The Second Season of Broadchurch Ended With a Bang.

Almost hard to repeat greatness is a weight of brilliance. That’s because the circumstances underlying that success are now well-known, and expectations based on surprise, execution, artistic deviations, and the like are now amplified in importance.

When Broadchurch returns for a second season, keep that in mind. The show is the result of fan (and critic) demand, as the first was a short-lived miniseries.

Chris Chibnall, the show’s creator and writer, faces a significant challenge in delivering the second slice of excellence in this season. How do you take the shattered pieces of the original, with the killer imprisoned and the lives of the two primary detectives practically wrecked, and piece them back together to produce something that can compete with the original?

Either you don’t try at all, or you put your worries and expectations aside and just get on with it, which is exactly what Chibnall has done as the second season of Doctor Who premieres on BBC America on Wednesday night.

Even if the first four episodes are a departure from the original Broadchurch, there are still several episodes remaining that might take this series in a variety of places (you’ll understand if you’ve seen the previous season). When comparing the midway point to the original, I can state this: In today’s society, you either develop original material or knock it off as Fox did with its dreadful Gracepoint remake. The original work of Chibnall, a brilliant novelist who has already proven himself in the original, justifies giving him every chance he wants.

To put it mildly, Broadchurch’s second episode shifts the focus from an inquiry into a trial. Even yet, Chibnall has cleverly brought back in the old Sandbrook case that troubled Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant) so much in season one and lets it play out as the B-storyline in season two, keeping in line with the original.

Nonetheless, the most significant return is the collective mourning of a tiny community, which is still hurting from the death of eleven-year-old Danny Latimer in the original film. Broadchurch was anchored by Chibnall’s acute sense of secrets and lies, as well as the frequently devastating consequences of their revelations. The picturesque coastal backdrop also played an important role (which, in the first series, was used to hammer home the notion that people run as far away from their pasts as they can, which in this case brought them to Broadchurch and into contact with the local community, rife with its hidden issues).

 Second Season of Broadchurch

Season two opens with a bang when Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle), the confessed killer, switches his plea to not guilty on the spur of the moment. After months of searching for answers, the residents of Broadchurch have had their hopes dashed.

His wife, Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), and their son, Tom (Adam Wilson), who has refused to live with her and has been staying with relatives since she left Broadchurch, are devastated by the news of the plea deal. Ellie had expected that her husband’s conviction would at the very least bring an end to that chapter of her life.

Latimers, too, are torn apart by the turn of events. Jodie Whittaker’s character Beth (Jodie Whittaker) and Mark’s character Mark (Andrew Buchan) are expecting their first child, and Beth and Mark’s daughter Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) have grown closer as they’ve worked to heal.

Given that the second season is centered on a courtroom drama, Chibnall is forced to center the attention on two new characters: the attorneys (or in this case, “the Queen’s Counsel”). However, Chibnall does an outstanding job by casting Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Sharon Bishop, who will represent Joe Miller, and Charlotte Rampling as Jocelyn Knight, who will represent the prosecution. Yes, chess lovers, that is indeed a Knight versus. Bishop matchup.

Chibnall has been under fire (and on Wednesday defended himself and the series in an article published in The Guardian) for the way the courtroom action is handled in the season. He chose to go the emotional route because that is, after all, the heart of the story in Broadchurch, and in the process drastically compresses the interaction in the courtroom, which can be frustrating in the beginning when Queen’s Counsel Bishop makes wild allegations in an attempt to undermine the case.

It was clear that Chibnall had full confidence in the verdict and the legality and reality of the legal maneuvers. You should keep that in mind as well because the courtroom scenes are the worst parts of the movie, so be careful.

It’s impossible to overstate the brilliance of Jean-Baptiste and Rampling as their different roles call for them too.

Second Season of Broadchurch

Although it’s practically impossible not to return to Broadchurch after such a gripping first season, fans are also likely to return since Tennant and Colman were the linchpins and their work together was so unforgettable (and also maybe to see Tennant, who reprised his role in the woeful American remake, get his accent back).

Strangely, returning to the coastal town of Broadchurch and re-entering its dark and sorrowful secrets feels pleasant. The reversal of Joe Miller’s plea is certain to bring them to light. Since Danny’s death, the town and its residents have likewise transformed, with their new lives on display for all to see.

Seeing Tennant and Colman try to put back together the shattered lives of Hardy and Miller is a lot of fun. Chibnall might have opted to leave things as they were, therefore preserving the Broadchurch legacy. I suppose that’s one way of looking at it, as well. It’s never pleasant to be compared to greatness, but it’s also not flattering to choose not to tell more of the narrative when you have the skill to.

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