, very well done. But there's something off-putting about it to me. Haven't really tried to articulate it, but it may be in part just the exhaustion of watching all that misery.

For those who haven't seen it or read about it, Rectify is about a guy freed from death row after 19 years on the basis of DNA evidence (or rather lack thereof, I guess). It's about what's happened to him, to his family, to the small Georgia town where it all takes place, as a result first of the murder and then of his release. And of course the effect on him of 19 years in prison. Also it's not 100% clear that he didn't actually commit the murder. I would kind of half-recommend it--as I said, it's very well done, but I'm not sure I'll watch any more.

Thanks for the recommendations

"there's something off-putting about it to me. Haven't really tried to articulate it, but it may be in part just the exhaustion of watching all that misery."

I haven't seen the second season yet but I can understand that. To me though, there's just something very compelling about the main character. He's like Michael Shannon's characters in 'Shotgun Stories' and 'Take Shelter' -- hard to take your eyes off him.

I think Grumpy watched the Danish 'Killing.' It's ridiculously good. The American remake is okay, but not great.

I've bought the first episode of Season 1 on Amazon instant. I think I've seen trailers for this one.

Last time I looked the Danish Killing was still not on Netflix. I should check again.

A friend in England found me a sale-priced box set of all 3 seasons on DVD not long ago, but when I originally watched season 1 I got it through the library.

I just finished watching season 2 of The Bridge. Good acting, but I think the Asperger’s thing is not quite right. I couldn’t figure out, for instance, how the young man in love with her could be. She’s so robotic and practically un-housebroken; and does she ever bathe? I also wondered about her zooming about in her speedy little car; she hardly seems aware enough of her surroundings to be able to do that.

"the Asperger’s thing is not quite right."

In something I read about the series the creators said that they never specifically state exactly what her diagnosis is, in order not to pigeonhole her. It's Asperger's-like, but not exactly Asperger's. More like some high-functioning sort of autism.

"I couldn’t figure out, for instance, how the young man in love with her could be."

That's very simple, actually. If he's the type of male that's a "rescuer" he could very easily fall for a woman who's attractive and intelligent, but with major issues.

As for her driving you do get the impression the couple times you're in the car with her that it's a bit of a white-knuckle ride. She's with it enough to avoid accidents, but that's about as far as it goes. She's the opposite of a scatterbrain -- I think she'd approach driving in the same tunnel-vision manner in which she approaches everything else. A friend's son has Asperger's -- he's 17, and remarkably proficient at certain things (drawing, writing, computer stuff) but still has problems tying his shoes, for instance, and his handwriting looks like a third grader's. It's a very strange illness.

I've got season 2 on order and am waiting for it to arrive.

Maclin, what did you watch this on? DVD?

I bought all three seasons of The Killing (in Danish) and watched every night for 40 nights. I was transfixed!

Louise, are you referring to Broadchurch 2? Yes, that was on dvd...I think...pretty sure...

Yes, I meant BC2. Did you hire it or purchase? I'd like to see it, but not sure how best to go about it.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)