Enjoyed Broadchurch wrapping up last night, a TV series that has been grown-up, has not ducked the awkward questions and did not have a comfortable Hollywood ending. There were a few slightly odd continuity moments and the accents were not always bang on but the scripting was good, as was the pace and the plot. It dealt with the harsh reality of a family who had had a child murdered and how that interrupted all the sinful mess of the affected lives.
What does it do to the quality of your affair if one of you loses a child? How do you comfort someone you have been cheating on? A murder in town means that lots of innocent people's dirty washing will soon be on view.
The acting was very good I thought. Immediate grief is not too hard to do but to keep the underlying theme going while getting back to 'normal'. That is tough. Well done to the ensemble cast.
And we don't all live lives of gentle conformity. Some choose to be loners. Some choose to move to a place to try again when they have had a previous calamity and don't want that raked-up if they are coping well. Getting questioned about a murder you didn't do when you have something to hide feels as unfair as being done for drink-driving after you have been rear-ended by a bad, sober driver.
I am sure some of the police procedures were not kept to - visiting people on remand, confronting relatives and witnesses in police stations, allowing someone to work on when they are medically unfit, visiting a crucial suspect alone. But it did try to redeem all the people who were not guilty whose happenstance made it look as if they might be. It showed us a town where a murder suddenly has everyone viewed with suspicion. Good stuff and a chance to ponder deep themes of human nature.
And of course the added benefit (especially in the early episodes) of us locals all enjoying views of the Clevedon we know well. Even if it did pretend to be in Dorset. St Andrew's living is being advertised in the Church Times right now - as seen on TV? No, you won't have a vicar as bad as that to follow.
I hope the second series, which they deserve, will be cleverly constructed. If it's still called Broadchurch then there's a danger it will become Midsomer. Maybe they could learn from The Wire and change more than you might expect between series. I think I trust these people to get it right.