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Monday, 22 April 2013

Thoughts on Broadchurch

This would've been a review. Actually, it would've been a fairly positive one. I enjoyed seven out of the eight episodes of Broadchurch, with the finale a little too long and meandering for my liking. There were some truly memorable scenes in the series, particularly those with David Bradley as Jack Marshall and Pauline Quirke as Susan Wright. Those are two characters that will live on in my mind long after the final episode. Some of the cast were less successful but being in the shadow of performances like that isn't really their fault.

But, like I said, this isn't a review. This is a rant.

I have in my hands the TV Choice for this week. Quoting the creator, it says: 'And when the curtain comes down, it really will be the end. 'There won't be a second series,' confirms Chris. 'It was an eight-part show. And anyway, perhaps I've ended up ruining that whole world!'' I was happy with that. I wanted complete closure from the series, I wanted a decent ending with closure for the characters.

Lo and behold, this is announced a few minutes after the series ends: the recommission!

I'm actually furious with this. Don't make a big deal out of ending something if you have no intention of ending it. That's just plain rude and disrespectful to your audience. That audience who expected complete closure from an episode because it had been touted as the last episode.

Oh, I know that the viewing figures were good, phenomenal by recent standards. And I know it was talked about all over the country, bets were taken on it, it really gripped the imagination. But there's nothing to stop you creating another show with the same writers! This is lazy, both on the part of the production team and ITV.

You might think I'm being a bit harsh. If I've enjoyed most of a series why wouldn't I be delighted that there's going to be another one? Well, if it uses the same setting or the same characters it's just the sign of an arrogant team who want to milk the British public's attention as much as they can. It's nothing to do with storytelling and THAT is the thing that bothers me.


Rick Robinson said...

I fully agree. The only show I can think of off hand that ended when it said it would, on purpose and planned from the beginning, was Babylon 5. I'm still not sure I like where they took it, but they did what they promised and I surely do respect that.

aprilamy said...

I agree too. I thoroughly enjoyed the series but felt all the way through it was clearly designed as a one off and that it would be all the better for it. I agree that the only way the series can work would be in a new setting with a completely new cast, perhaps Tennant could have stayed on but his 'ending' last night seemed quite conclusive too. It seems like it will inevitably lead to conversations like 'Wasn't the first series of Broadchurch good? It's not been the same since..'