15th Mar2015

‘Broadchurch: Series Two’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

broadchurch-series-two

The return of Broadchurch raised one question, just where would they go with the story now? The answer is one that raises a few questions, such as did it really work? In taking the focus to court and also bringing in a past case a lot of good work from the first series was unravelled, but we also got to look deeper into David Tennant’s Alec Hardy character. Is it a case of taking on too much, or more importantly… did we need to look into the past to keep the Broadchurch story going?

When the murderer is taken to court and pleads not guilty once again the community of Broadchurch feels the trauma of past wounds being ripped open.  Outside the court room Claire Ripley (Eve Myles) a face from Alec’s (David Tennant) appears looking for him needing his help.  With the past that still haunts him taking over his life he soon asks for Miller’s (Olivia Colman) help to finally solve the case once and for all.

I liked the first series of Broadchurch a lot, the characters were weird enough and had enough quirky secrets to keep the audience gripped and the ending was one that was genuinely well-played out.  To take the second series into the court and rip apart every piece of evidence against the killer and in the process rip apart the story too, I can’t help but feel annoyed.  The problem is with the only new characters for this part of the story being lawyers a lot of the success of this storyline relied on the court case making sense, the problem is it didn’t.  The fact that the lawyers were also stereotypically like ravenous dogs fighting for a win also didn’t help becoming attached to this storyline either.

I’m not an expert on how murder trials, so I can’t really comment on just what Broadchurch got right or wrong, but the amount of conjecture on display that was used to further the story was annoying.  To keep these scenes interesting you have to catch the audience’s attention and make it at least feel believable.  The most important thing is evidence, not opinions or guess-work, but Broadchurch feels like it takes no notice of this.  To keep the story sensational and exciting evidence is removed, the need for proof is forgotten and a lack of humanity seems to be the order of the day.  This left the courtroom scenes feeling just a little desperate to get a reaction, which isn’t really what makes a strong story.  I will admit though that the conclusion to this did strangely feel satisfactory, even if a little unbelievable.

Moving away from that side of the story we then had the past case and a reason to keep David Tennant’s character around (but for the court case of course).  Eve Myles is a good actor and does well as Claire Ripley, but unlike the strong story from the first series of Broadchurch, her story is flawed because of the lack of real surprise with where her story would go.  A character like her being oh so innocent but hiding secrets? If anything this is a case of showing that Broadchurch has lost its lack of surprise for the audience who now understand how the show works.  If anything it makes you question just why the main characters are so stupid not to see what is staring them in the face, and why they are so easily manipulated.

Broadchurch Series Two is flawed and can’t live up to the expectations that had been created by the first series, but that doesn’t mean that it is a complete failure.  It is a shame that it went the trial route and went onto tear apart all the good work that had been done, but in truth its highly anticipated return was always setting it up for a fall.  Olivia Colman is excellent as Ellie Miller and David Tennant is dependable to put on a good performance, their partnership really is a joy to watch, which may be the series saving grace.  Is Broadchurch Series Two worth a watch? Definitely, but is it as good as the first? Definitely not.

Broadchurch Series Two is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from March 16th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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