Despite it being so well received by the watching public and critics alike, I believe murder mystery Broadchurch deserves more recognition for the way it tackles many crucial topics of today’s society.
Episodes of violence, apathy, indifference and ignorance, just to name a few, are all carefully portrayed and developed throughout the course of the three seasons of the series and in the most effective way I have ever witnessed on screen.
The two main protagonists, detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller, played by David Tennant and Olivia Colman at their absolute best, try to shed light on the murder of teenager Daniel Latimer, found dead on the beach in Broadchurch, a small and unassuming holiday town in coastal England.
The first season focuses almost exclusively on Danny’s death and the grief, suspicion and unwanted media attention on the town.
The second season follows the trial after the discovery of Danny’s killer and a case from the past that still haunts Hardy. The third and final series, somewhat detached from the first two, sees Miller and Hardy investigate the rape of a local woman at a birthday party, while Danny’s loved ones still try to move on from his murder.
Broadchurch, however, is not just the story of a tragic and untimely death, but a true insight on the subject of guilt. Viewers are led to believe that some characters are beyond any reasonable suspicion, just to have their world rocked by new developments, never forced and yet always unexpected.
But perhaps the main strength of the series is the depth with which each character is portrayed. From grief to relief, from shame to rage, every single Broadchurch resident goes through enough emotions to keep the viewer glued to the seat and desperate to find out what’s going to happen next.
Broadchurch’s main aspiration is justice, yet it shows a world that is compellingly real, where guilt is never complete and innocence is never above suspicion. Broadchurch shows us how the world is never black or white, but comprised of a series of devastating, terrifying and only rarely uplifting shades of grey.