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article imageReview: Why Broadchurch is the best whodunit on TV Special

By David Silverberg     Aug 2, 2013 in Entertainment
Coming to American and Canadian shores this month, the British eight-episode drama Broadchurch is the stuff of a TV classic: sharp tension, well-rounded characters, breathless pacing and an ending you won't be able to shake from your mind for days.
I could rattle off a dozen more reasons why ITV's Broadchurch is worth your evenings, North America. When it comes to Canada on Showcase Aug. 4, and BBC America Aug. 7, expect a TV show you'll be easily hooked on, despite the dark themes: A small British community is rocked by the death of 11-year-old Danny Latimer and begins to fray at the seams during the police investigation.
What makes this whodunit soar above the competition is the excellent writing and A-list cast: Doctor Who's David Tennant stars as newly promoted police detective Alec Hardy, partnered with local Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman, seen in The Iron Lady, Peep Show). Their relationship is shaky during the investigation, adding another layer of anxiety over an already explosive situation.
Most interesting is the character enveloping all the players in this whodunit: the city itself. Broadchurch is quaint like small-town Ontario is cozy: everyone knows each other, crime is minimal, big-metro worries elude their simple life. But when a murder devastates Broadchurch, so begins a deep investigation into the secrets buried behind the smiling facade. The city becomes a character as mysterious as the lonely priest.
Oskar McNamara as Danny Latimer  in the ITV drama Broadchurch
Oskar McNamara as Danny Latimer, in the ITV drama Broadchurch
Shaw Media
American has become so enamored with Broadchurch they are not only bringing it to BBC America on August 7, but Fox announced they'll remake the series for a US audience in 2014. It's a well-deserved home run for Broadchurch writers and producers; the series is filled with the kind of twists and cliffs you don't see very often on American TV, Breaking Bad excluded. As well, the dialogue rings true, as if the text is based on a documentary about a town reeling from a young boy's murder. Nothing feels forced.
Due to the dark nature of the series, expect to be hit with grief so deep it can be difficult to watch at times. But that's how compelling the acting is throughout Broadchurch: You begin to experience the pain a family feels when their son is torn from them, and you cheer for the cops intent on rooting out the murderer. An added spin is Detective Hardy's backstory, which begins to make you question his approach to police investigations. But that's the fun of it all: Broadchurch doesn't take you on the ho-hum route of whodunits.
Lest I reveal more, enjoy Broadchurch for yourself. And if you've seen it already, you lucky Brits, then rest assured it won't gather dust as a one-off hit: ITV ordered a second season of Broadchurch.
Broadchurch debuts in Canada on Showcase Aug. 4 at 10 p.m. ET and on BBC America on Aug. 7, 10 p.m. ET.
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