13 January 2015

TV: Broadchurch 2.2


Apologies if this isn't as well written as usual (!). I did have a nice, seven-paragraph review all typed out. I clicked 'update' at the top of the page, and Blogger somehow managed to lose it between there and the final post. So here we go again.

Broadchurch is a programme build entirely around its characters. Its on the strength on Chris Chibnall's pawns that this shows hinges, and one of the things that has made it so successful. There are no external forces in this show. Everyone you need to know, you know - even if only as a shadowy figure. Speaking of which, is no-one else wondering what's happened to Pauline Quirke's character?

Making them such an integral part of the show allows the writer to hinge each episode around two or three plot-advancing events or revelations. Broadchurch thrives on these revelations, they're it's bread and butter - the entire first series was constructed around a series of red herrings that at the time were utter shocks. So it's in this way that it can afford to have a 'quiet' week. Having said that, a quiet week in Broadchurch entails a murderer's confession being discounted, a potential kidnapping and a woman going into labour. It's hardly Father Brown. And yet this feels like a much calmer, less frenetic forty-five minutes than last week's barnstorming opener.

David Tennant's Alec Hardy world seems to increasingly be passing into sitcom territory with each passing week. I don't mean that his situation is amusing (quite the opposite) but I realised while watching the third episode of the 2015 series of Benidorm that in this genre of programme everything goes wrong. And that's exactly the circumstances he finds himself in with each episode. His world is crumbling apart. I just hope we don't get some kind of 'it was all a dream'-type ending at the end of Series 3, which is reportedly where Chibnall wants to leave things. I'm sure it won't come to anything like that though.

I've kind of forgotten all the points I had to make about this episode, but I'll just finish with three quickies.

Chibnall's cleverest move in only introducing Claire two episodes ago is that the viewer has no real reason to trust her beyond Eve Myles' superb acting. Although Hardy has known for however many years, we've only just met her. Could she and Lee be in this together after all? It'll be interesting to see what footage - if any - Hardy has gleamed from this.

Miller can't do right for wrong by Beth, can she? Although it occurs to me she's probably just taking out her stress on her. While she obviously has a right to be angry at Miller for indirectly leading to Joe's confession being thrown out, last week she was having a go at her for not doing anything and apparently burying the truth. I almost mentioned in my last review that her waters would undoubtedly break at some crucial turning point in the series, but I decided to hold off a few weeks. I didn't think it would've happened already!

James Strong and John Conroy manage to uphold the programme's reputation for being the best looking thing on the box - especially with such a sumptuous cast! This really is an indulgence of quality and a programme I just sit and watch, becoming utterly absorbed in for an hour (aside from all the sodding ad breaks!). Another excellent episode, and it's a statement of the scope of Chibnall's vision that the fact that the re-examination of Danny's body brought nothing new to light is treated so matter of factly. It's probably the single most horrific incident yet, but it's just another day for Broadchurch.

Oh, and isn't Olafur Arnalds great?!



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