Of late, it has been hard for me to watch as much British television as I might like. This is largely due to the fact that from the hours of roughly 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., I am being followed around by two little boys, for whom (let's face it) much of British television would be completely inappropriate. But every now and then I ignore work and housework and take my golden hours of freedom after 9 p.m. to watch some newish Brit TV. And the series I watched just lately is called Broadchurch.
Now, for a long time I resisted Broadchurch, even though it stars David Tennant (one of my favorite Brit stars). I enjoy crime dramas, but when going for recreational viewing I tend to head more for the comedies. But finally, I thought, it was time.
Broadchurch is set in a small community on the coast of England--uck*--in which an 11-year-old boy is found murdered--double uck**--and over the course of eight forty-five minute episodes, it transpires that everyone in the community (not just the killer) has a whole lot of secrets--triple uck. So even though the first episode was good, I thought, I'm not going to keep watching this. It's just too skin-crawling. But then, as almost always happens, I watched a second episode, and then I was sucked in.***
I can't say that this was one of my favorite series. But the acting was great (particularly by the two leads, Tennant and Olivia Colman) and there were a number of surprising twists and turns. I particularly liked the fact that often the secrets that were revealed were not the secrets that everyone in town thought they would be. If you're in the mood for a dark whodunit, this might be what you're looking for.
If you like Broadchurch: You might also enjoy Case Histories, another crime/mystery drama series set in Edinburgh, or Blackpool (if you can find it), set in another British coast town, centering around a crime, and also starring David Tennant (with a musical twist). Oh, and this series was remade in the US, as Gracepoint, but the trailer makes it look like a shot-by-shot remake.
*Everyone always thinks "small communities" are going to be fun and quirky, like the one in Northern Exposure. In my experience small communities are not so much quirky as they are nosey, gossipy, and stultifying, because the people in them know you and your family and have had time to form way too many opinions about you and your family.
**Since I have had the CRjrs it is very hard for me to watch any programs that include violence to kids.
***This is the sneaky thing about British TV: a lot of their series don't have as many episodes as do American programs, so after you watch one or two episodes, you start to think, oh well, there's only six (or eight, or ten), might as well polish them off.