Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Broadchurch: a liberal interpretation of ritual

Broadchurch's liberal ritual
Along with around 9 million others, I watched that final(e) episode of Broadchurch yesterday evening. Overall, I found the series enjoyable and I liked the genuine next-day buzz among the coffee drinkers.

I know that there's various jargon for these kinds of series too - like 'procedural' for cop series, although this one didn't really have a procedural ending. Most of the reveal was handled out of sequence with anything discovered by the police investigation.

The off-kilter discovery of what happened was markedly at odds with another show I watched a few days ago with a serial killer working musically through 'Every Good Boy Deserves Favour' and leaving obscure operatic clues. Luckily the constable supporting the investigation was a choral singer and happened to have the right scores available. His Maigret channeling boss (expect a series) was indulgent enough to take the hunches seriously, with a suitably operatic result.

But back to Broadchurch. To be honest, I was waiting for a plot twist after perpetrator was discovered. Instead we spent time on the emotions created in the aftermath. Some of this worked well but it jarred the flow of how these series normally play out.

I'm therefore not sure about a few pieces. Why introduce that the Scottish detective had visited the village in his childhood? It got a whole scene and some fabulous camera framing so maybe it's part of a hastily designed approach for a series 2? But please don't make Broadchurch a new Midsomer-on-Sea? Instead, maybe we'll get the Tennant and Colman Detective agency?

What about those arty slow motion sequences? Definitely not designed to make the episode sluggish? Instead, why not throw in...a slug scene?

Someone will know whether it was proper procedure was to let the father of the murdered child have an unsupervised discussion through the cell's hatch, directly with the perpetrator?

And the broad ritualised beacons on the cliff edges...Could this be a further clue about the current ending?

So maybe I'm in denial, but it all makes me think there's a different ending for Broadchurch and one day we'll get to see it. I already have a cracking plot, should anyone need it.

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