Let me spoil you

06/02/2014 § 4 Comments

Last night ITV drama Broadchurch won Best Drama at the Broadcast Awards. On the back of that story I read that the US is doing a remake, currently filming in Canada.
The series was critically acclaimed and widely popular and there will be a second season. If you haven’t seen it you might be tempted to binge watch and get up to speed. Hold that thought. Allow me to caution you with a spoiler filled summary of the crazy, wacky world that is Broadchurch.

Don't make me watch it! Don't make me watch it!

Don’t make me watch it! Don’t make me watch it!

A young boy is murdered and a new detective inspector comes to the sleepy seaside town of Broadchurch to find the killer. He’s a crotchety misanthrope with a bum ticker living under the shadow of past failures. It’s a part written for an overweight man in his sixties played by a skinny 42-year-old. His assistant is a workaholic who doesn’t spend enough time with her family who, whenever someone tells her she’s a workaholic and should spend more time with her family, takes time off and spends it with her family.

Let me just pause for a moment to say that the cast is magnificent. Brilliant performances all round. They are so good that you start watching and the promise that it will be good television is strong.
Maybe we mistake the promise as actual good television. Trust me it’s not. I suspect they blew the budget on actors and compromised on writers.

So who do we meet in the village?
The grieving mother takes a lot of screen time doing sad and not much else. Two characters are having the obligatory affair. A woman finds her long lost son who when told that she is his mum tells her to go away so she does. A nervous priest stays up late at night and we learn that his secret is a pretty good understanding of computers although he doesn’t get to demonstrate it. A man claims to be psychic and have important information but no one believes him which is fine because he isn’t and doesn’t. The townsfolk decide the shop man is a pedophile but he isn’t really.

Now, on to the major plot points.
Cocaine and a large some of money are found in the boy’s bedroom (I kid you not). Could this be much bigger than a simple murder? It’s not. He just happens to have cocaine and a huge some of money in his bedroom.
It is very important that the boy’s skateboard be found but one of the characters keeps it hidden in a cupboard for no reason. When she eventually hands it in, it offers no clues whatsoever.
Shop man says he saw the boy arguing with the postman. The postman denies it. Who is lying? We never find out because it has nothing to do with anything.
The newspaper journalists with the irrelevant romance do all the detective work and by the end of the series you will find the police have done absolutely nothing to solve the crime.
Eventually the murderer – who could totally have got away with it – calls the police and tells them where he is. They go to get him but he changes his mind and runs away. After a chase (no more than fifty metres worth) our detective inspector has a heart attack and is admitted to hospital. He discharges himself and everyone says he’s crazy but he is determined to crack the case. He doesn’t. The murderer calls again and they go to his house where he confesses and is arrested.

I am hoping season two does away with crime altogether and the characters just sit around eating chips. As for the US version, I expect it to be identical except for two differences. It will be twice as long and all female characters will be played by leggy blondes.

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