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Broadchurch 2 tomorrow! Eeeeee!

I watched the last few episodes of Broadchurch to get ready for tomorrow, and though I know I've already said this before, but Gracepoint really lost sight of what made Broadchurch so good. I wrote earlier that it wasn't that Broadchurch was a great murder mystery, but that it explored the effects of a murder investigation on the normal lives of the people in this small British town. That's where it excelled: we got to watch as secrets were revealed and lives were destroyed, while in other ways, people learned about what was important in their lives and what was trivial, and relationships were forged or strengthened. Gracepoint was a murder mystery, with some of that thrown in, but the real story (spoilers!) boiled down to who the killer was and who continued to protect that person's identity after the case was "solved".

Rewatching the last episode of Broadchurch really drove that home. As I mentioned before, the last episode of Gracepoint started earlier in the story than the last episode of Broadchurch, and of course it had to add on more scenes to cover the big twist, leaving it little time for closure for the family and town. In Broadchurch, at least fifteen minutes of the last episode is devoted to scenes showing how the different characters dealt with the identity of the killer, and then their grief as they mourned Danny. Gracepoint ends with you thinking about whether or not Carver is going to try to expose the real killer - just one person after that huge ensemble cast; Broadchurch ends with you thinking about how the town is going to move on from the tragedy - and that's why it was brilliant.

Anyway, here's hoping that Broadchurch 2 is as good as Broadchurch!



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2015 05:23 am (UTC)
Exactly... not only that, but the whole bit at the end totally destroyed the growth in the professional relationship and respect between Carver and Miller, not to mention the trust Carver showed Miller. Of all people, Carver would have understood what it was to protect a child. He lied about his last case to protect his daughter. Carver probably would have understood that the killer, in this case, was trying to protect his friend, not trying to kill anyone. The adult, while he might not have done the deed, caused the situation and was responsible for what happened. The fact that Miller realized Carver probably figured it out, and wouldn't take his call totally destroyed the trust he had in her, and showed that she had no trust in him.

A shame, really, because Gracepoint made it painfully obvious who did it almost from the start.

Funny thing is, my husband watched Gracepoint first and thought it was good. Then, when Broadchurch came onto Netflix, we binge watched it. Broadchurch blew Gracepoint out of the water, and he realized what it was supposed to be. One thing he said about both; they should never have allowed Ellie in alone with their perp. That was bad form and asking for trouble.

We'll have to see if Season 2 is up to the same standards. I hope it is.
Jan. 5th, 2015 05:55 am (UTC)
I'm definitely looking forward to this next season!
Jan. 5th, 2015 07:39 am (UTC)
The focus is definitely much different. I hope Broadchurch 2 proves just as good! :D
Jan. 5th, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC)
My husband and I have just gotten around to Gracepoint over the past few days after watching Broadchurch last week. (Actually, we watched about half the first episode of Gracepoint early in December and debated whether to continue because we both found David's, er, imperfect American accent rather grating.) I see what you mean about their approach to the story and focus on the mystery aspect - Fox was encouraging viewer speculation about "who killed Danny?" with little graphics in the bottom left corner that gave the address of some website for discussing it. Now at 4 episodes into Gracepoint, besides finding myself trying to correct David's pronunciation all the time, the other thing that kind of bothers me is Detective Miller. I much preferred her character in Broadchurch. I mean I know you couldn't just transplant her, but the overall feeling for me is that the "translation" into American characters is just awkward (and David sticks out in more ways than one - I love him, but I am thinking they should really have cast an American actor for the part).

Edited at 2015-01-05 09:42 pm (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2015 05:00 am (UTC)
His accent didn't bother me, but then I've never been very discerning about accents. I did notice a few mispronunciations, but not so much that they were distracting. The thing that bothered me was that I'm used to DT with a Scottish, RP, or Estuary accent, so American was just *weird*. I got used to it, though.

I think the thing I didn't like about American Miller was simply that she was just too brusque. British Miller was a good detective, but you also see her soft side. I know this is only a problem because I'm comparing her to British Miller, but American Miller just seemed one-dimensional and didn't really mesh with the other characters, especially Carver.
Jan. 6th, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
I live in roughly the part of the country where Gracepoint is supposed to take place, so it's like, "but you just don't sound like the people I'm surrounded by every day." He seems to stick out vs. the rest of the cast whose accents all seem natural to me. *shrug*

Yeah, I guess they wanted her to seem more like, I dunno, the typical sort of tough-modern-American-woman sort of person we get on TV these days? But then you can't get the right kind of dynamic between her and other people. I was kind of scratching my head with Paul Coates, too - I don't think an American Catholic priest and a British vicar really have quite the same relationship to their communities (partly because of the differing approaches to religion in general on either side of the pond). I dunno, these attempts to translate British tv series for American viewership so often fall flat in general :-/

One other thing I don't get is why change some names but not others. Like, what's wrong with "Alec Hardy"? did they think "Alec" would sound weird to Americans? Ditto Jack Marshall -> Jack Reinhold, it just puzzles me. (Also: it bugged me that they said that if Jack and his student had waited until she was 17 they would have been fine, because the age of consent is 18 in California. Perhaps they were in another state at the time?)
Jan. 6th, 2015 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh sure, I can see that about the accent. I don't live in a part of the country that has a strong accent (north of you, actually), but I could definitely understand if it sounds weird that a person, say, had a rather Southern accent here but said he was from around here.

Actually, American Ellie reminded me a lot of Kate Beckett from Castle - very much a big-city, no-nonsense detective - and, well, it just didn't fit. She was supposed to be torn by her love of her town and her devotion to her job, but I just never felt that she belonged to the town at all. British Ellie had that, which made the conclusion of the show even more poignant for her.

Apart from the fact that American Paul was really, really creepy, he didn't feel right, too. I think one of the main problems is that while in Britain, with its more or less universal Anglican church, in America, we have communities with tons of different denominations. For Gracepoint, we had to believe that the Catholic priest spoke for the whole town, and that just doesn't make sense.

I saw somewhere, someone explained that they changed Alec Hardy's name because there's another current TV show that has a detective with the name Hardy as the main character. That's pretty reasonable. Perhaps they changed Jack Marshall to give more of a melting pot feeling, since Reinhold is German. But I have to wonder why they chose to change only some of the names. I can see they wanted a Hispanic family so they changed Latimer to Solano, but why'd they keep the first names (especially Mark, a not-very-Hispanic name)? Why didn't they change Ellie Miller, since they changed the name of the other main character? Just weird stuff.
Jan. 6th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly. I wondered why we needed to retell the story when I first heard they were doing an American version of the story, as Broadchurch was so wonderfully powerful, but I was more than willing to watch anything with David Tennant and hoped the wider exposure in the US would give us more opportunities to see him here. The lead up to the series seemed positive and there was a favorable, albeit limited, buzz around the show prior to its premiere. And then it just stopped. There was nothing more said about it and when the show wasn't doing well, they sent David out on this one-man publicity tour which, by that time, was a bit too late.
The one thing I will never forgive is Entertainment Weekly's snarky comments about Tennant's American accent. They went on and on about it as though that was why the show wasn't successful instead of putting the blame where it was deserved- on the Fox Network. Fox was responsible for destroying the pacing with subplots that went nowhere for the sake of extending the story to ten episodes, for miscasting most of the supporting characters and for insisting that American audiences couldn't handle the subtleties of the original. Tennant's accent- to those who didn't know him- sounded fine. In fact, when I asked people who were watching what they thought about the accents in the show, every single person said that Nolte's was over the top. No one mentioned Tennant's at all, unless they already knew he was Scottish.

Here's to drama done right, the British way. I have no regrets for dumping cable after this.
Jan. 6th, 2015 05:12 am (UTC)
I think it was a mistake to market it as a murder mystery, because the actual murder and crime-solving part of the story was weak. I wouldn't be surprised if some people turned it off simply because of that.

I absolutely agree that they destroyed the pacing. So why did Tom get lost in the woods anyway? That whole episode and a half really added nothing to the show other than to pull on the heartstrings of parents in the audience.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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