Television: Broadchurch, Episode 1.3

There are few television shows that compel me to put down my laptop, my iPhone, and really pay attention. In fact, there's only one: Broadchurch.

It's an incredibly well-constructed show from every angle: characters, writing, acting, editing. Which is probably why FOX is planning to do an American version. I probably won't watch it. It's like another artist doing their version of, I dunno, the Venus de Milo or something. It'll be suggestive of, but in that artist's own style, and he'll probably give her arms because he feels like the original is missing something.

Now, we all knew the moment Mark refused to answer (in the guise of handily "forgetting") the question of where he was the night Danny was murdered that there was probably an affair going on. Right? I mean, it's been made clear that marriage is all screwed up anyway. But I love Alec Hardy's efficiency, and also the writer's, because they didn't try to drag it out at all. The pacing is just another really great thing about Broadchurch. They don't miss a step and are still able to keep things interesting. There's no drag.

I think, too, the show benefits from being only eight episodes. It's a mini, really, and in tone reminds me a bit of Tana French.

Okay, but let's look at the cleaning lady (whose name I've missed). She keeps a log of the keys—we've seen this—so I am waiting for Hardy to insist on seeing that to confirm Mark did not sign out any keys. In fact, shouldn't they be looking at that log anyway to see who did have keys to the crime scene? I'm going to trust Hardy has it covered. That, and asking Chloe about the fishing incident.

And what about the skateboard? The cleaning lady has it in her closet. Did she find it? Is she a scavenger of sorts with a mistrust of authority born of a hard life? Or does she have something to hide? (Her argument with Nigel in the clips for next week suggest there's something going on.)

What is Tom hiding? Where is Danny's phone? Still lots of questions to keep us interested. (Don't answer them if you know; I'm avoiding reading anything about this show until I've seen it all. I enjoy it too much to spoil it for myself.)

And still, I'm also enjoying how Ellie keeps bringing food to Alec, culminating finally in her invitation to dinner with her family. Very nice character development and interaction happening there.

And for comic relief, we have Pete, who in my house is subject to such exclamations as, "Shut the fuck up, Pete" and "Goddamn it, Pete" and (with a head shake) "Typical Pete."

In short, I really enjoy this show. I'd have binge watched it if it were possible. But maybe it's a good thing it's not; there's something lovely about having that old-time anticipation of a favorite program each week. Thank you, Broadchurch, for bringing that back to me.

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