Television: Broadchurch, Episode 1.8

In the first series (season) finale, Alec Hardy's determination pays off as he figures out who murdered Danny Latimer.

Okay, well, the murderer does turn himself in and confess. But Hardy had already worked it out before then!

It turns out my theory was correct, and that the murderer was someone we'd met briefly and only seen from time to time. Still, I feel Broadchurch gave me a good run despite my having figured it out a few episodes back. (Last week, when people kept saying they thought they'd seen Nigel—that clinched it for me because in early episodes I'd remarked the resemblance between Nigel and another character, the one who turned out to be the murderer.) Even though they fell to that old formula that I've discussed so many times before, that sort of slight of hand in which someone is introduced then promptly disappears, here it didn't seem to matter. The viewer experience is so immersive that one often forgets to step back and think more broadly; we're too engaged and too drawn in. And that's wonderful. It's been ages since a show has done that to me.

So often shows, and especially procedurals, are too interested in putting on a song and dance and making themselves appear clever, and I don't know about other people, but I naturally resist that. It forces me back, at which point I can see right through whatever the writers and directors and actors are trying to put over on me. Broadchurch, however, had me leaning in rather than backing away. So kudos to them.

I do wonder what they'll have on tap for the next series. There is yet so much to explore in this little town. I'm already looking forward to another visit.

No comments: