When you hear the term "binge watch," you likely picture a rainy afternoon where you happened to accidentally stream four or five episodes of show in a row. What I just experienced with Broadchurch on Netflix was certainly more than just binge watching, I would say it was borderline addiction.
My sister was staying with me two weeks ago and on her first night in town, after dinner and dessert, was got comfy on the couch and tried to find a show we could agree on. Turns out, we'd both been meaning to try Broadchurch, but kept skipping over it. Thrilled we had settled on something so quickly, we pressed "play" on the first episode.
If you aren't familiar with the show, it's a murder mystery set in a fictional town called Broadchurch in England. Two detectives, Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller, partner to uncover who killed an eleven year old boy.
Detective Hardy is played by Scottish actor David Tennant. You may recognize him as Kilgrave from Jessica Jones. As detective Hardy, he is determined, almost to a fault. The immense pressure he puts on himself to find the murderer sends him to the emergency room - twice.
Actress Olivia Colman plays detective Ellie Miller. Ellie is committed to solving this case, but her judgment is clouded by her connection to the victim - he was her son's best friend.
When we started the first episode, I was really eager to watch Olivia Colman specifically because she is going to be take over the part of Queen Elizabeth in The Crown. The producers decided not to age the original actors with makeup, but to replace them in the third season.
What makes Broadchurch so masterful is that just when you think you've figured out who committed the crime, they throw a wrench (a really, really plausible wrench) in your rationale. The show keeps you guessing, while intensifying your desire to find out the truth.
In addition to the perfect blend of action and suspense, Broadchurch is beautifully shot. The setting (Dorset, England in real life) is breathtaking. It sort of reminded me of the way Carmel, California was the ideal backdrop for Big Little Lies.
I am embarrassed to tell you that I watched all three seasons of Broadchurch in 10 days. That's 24 episodes. Season one is definitely the strongest. In finale, the killer is revealed, which had me feeling like I couldn't possibly be entertained by season two, but they reeled me back in. The second season covers the murder trial in court. The third and final season begins with a completely new case.
If you like mysteries, Broadchurch is superb. The acting is brilliant, the writing will keep you guessing and the setting will spark immediate wanderlust. Though the topics of each case are difficult, they always draw the line in exactly the right place when it comes to what you actually see play out on screen. Sometimes these kinds of shows can be brutally violent and gory. Broadchurch is not.
Tell me, have you watched the show? Have you found any others like this? I am already in withdrawal!
*Photo courtesy of TV Guide.