Asked about the less-favourable reviews of the second season of Broadchurch, David Tennant said: “I think we’re a victim of our success to be honest. The first series was such an extraordinary thing. […] I think what’s been wonderful about the second series of Broadchurch is that it’s not been the same type of show as the first series.”
And he’s right, the first season set expectations very high, and the aftermath of everything meant that the second season was always going to be very different from the first. That’s why, as well as Hardy’s old case, we also have a courtroom drama in this second season. And yet, I think that audiences and critics aren’t just reacting to ‘different’, they’re slightly disappointed by what feels like a drop in quality and subtlety that the first season led us to expect.
The Sandbrook case continues to throw us contradicting clues about all the involved parties, together with domestic violence, sexual infidelity and an agricultural incinerator. But there are so many clues and red herrings, with little way for us to tease them apart, that we’re pretty much letting it wash over us.
After his operation, Hardy is back on feisty form, but sadly it comes at the expense of Ellie’s hard-won rise from passivity.
Fans of Lee Ashworth standing in a field and glaring will be happy, as ever.
And in the courtroom, Jocelyn gave impressive closing remarks, but seeds of doubt were sown in the minds of the jury. And the verdict… was the cliffhanger the episode ended on, to great exclamation amongst the audience.
This penultimate episode had high expectations heaped upon it due to the return to form that episode six showed. But sadly the meandering, bitty feel returned, together with more tacked on subplots. Next week brings us the last episode, and there’ll be revelations and explosions and drama aplenty. But this season still feels like it would have been so much better with six episodes rather than eight.