Broadchurch: Why has the nation fallen out of love with the drama?

Broadchurch, David Tennant, Olivia Coleman, TV, Indra Warnes, Kettle Mag
Written by indrawarnes27

The first season of Broadchurch left the nation with one question on their lips for eight weeks; “who killed Danny Latimer?” We, the British public, were gripped; everybody was desperate to tell you about their theory, and 9.3 million of us tuned in to watch Joe Miller ultimately revealed as Danny’s murderer. But so far Season Two, can’t be summed up in such a simple, four-word question. Somewhere, amongst all the new sub-plots, backstories and introduced characters, the nation appears to have lost interest.

With the viewing figures dropping to a new low of 5.3 million last night, why have we all simultaneously fallen out of love with the ITV drama? I may be struggling to solve the season’s new Sandbrook mystery, but I do have some theories on this topic:

Firstly, the court scenes. Oh, the court scenes. Beginning with Joe Miller’s shock “I didn’t actually do it after all” not guilty plea, and riddled with apparent inaccuracy ever since; the trial seems to be causing much upset amongst viewers. Having watched Miller commit the murder, and having heard his subsequent confession at the end of the last series, we would have been forgiven for expecting a somewhat simple trial. But, the defence, led by Sharon Bishop, were quick to get Joe’s confession thrown out of court after it was revealed to the judge that the detective sergeant, coincidentally also the unsuspecting wife of the accused, attacked her husband whilst he was in police custody.

Following on from there, the court room drama only seemed to get more ridiculous, with Danny Latimer’s body being exhumed for no apparent reason, and without anybody bothering to mention it to his family. Surprise witnesses were also allowed to take to the stand last minute, and Beth and Mark Latimer are being allowed to stay and sit in on the trial, despite being witnesses in their son’s death.

I could go on, because after having read a lot online from people with much more legal knowledge than myself, it seems like the show’s creative license could fill an article alone, but I digress.

Secondly, one major plot point which I’ve been struggling with, is the friendship between Mark Latimer and Tom Miller, who seem to have been regularly meeting up since Danny’s death, just to play some Fifa in a disused caravan. As you do. Now, I do understand that they’ve both been through a lot recently, but, what I’m finding hard to believe, is that it apparently didn’t occur to Mark (the adult) that sneaking off to visit a teenage boy, might not be the best thing to do, under the circumstances.

No matter how innocent their arrangement actually is, it’s probably going to seem a little bit weird to other people. In fact, it kind of looks exactly the same as what was going on between Joe Miller and Danny – and look how that turned out. And when it comes up in court, as it inevitably will now that Tom’s decided he wants to give evidence, I don’t think Mark’s going to come out looking great; especially with the defence already set on pinning the murder on him.

To add even more to the far-fetched plot, there’s also the dodgy dialogue between characters. The best example was when Mark Latimer, holding his new baby daughter, looked to his wife and said “we’ll get it right this time.” He may has well have just said “Third time lucky, eh?” My favourite thing about this scene was that he made this announcement whilst his eldest daughter was in the room, so apparently she’s already been written off as a lost cause.

I am, however, a fan of the Sandbrook sub-plot. This part does seem to be developing into an interesting whodunit storyline, where it’s increasingly looking like the girls could have been murdered by any one (or more) of the four main characters involved; Lee Ashworth, wife Claire, or their next-door-neighbours Cate and Ricky Gillespie (all of whom seem to have been sleeping with one another, by the way).

I am still struggling with the idea that DI Hardy, has apparently been hiding Claire, wife of the supposed Sandbrook killer, away in a safe house. Like, sorry, what? How’s he been paying for that? Is that why he’s having to stay in a little shack by the sea? And his plan isn’t even working (quelle surprise), because we have to endure at least three long distance shots of Lee standing on a nearby hill staring at the safe house intently every episode.

Not to mention that they’ve been texting the whole time anyway, and he came round and had sex with her a couple of episodes ago. But as Claire keeps saying, she really, definitely is scared of him, and she honestly doesn’t want anything to do with him, but unfortunately “he’s like a drug to her!” so she just can’t resist. Can somebody stop her repeating that sentence soon, please?

Despite all this, I’m most likely going to be one of those who sticks with Broadchurch until its end. Despite how often I end up cringing or complaining whilst watching at the moment, the underlying storyline remains good enough that I am interested to see whether Joe Miller gets off, and to find out who was behind the Sandbrook murders. Either that, or I’ve just spent too much time watching it, so I may as well stick it out and find out the truth now. Sadly, ‘might as well’ seems to be most viewer’s mantra for this series.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.