One of the things I love most about Broadchurch in a general sense, is its ability to make everyone look guilty. I originally started watching this show a few years back because I missed having David Tennant on my screen. What I found was an incredibly complex and nuanced family drama centered around the death of a young boy.
With Season 3 we're thrown into the world of a rape victim named Trish and the web of lies that surround her life. The exceptional thing that this show has done where others have failed, it that they never once questioned the validity of the rape claim. Never once is the character of the victim called into question other than by the victim herself. They also cover all the different emotions that a person may experience surrounding their rape. Denial, acceptance, anger…everything is laid out in painful detail.
We also get to catch up with the Latimers. Mark is still a broken man who struggles to move on from his son's death. Beth is a counselor for other victims. Watching them continue to grieve for the loss of Dan is still as heartbreaking as it was in the first two seasons. We're shown an evolution of grief within them. Many times grief is shown too simply and over the course of years people tend to gloss over the dialogues we can have with regards to our emotions.
The characters in Broadchurch are layered and deep. They are not just random tropes, even the secondary characters are given exceptional storylines.
Throughout the whole season we're kept guessing as to who the rapist is. When we finally are told the truth, Olivia Coleman's reactions are the audience's reactions. Disgust and revulsion.
Even though the subject matter is incredibly dense and heavy, they always manage to give you a little hope in humanity. The town always seems to come together when they need it most. This season had a strong theme of feminism and women supporting other women. Understanding that we are flawed but we are beautiful. Forgiveness is possible even in the worst of situations.
I would follow this series forever if they would make it. I really enjoy the idea of a contained season long mystery where they spend all ten episodes connecting the dots rather than having an overall arc of the main plot with a bunch of throwaway episodes. Big Little Lies was smart enough to do this as well. If more shows would focus on condensing their content into richer singular episodes, I think American TV would have a lot more stamina. The Brits get it. Netflix gets it. You don't need a lot of fluff. Broadchurch certainly offers you none.