Image of David Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch

British Crime Drama ‘Broadchurch’ Should Be Your Next Binge-Watch

Looking for your latest binge-worthy series? This crime show will keep you glued to your seat as you uncover the mysteries of the town and its residents.
August 1, 2020
6 mins read

Never-ending valleys, mountains that are grander than you can imagine and a small community that almost feels like family. You might be wondering what I’m describing. Well, it’s your new favorite show: “Broadchurch.”

Starring the renowned David Tennant (best known for his role as Doctor Who) and Olivia Colman, “Broadchurch” is a British crime drama that is filled with tragedy, heartache and gut-wrenching scenes that will make you want to scream at your TV.

The first season in the series tells the story of Danny Latimer, an 11-year-old boy who is found dead on a beach in the town of Broadchurch, and it shows how the community grapples with the news of his death. “Broadchurch” is full of twists and turns as the people in the community try to seek justice by any means necessary.

If you like the pace of the BBC’s “Sherlock” and the drama of “Luther,” this is the show for you. Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why you should watch this award-winning series.

Everyone Is a Suspect

I don’t want to spoil the show for you by telling you who the murderer is, so all I will say is to expect the unexpected. Suspect everyone. Anyone in the quaint town could be Danny’s killer.

Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller are faced with an almost impossible task. In the small town of Broadchurch, people don’t just end up dead. Hardy, who just transferred from a larger police force, has no trouble suspecting anyone and everyone. Miller, on the other hand, finds it unbearable to question the people in her hometown. Who would even do this, and for what reason?

Suspecting everyone from the reverend to Danny’s father, Hardy and Miller knock on every door looking for answers. It gets to the point where the entire town suspects one man — Jack Marshall.

Jack was Danny’s mentor and taught him how to fish with other young boys in town. A local reporter exposes Jack for having a sexual relationship with a minor many years ago. Once the town finds out, they suspect Jack abused Danny and ultimately killed him because of his desire to be with Danny. They are so disgusted by Jack that local men show up to his house and threaten to kill him. Jack is so distraught by this that he decides to kill himself to avoid further harassment.

Before Jack’s death, the audience finds out he had pictures in his house of the young boys who he taught to fish, including Danny. He had pictures of them doing yard work and fishing without shirts on, which Jack burned to erase the evidence.

This is why I am obsessed with “Broadchurch.” The series gives you little nuggets along the way; many of them are not revealed to the entire town, but are a little secret just between the audience and the character.

It’s not until the end of the first season that the killer is revealed, and it’s who the town least expects — someone who has been close to the case the entire time and has tried everything in their power to shift the narrative away from them.

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Breathtaking Cinematography

You might be like me and often pay attention to the mechanics of a film, TV series or music video. Through the shot compositions, imagery, color grade and the locations the director chose, “Broadchurch” gives the viewer all they could want and more.

From the extreme wide shots of the British coast to the character close-ups that show every wrinkle and slight emotion, “Broadchurch” is a cinematic masterpiece.

The series has seven different directors, each telling the same story in their own unique way. James Strong is the principal director for most of the series and has worked with Tennant on many other productions. He understands him and can accurately portray how Hardy rises and falls as he deals with health scares and familial heartbreak.

Engaging Storylines and Characters

Now, don’t even get me started on the captivating storyline. I cannot get over how amazing the acting is, especially for a crime show. When you think of crime TV, you might think of shows like “Law & Order: SVU” and “NCIS”; they offer a resolution at the end of each episode where the bad guys get what they deserve. The acting is OK, but it’s not great.

Tennant and Colman bring real emotion to their characters. From Hardy not knowing if his heart was going to be able to take another difficult case, to Miller getting ridiculed by the entire town and going into isolation, both actors deliver extremely raw performances that kept me on my toes.

What’s so riveting about “Broadchurch” is that every episode bleeds into the next. You can never be satisfied with just one. You’ll feel compelled to binge it in one setting to allow everything to soak in.

Throughout the seasons, we learn more about Danny and his life, but we also find out about the town. We learn about people’s infidelities, people who have changed their names to hide from their past and people who have kept their sexual orientations in the shadows in fear of ridicule.

As they say in the series multiple times, “everything gets revealed.” What people thought would be hidden forever is revealed in court and throughout the case. We find out that not everyone is as good as people originally thought.

“Broadchurch” is a must-watch. Two out of three seasons are available on Netflix, so consider bingeing this thriller. You will not be disappointed.

Abigail Adeleke, University of Miami

Writer Profile

Abigail Adeleke

University of Miami
Journalism and Psychology

Abigail Adeleke is a Journalism and Psychology major at the University of Miami. The rising senior is the Student Government President, has a passion for photography, and is obsessed with the hit TV show “Psych.”

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