Earlier this year, I began dating a lady of exquisite intelligence and beauty. Not only is she one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, but she has an eclectic range of interests and activities. She’s also addicted to NPR – and mentioned that she had listened to an article about this show called “Broadchurch” that was about to premier on BBC America. Now, we all know the summer TV schedule is a combination of mindless wack ass dating reality shows and a Arizona vs KC Royals baseball game but luckily, Wednesdays are pretty free and clear, so we gave it a spin.
WOW….The show is wickedly amazing. Set in a small beach side community named “Broadchurch” – the show follows Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant, the most recent former “Dr. Who,”) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) as they investigate the gruesome murder of 11 year old Danny Latimer.
Law and Order this is not (and I loved Law and Order)! The format (a procedural over mulitple episodes), the writing (British to the core with Mr Bean type wit) and the acting (Nas on an “Illmatic”-esque) set this show apart. The serve & volley (pardon i’ve been watching a ton of US Open Tennis) between Tennant and Colman’s characters is brilliant; the relationship between Beth and Mark Latimer is so layered you’ll lose yourself trying to figure it out; and the supporting actors – aren’t just there for filler – they add a sinister element to the plot – at once reminding you that not everything is as it seems in this sleepy community.
This British import, like so many before it, has turned into one of the hits of the summer. So much so that stories on a few blogs are popping up about a possible Season 2 and a full American re-boot on FOX (please don’t mess it up – not everything is American Idol). To wit, one fan has already remarked that this is “more evidence of the death of creativity in American Entertainment companies. Justify this anyway you want, the copy will be a pale comparison to the original. Why not just save money and air the original on Fox instead?”
BroadChurch could represent an obtuse change in crime dramas. Instead of having things neatly tied up within an hour, stories could be solved over the course of a season (or half-season). The audience could grow to know the characters, their motivations, their habits, nuances – good and bad. Even the look and feel of the show – making the setting as much a part of the plot as the actors – could allow more creative freedom. Hell, even the sound track to show is wickedly dope: For Now I Am Winter (ft. Arnór Dan).
My advice is..dig into the show now (do not cheat and look at Wikpedia) and enjoy it, especially before it becomes “dummed down” for an American audience. Juuuuuu Heard!!!