Broadchurch Series 2: Yes, It’s Still Worth Watching

It’s not Series 1, but Broadchurch’s Series 2 is not a waste of time

Broadchurch-S2-Cast-1

Yesterday a friend asked me what I thought of the second series of ITV’s hit show, Broadchurch. The question is not out of the blue. I think she probably wants to know if it’s worth watching.

A lot of shows struggle to keep their audience in their sophomore seasons and Broadchurch in particular have been getting some criticism in the UK (I don’t know what these criticisms are – I tend to stay away from any reviews regarding the show for fear of getting spoilers – but apparently critics in the UK have had strong complaints that even one of the cast members spoke out against them.) It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for anyone who watched the first series to get disillusioned by the sequel, so I gave my friend’s question a serious consideration. Whatever her real reason was for asking, though, the opinion I gave her yesterday still stands today. That is, while I understand the concern people might have over Broadchurch in its second series, I say that it’s worth watching.

Mind you, I’m not keen on passing judgment before the second series is over but, yes, I do think that so far Series 2 has been very different from the first series.

The first series was intense: the murder mystery was thrilling with its tight plot and a cast of suspects with their own arcs, and the emotional drama was absolutely gut-wrenching. The entire show had an amazing structure that gripped you for eight whole episodes. The second series, however, is very all over the place. Each episode is well made but to say that they are gripping? That would be an exaggeration. They introduced Alec Hardy’s Sandbrook case here, but there’s barely a connective thread between that to the courtroom drama involving the Broadchurch murder. It’s not that the legal aspect of the story isn’t interesting – I’m highly curious about whether Joe Miller, like Annalise Keating, can get away with murder – but, admittedly, it just doesn’t pack the same punch as the first series’ story.

Furthermore, some of the characters I sympathized with in S1 have become so annoying (Beth, mostly) that I wish that they could just drown in the sea. Ellie and Hardy are still compelling as characters, and I still care a lot about them (and someone better give Olivia Colman every award there is on the planet for being such a marvelous actress), but I could do without the likes of Olly and the priest and those lawyers (or barristers, I should say). Well, I suppose some of them are tolerable but, really, in the end all I really want is for someone to slap Beth and tell her to get over herself.

(Also, I’m sick of the portrayal of unscrupulous journalists by English television in ever But this is a whole different discussion, which I’d rather not get into right now.)

So  Broadchurch has changed a lot… but it’s not that it’s worse than before. It’s just that it’s different. As a series that doesn’t rely on sex, gun fights, forensic science and other ridiculous Hollywood tropes to build its story, Broadchurch still works and is still above par compared to many other filth we see on TV.  Beth may annoy me to death but at least her character has changed and developed somewhat. Claire Ripley and Lee Ashworth might creep the hell out of me but they’re great foils to Ellie and Alec. And Ellie and Alec, again, are still two of my favorite characters in any shows in the world because now we’re delving deeper into their souls. At its core, Broadchurch is still a story about people, about human beings and their flaws, and how they deal with impossibly stressful situations. For that reason, I still love it. I can’t get enough of it. I want to know more about it.

Critics are going to critique, haters are going to hate, and all that crap. I, for one, am going to enjoy it while it lasts. (And so will my mom, actually. She’s become a major Broadchurch fan since I introduced her to it. Now she can’t wait to watch new episodes…) Whatever happens, no matter what the ratings are, Broadchurch still has an audience in the two of us.

8 thoughts on “Broadchurch Series 2: Yes, It’s Still Worth Watching

  1. 😀 so glad you wrote this post.

    I saw the first episode of S2, and was conflicted. A part of me wanted to know how the continuation unfolds, but on the other side I was asking myself whether I should just leave it at S1, cos it just felt so.. different.

    But yeah.. I guess I’ll give S2 a go. For the sake of Alec Hardy😛

    Whatever happens, no matter what the ratings are, Broadchurch still has an audience in the two of us.

    Make that three, including me😉

  2. fully agree with you🙂 just watched the last ep and still agree, the lawyers and Beth are thoroughly annoying but Alec and Ellie are as riveting as ever and i really enjoyed the last ep🙂 we’ll keep watching!

  3. I really like your thoughts on the show! You pointed out an important aspect of Broadchurch – it’s a show about normal people who struggle against their problems. It is not about love, schemes or unbelievable events. It’s utterly realistic and that’s why it appeals to a large audience.

    While writing my own article on Broadchurch I was really surprised by the negative voices that I found. I agree with some objections like the avarage quality of the subplots. I found, for example, the priest’s thread completely irrelevant. But I treat subplots as something extra. Honestly, I haven’t seen any show that would involve only great and gripping subplots. There’s always at least one boring thread😉

    • Thanks for leaving your comment. I’m always glad to see that there are people, viewers of any TV series or movies, who are open minded enough to give something a go despite what the majority of opinions say!

      I totally agree with everything you say about subplots. It’s not the main plot; that’s why it’s called a subplot. They can either enrich or distract. Not everything is ALWAYS going to work in favor of the main plot, obviously, but sometimes it’s just one boring/mediocre/irrelevant thing amid SO MANY good stuff. There were a few things about Broadchurch S2 that annoyed me, too – mostly stuff with the lawyers – but I enjoyed the whole series so much I couldn’t complain much.

      Here’s to viewers who live for the ‘extras’!😉

  4. Yeah I couldn’t agree more! Your digression about subplots it’s perfect😀

    You know, I was totally surprised and amazed by the fact that Chris Chibnall did something different in the second season. He introduced two main issues – a criminal case and a trial. I hadn’t expected this trial thing at all. And I was so involved in it! I was completely absorbed by the lawsuit, by the emotions of our characters. I still remember anger and sorrow they expressed during the proceeding. The cast did a great job!

    I have no idea what will happen in series 3 but I’m convinced it’s going to be remarkable as well! What a pitty that we have to wait till 2017…

    • That’s just it, right? For me personally, Broadchurch 2 worked exactly because of the trial element. It became a different creature entirely from the first series because it’s now a courtdroom drama, instead of a murder investigation. I thought it was brilliant strategy. Because if you already know who the murderer was, then what? Are you going to find another murder case to investigate and repeat the same old thing?

      (Which, they actually did. And it was brilliant because they went back to DI Hardy’s previous case before Broadchurch! Chibnall is a genius. It answered all of our questions, satisfied our curiosities about THAT case, and gave us a new mystery to try and guess who did it!)

      But oh yes, the emotions during the trial. That was just as intense as the emotions that came out of the characters during the investigation in the first series, if not more. The sinking feeling we feel along with the Latimers over Joe Miller’s ‘escape’ from justice… that was powerful stuff.

      I keep saying, series 3 would be exciting if it were Joe Miller that got killed and Ellie and Alec had to investigate it. I wish we could get Broadchurch every year, but the wait should be worth it!

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