We watched the second season of Broadchurch this past week (to be honest, we watched the entire season in one night — I don’t necessarily recommend this, but it really does draw you in).
The show, on Netflix, needs to be watched in order. The first two seasons (season three has been okayed and is at some point in the production process) are like an episode of Law and Order. The first season is primarily centered on the investigation of the murder of a young boy. Season two is focused on the ensuing trial.
Otherwise, the premise for the show is a female police detective, DS Ellie Miller (played by Olivia Colman) passed over for promotion in favour of an outsider, a fairly stereotypical tortured male cop (David Tennant). The small town setting adds to the drama — suspicion casts a wide net and Miller, as a local inhabitant, is involved personally (the dead child being her son’s best friend).
There is nothing particularly groundbreaking in the storyline or premise, but the show is very well executed. It is compelling and interesting. The characters exceed expectations (Colman and Tennant, in particular, are excellent). Despite how long the investigation, for example, takes, the show never gets bogged down. It is interesting that some cop shows can feel slow (and too long) in a 45 minute episode, but Broadchurch manages to convey urgency and interest over a much longer arc. (It is similar, although even more extended, to Midsomer Murders where individual episodes are around 90 minutes and yet seem to fly by.)
So. Highly recommended. Go. Watch it.