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Broadchurch; Seasons 1 & 2
Topic Started: Aug 8 2013, 09:21 PM (2,936 Views)
Dax
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Getting a re-air tonight.

I've also decided to (while I have Netflix) run through the two seasons/six shows of Sherlock, because I know I missed out on that...

And I'll watch my dvds of Luther 1 & 2 before 3 airs on BBC-A on four nights in a row in early September...

Fox is fast-tracking an American remake of Broadchurch already... unlike so many of these others (Homeland, The Killing, The Bridge, House of Cards, Low Winter Sun), here's one where I could say I HAVE seen 'the original', first.
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Dax
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Sepinwall for KMI, A- review... >> "You don't understand," Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller insists as she stares at a murdered child on the beach of the sleepy town she calls home. "I know that boy!"

Miller is one of the two heroes of "Broadchurch," a British crime series making its BBC America debut tonight at 10 p.m. Played by Olivia Colman, she's a Broadchurch lifer. She knows everyone in town, and assumes she knows everything around them; it's not possible that any of her friends or neighbors could be a killer. And yet as her partner and boss, new transplant Alec Hardy (David Tennant) keeps reminding her, anyone can become a killer, and the sandy corpse of young Danny Latimer is proof of that.

It's a simple conflict, and "Broadchurch" for the most part is a simple series. Over the course of eight episodes, we follow the Latimer case from its terrible beginning to its complicated ending, as Hardy teaches Miller about all the secrets her friends and neighbors have been keeping. The writing by Chris Chibnall is lean and spare, and the directing (most of it by James Strong) takes advantage of the seaside vistas without calling attention to itself. Other than an interesting minor subplot about a phone company technician who claims to be a psychic, this is as straightforward a mystery series as you can imagine.

It's also about as devastating as you can imagine, precisely because of that simplicity.

Chibnall (who's written for "Doctor Who," "Torchwood" and "Law & Order: UK," among others) sets up an elegant conflict between the sweet, optimistic Miller and the damaged, misanthropic Hardy that transcends cliche because each of them feels like a specific person beyond their respective philosophies. Similarly, Danny's parents Beth (Jodie Whittaker) and Mark (Andrew Buchan) aren't just collateral damage, but complicated adults with problems that the tragedy either exacerbates or puts into perspective.

The case proceeds in a linear fashion, with one significant suspect at a time, but unlike "The Killing" (even in its much-improved third season), Chibnall doesn't expect either the cops or his audience to automatically believe this latest suspect must be the killer. People have many reasons for lying to the police, and Hardy and Miller seem to spend as much time trying to prove that someone couldn't have killed Danny as they do finding evidence that they did it.

The no-frills approach at times threatens to make "Broadchurch" seem generic in its early going. I watched the series after several of my colleagues, and when I told them I found it unremarkable after the first few hours, they told me, "Just wait. You'll see it." They were right. Chibnall, Strong and company are doing a very deliberate, gradual build to something here, and the plain approach makes the moments of discovery all the more painful.

"Broadchurch" is a police procedural, and an effective one, but what renders it special is the way it tracks the ways that physical and emotional violence haunts everyone in the town. Several of the citizens, it turns out, moved to Broadchurch to escape a dark past that the investigation unfortunately digs up. Beth Latimer is so consumed with grief that she reaches out to a mother who's been through a similar ordeal, hoping against hope that this woman will say the magic words that will make her pain go away.

The performances are excellent throughout, with the two cops and the two parents deserving every moment spent on them. Tennant has the flashier part, spitting his words out in a thick Scottish burr and seeming on the verge of collapse in every scene. Colman's role is trickier, and ultimately more powerful, because Miller is still naive and innocent when the case begins, and something very different when it ends and she's learned all there is to know about her hometown. Both of them, and Whittaker and Buchan — and David Bradley, known in the States as nasty Walder Frey on "Game of Thrones," and here plays an elderly news vendor — do work that I'd slot comfortably beside the top American performances of the moment.

One of the case's many suspects declares, "Death; once it's got its claws into you, it never lets go." This is a fact that slowly and painfully dawns on the people of Broadchurch, and this is a miniseries that will have you in its grip long after it's done.

---

NOTE: Same spoiler rule as usual applies to a foreign import: if it hasn't aired yet in America, it's a spoiler. So for those of you who've seen the whole series, don't give away whodunnit, how, why or anything else. I'll be doing another post when the series concludes in eight weeks so we can all discuss that together.

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-bbc-americas-broadchurch-a-simple-devastating-mystery#iJfjuoTVRsqHEjrl.99
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Dax
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Watched the first one. I like it. Sad. Very sad.

They're skipping a week between #s 4 & 5 on 9/4 (for Luther)... Kinda fun that it's on Wednesday nights, as is The Bridge (and Big Brother, continuing the alliteration..), and both of the mystery series will conclude on 10/2. EDIT - Good, doesn't look like they're skipping a week any more... 9/25 conclusion, then.

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Dax
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We have seen that set-up many, many times now. Execution still matters. This was good.

Going back to Twin Peaks... Sarah on the phone, the sounds she makes... the empty seat in the classroom (which The Killing later lifted, almost exactly)...
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Tennant's hair did seem lighter (not based on memory, but the bits in the recap at the beginning), but I don't know why that would be... our American shows, sure, the pilot is usually shot 4-6 months before #2, but I would doubt that was the case here...

I liked the 'Oh, look, it's Danny's skateboard' moment...


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Dax
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Very annoying if there have been edits for time (then schedule the show for 65-70 minutes then, whatever). I wouldn't think they would do that, though, since it's such an every-scene-matters kind of thing... I did notice a couple unnatural breaks-to-commercial (and one skipped instance where it looks like it WAS a break-to-commercial).

I am happy that I'll only be watching the original cuts, not PBS, of Downton Abbey, when I get around to it...
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Dax
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I always heard Downton was trimmed here, even from a couple can't-wait friends that would see the UK airings streamed somehow, and then watch again a few months later, and bitch about the scenes their American friends were missing... (Edit - Maybe that didn't continue so much in Seasons 2 & 3, but I do think one friend's complaints continued - maybe she was misremembering/making-things-up... the wikipedia entry only discusses the Season 1 'minimal editing' to turn the first series of seven into four 90 minute shows... similar to Top of the Lake's six parts becoming seven here...)

The dvds are always marked 'Original UK Edition', indicating there's something else (but not available on disc, no)...

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Dax
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Creepy lady's threat was 'I know men who would rape you.'

Good musical score, I agree. Funny dramatic cue when Walder Frey showed up at the Latimer house...

Yeah, perfect timing, that Beth 'I know' to Mark...
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Dax
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I expect we four all still are...

I watched last night's a little bit ago. Sad. Bradley's performance was terrific.

I liked the Mark/Beth fight about the infidelity a lot, and her going off on Becca was really good.

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Dax
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Were you spoiled on purpose or accidentally?...

Susan was super-creepy with Tom and does not appear to be a very kind-hearted person, but of course, when she's being taken for questioning, I felt for her not knowing where her dog was...
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Dax
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I don't.

(But KMI's 'have a bad feeling about Olly' is something I might second... not because he looks particularly suspicious, but because he DOESN'T, and you know, 'expect the unexpected'...)

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Dax
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Very sad. How tragic.

I'll be very interested to see what the story for Season 2 is.
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Dax
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Joe probably hid it very well. I wasn't bothered by her not having a clue.

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Dax
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I'm glad he wasn't covering for Tom...

I'm glad the responsibility wasn't ambiguous, where we're left wondering what happened, so I liked that there was a flashback (if we'd heard him tell the story, we might find him an unreliable narrator), but I agree the choking looked especially 'violent'... okay, still an 'accidental death' more than premeditated murder, but... yeah, this was dark. A trip and a fall for Danny might be 'easier' (to take), though, and... they sure weren't going for EASY, here...
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Dax
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I like that (as with The Killing this season) I hadn't really thought of the killer's identity UNTIL the final hour began, and then it was only ten minutes or so before the reveal... I love reading mystery novels, but after a bunch of them, I'm usually several steps ahead of the unveilings, but these here weren't obvious outcomes (but also not cheats to what we'd seen and known).

Forgot... what was it that screwed up Hardy's big case in the previous town? (They told us last week, or the week before...)

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Dax
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Oh, that's right, thanks...

(I'd forgotten about the stolen diesel, but yes, that's good... 'everything matters'...)
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Dax
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Hm. Like Mark Strong on Low Winter Sun. Or, you know, Simon Cowell...

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Dax
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I have some. The showrunners did excellent work on In Treatment, and the creator is going to write the first one, adapt himself, basically.

It's fine to debate the necessity of a recent series (that, some tough accents aside - and I had the hardest time WITH Tennant's, really - IS in English), but the winning reasoning is to bring it to a bigger audience and make more money off of it. We don't know, though, that this MEANS it will suck. American actors can do pain and mourning and look suspicious and we have pretty beaches, too.

I will be interested in seeing it. Curious. It would be wise if they had a different answer to whodunnit, both for the suspense of people watching both shows, and so it's not spoiled by assholes immediately.

But I'll probably be MORE interested in Season 2 of the UK show, because I want to know where they're going from the end of 1...
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'Gracepoint' casts Anna Gunn and Jacki Weaver... http://www.tvguide.com/News/Broadchurch-Fox-Gracepoint-Gunn-Weaver-1073522.aspx
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I'm interested. I hope the murderer's identity is changed (you know how people are assholes? Within three comments, somebody on hitfix's article had already posted a spoiler in regards to the Gunn casting...)
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Kevin Rankin (Breaking Bad) and Virginia Kull (The Following) are set to co-star in Fox‘s event series Gracepoint, a U.S. remake of UK’s Broadchurch. The project centers on Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant), the lead male investigator on the case of a shocking murder of 11-year-old Danny that puts a small town under scrutiny. Rankin will play Paul Coates, Gracepoint’s well-intentioned but inexperienced local minister who becomes the town’s defacto spokesperson in the wake of the tragedy. Kull will play Danny’s mother Beth. Anguished by her loss, Beth is hungry to discover the truth behind her son’s untimely death.
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Dax
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Haven't really seen anything... so far, every casting announcement has described the characters we know (except, hey, Tennant's name is different...).

I would guess that it will be pretty close... near-identical set-up, relationships...

50/50 odds they change the killer's identity. Wouldn't be surprised either way... they do, that's smart and appreciated by those that have already seen Broadchurch (surprise is good)... they don't, I get that, too, since that resolution IS such an important character moment for the female lead...
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Dax
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And Josh Hamilton - this guy - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0357979/ has been cast as Miller's husband. He's currently Hank on American Horror Story.
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http://www.thewrap.com/nick-nolte-gracepoint-fox
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Dax
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Yeah, I take Nolte as a reworking of David Bradley's guy.

>> He runs the kayak rental on the beach as well as the local wildlife observation program, where the murdered boy at the center of the plot was one of his volunteers.

Instead of a news vendor and paperboys...
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Dax
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Gracepoint to be ten episodes. It will have a different ending. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/01/13/broadchurch-remake/
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Our eventual Gracepoint thread (shouldn't go up 'til we have, like, a premiere date...) will have to be Broadchurch-spoiler-free, but this topic is all totally spoilery...

I wonder how weird it'll be for Tennant... deja vu... it's similar to, but not quite like how a stage actor will leave a company and join another production of the same show... and it's the same, but not, because scripts will be interpreted differently by different casts... but this ISN'T the same show... except sorta...
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Dax
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I haven't seen a lot of Graham Norton, but what I've seen was fun. I do like when the first-guest-sticks-around... most of Johnny Carson's run was like that... Jay USED to, didn't he?... but it's mostly gone away, and I like the idea of going back to it more... Sure, most guests just wanna promote their stuff and not compete/share-the-spotlight with, say, Steve Martin. You always WOULD feel for anybody sitting with Robin Williams...

But it's fun and loose and contributes to a lot of memorable moments.
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The Fall is available here on Netflix (premiered here via them, but for some probably contractual reason, it isn't considered or labeled as a 'Netflix Original Series' as the others have been... kinda weird). First season was just five episodes. Gillian Anderson, cop. Jamie Dornan (hot now because he's in the 50 Shades of Grey film), serial killer. Very disturbing, because you spend a lot of time in the killer's POV, and he's one of those 'nice family guys by day'...
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http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/02/21/david-tennant-gracepoint-interview/

"There is no precedent for this." Well, it's RARE, sure, but as a few pointed out in the comments, Mark Strong did two versions of Low Winter Sun.

Not the same character, but I love that Anil Kapoor was a foreign President on 24, and then played the lead role (the 'Jack Bauer') on India's 2013 adaptation of it...

In film, we have Penelope Cruz doing Abre Los Ojos and Vanilla Sky, its American remake... several directors have remade their own film - George Sluizer, The Vanishing; Michael Haneke, Funny Games; Alfred Hitchcock, The Man Who Knew Too Much...
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