By Jonah Corren

The second series started off very promisingly but has received extremely mixed reviews during its eight-episode stretch.

It began with a clear indication as to where the plot was going when Joe Miller pleaded not guilty. Having heard about the Sandbrook case in series one, it was an obvious move to give that a more central role as well. This second narrative proved to outdo the first in almost all respects, presenting a far more open, interesting and complex case than the question of whether Joe Miller would be convicted. The answer made many viewers doubt the show’s credibility, especially as the court scenes leading up to the verdict were frequently laughable.

Sandbrook on the other hand had a satisfying conclusion, even if the flashback was a little more disturbing than it needed to be. All things considered, Chris Chibnall really had his work cut out when he sat down to write series two. For many viewers, though, series two was a mix of the good, the bad, and the laugh-out-loud ridiculous. Series three could be considerably worse, but that doesn’t mean people won’t still watch it to find out what might be Chibnall’s next plan. If he’s got one.

By |March 11th, 2015|Broadchurch, Jonah Corren, Review|0 Comments

Broadchurch Episode 7

16 February 2015
BR rating **

By Jonah Corren

As Joe Millar’s trial draws to an end among a hail of ludicrous accusations and ridiculous leading questions (pretty much anything that starts with ‘isn’t it true that…’), it’s becoming more and more clear how maddeningly unconvincing the case for the defence really is. Come on Chris, you’ve got to come up with something better than ‘it was the dad after all’ to counter the solution you’ve already given us.

The episode also provided an onslaught of potentially touching moments that failed for one reason or another. The romantic moment between Jocelyn and Maggie Radcliffe would have worked better if there had been any build-up at all earlier in the series.

Also failing to tug at the heart strings was a conversation between Ellie Millar and Beth Latimer which led to Beth questioning her marriage, as if we weren’t expecting that anyway. But an anecdote about the boys playing football in the garden just wasn’t interesting enough to support a potentially game-changing factor in the series’ plotline: Beth’s loyalty to her husband.

An emotive moment which made me laugh out loud came when Ben Haywood (Jocelyn’s assistant) finally told Abby Thomson (Karen White’s assistant) exactly what everyone thought of her. A triumph of scriptwriting, Mr Chibnall, and probably my favourite moment of the series so far.

The episode ended with the most predictable cliff-hanger in television history, so predictable that it surely failed to induce the audience to watch the next one. Behind all the complicated character back stories, and the twists and turns of the infinitely more interesting case that is Sandbrook, the entire series now rests on one verdict. Will Joe Millar be convicted? The short answer is yes he will, and if he isn’t there had better be a flipping good explanation for it.

By |February 17th, 2015|Broadchurch, Jonah Corren|0 Comments

Broadchurch Episode 6

9 February 2015
BR rating ***

By Alison Lang

A good episode. Danny’s father is virtually put on trial by young Tom’s lies. Tom, who has been siding with his father in the dock, returns to live with his mother. There is a touching turn-around scene when a big telling-off from his mum is actually welcomed by young Tom as it brings him back into the fold.

DI Hardy has the week off having a pacemaker installed and enjoying a return to familial harmony. Good to see him smile. Perhaps his heart trouble was exacerbated by a visit to the Bridport bus-station diner, staring at the hubcaps on the wall.

Having become an unreliable witness in the new storyline, Claire Ripley is left to fend for herself against (or with) her not-so-ex, Lee Ashworth, and the episode ended with her destroying evidence of a connection with the dead girl as she burns a photo of herself wearing the dead girl’s pendant.

The evidence has gone but not before DS Miller has seen it.

By |February 10th, 2015|Alison Lang, Broadchurch, TV|0 Comments

Broadchurch Episode 5

2 February 2015
BR Rating ***

By Jane Silver-Corren

Early on, we were lulled us into a false sense of security with a touching scene between Ellie Miller and young Tom, with a motherly embrace and the sentimental words “I love you more than chocolate” as Ellie attempted to persuade Tom to move back into the family home. Forty-five minutes later we in the middle of what looked like a hideaway for human trafficking next to a makeshift furnace, surrounded by what appeared to be human remains and the ash of incinerated flesh…lovely.

Other significant moments, and there was a lot going on, were the ridiculous idea of Kate agreeing to support convicted paedophiles in honour of her dead son’s memory, and balking at a church full of reformed perpetrators. Seemed a good idea at the time, Chris Chibnall. Another notable scene: Pauline Quirke putting on a great show of being unhelpful with the prosecution in court, and quite a lot of standing and gazing into the distance.

The to-ing and fro-ing between each case created a whirlwind effect which kept viewers on their toes, if not rather confused. Fortunately the unpleasant attack by Ricky Gillespie on potential suspect Lee gave us another chance to gaze at Lee’s naked torso. We were already 40 minutes into the episode at that point and I’m sure many female viewers were wondering if they were giving ‘that special moment’ a miss this week. Shame about the lack of hammering large poles into the ground, though. Maybe we’ll have more of that next week.

By |February 3rd, 2015|Broadchurch, Jane Silver-Corren|0 Comments

Broadchurch Episode 4

26 January 2015
BR Rating ***

By John Pownall

This episode was a game of two halves – as they say. As with episode three, the chapter closed on yet another courtroom cliff-hanger, and spent much slightly tedious time among the wigs and gowns. The cliff-top mystery seems close to resolution, however, with the arrival of Pauline Quirke on the scene; one bald-headed suspect appears likely to give way to another which, with any luck, will allow greater focus on the semi-detached mystery which is all much more compelling and Twin-Peaky.

The courtroom scenes diminished in length and frequency and we spent longer with D.I.Hardy’s story, the death of the schoolgirls, and the re-appearance of the tall, broody one who loves knocking timbers into the earth in a rather menacing fashion. The camera, meanwhile, seems to like his naked torso rather a lot. Laced liberally with sexual references (pushing it beyond the watershed no doubt), one scene closed rather surprisingly with the Kate Bush-like one asking her maligned (but possibly innocent) lover to “tie [her] up this time”. I half expected Frankie Howard to make an appearance at that stage. Carry on Broadchurch would have been a fun spin-off if this series had been anywhere near thinkable back in 1970.

David Tennant as Hardy (geddit?) is perhaps the most interesting thing to watch about the series, though Olivia Colman is, as ever, wonderful, and Charlotte Rampling does a grand job of reminding one of Kate Adie whenever she opens her mouth. No bad thing. Hopefully, at some stage, there will be some respite for the haunted Scot who really could use a sense of humour. If only he’d smile occasionally, one imagines, he might not need phone calls from his GP in the early hours of the morning. It’s all too much.

By |January 27th, 2015|Broadchurch, John Pownall|0 Comments