Broadchurch Season 2: How does Chris Chibnall do it?

I watched Season 1 of Broadchurch in 1 day and in 1 sitting. Although it goes against the traditional police procedural, this drama series is as compelling as early season CSI episodes. I would not want to compare it with another British police drama, The Fall, but then I think I need to. The Fall was an extremely slow burn series. Both are intelligent but I found Broadchurch to be more accessible with all the back stories of each character very intriguing almost verging on soap opera tropes but holding itself back with incredibly powerful performances and smart writing.

It’s also visually stunning. I wouldn’t mind moving into that idyllic town with a cliff on the beach, rustic cottages, and small town charm where everyone knows everyone else’s business. The production really took advantage of the location in Dorset. I love the cinematography and how they compose the shots. The place itself adds another layer of character to the story.

I’ve seen up to Episode 3 and so far, I love the new series. It continues from where the first season left off – the trial of Joe Miller, the suspect in the death of Daniel Latimer. We see what happened to the characters after the shocking reveal. It seems the intrigue continues and no one has moved on.

I think the main strength of the story lies in the relationship dynamic of the characters. Some of their relationships are rarely portrayed. Example is the prosecutor and the defence (or defense) lawyers (or barristers). The retired prosecutor (Jocelyn Knight played by Charlotte Rampling) used to be the defence attorney’s (Sharon Bishop played by Marianne-Jean Baptise) mentor and professor. It’s revealed and implied that Sharon Bishop asked Jocelyn’s help for her son who was now incarcerated for an unknown (yet) reason but her mentor refused. It appears to be the main motivation for the character to help out the accused.

And of course, the Mulder-Scully (at least in the TV series) esque relationship of DI Alec Hardy and now, PC Ellie Miller. So rare is this platonic friendship based on mutual respect ever explored with a man and a woman. Somehow, TV and movie executives always mess things up with sexual chemistry, as if friendship between a man and a woman is not possible.

The former best friends Beth Latimer and Ellie Miller are also explored in the wake of the tragedy. It’s interesting how each character react with the other. Will their friendship ever be mended?

I can’t wait for the next episodes. Chris Chibnall certainly can deliver another great season of Broadchurch. Makes me wish he’ll be Steven Moffat’s replacement for Doctor Who (you know, when time comes). I know he’ll give us a Doctor Who we’ve never seen before.

 

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