A Broadchurch Community
Monday 9:00 PM on ITV


You might currently be all up-in-arms over the announcement of the next Doctor, but there's a new show coming to BBC America that'll provide all kinds of Who-adjacent goodness. And if there's one thing that British TV does best, it's the long-form crime drama. From Prime Suspect to Luther, the Brits have done a much better job stepping outside the restrictions of the open-and-shut procedural case than anything created here in the States. Maybe you're burned out by the dreary nature of The Killing, or simply sad that the third season is over, but if that's the case, BBC America is ready to help you out with the debut of Broadchurch, an eight-hour series that aired earlier this year on ITV in the U.K. I've seen a big chunk of the season and I'm here to help you decide whether you should check it out in another edition of Help Me TV.com! What Should I Watch?


Broadchurch? Aren't those evengelical megachurch shows only on really late at night or really early in the morning?

Don't fret! While the show does feature a reverend (played by Doctor Who alum Arthur Darvill), religion isn't a big part of Broadchurch's story. Instead, this is a tale you're already familiar with: A young boy is murdered (and seemingly posed to to make his death look like a suicide), disrupting the pretty normal lives of a beach community. Of course, once new-to-town Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (your other Who alum, someone by the name of David Tennant) and local detective Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) start digging into both the case and the town, the words "pretty" and "normal" start to fly out the window.


Who created this show and who's in it? 

The creator and sole writer of Broadchurch is Chris Chibnall, a veteran scribe with some great credits on his resume—including Life on MarsTorchwoodLaw & Order: UK, and (here we are again) Doctor Who. For those of you familiar with Who, Chibnall-penned episodes include "42," "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," and "The Power of Three." The cast is top-lined by the aforementioned Tennant and Colman; the latter is a veteran actress from other British projects like The Accused and Twenty Twelve. Jodie Whittaker (Attack the Block) and Andrew Buchan (The FixerGarrow's Law) play the grieving parents Beth and Mark Latimer, while Harry Potter's Mr. Filch and Game of Thrones' Walder Frey, David Bradley, plays another one of the sort of creepy and/or misunderstood old guys he's been playing for a while now. The supporting cast is big, and full of family members, townspeople, police officers, media members, and more. If you're familiar with British TV, chances are you'll recognize a good lot of them. 


When does the Broadchurch case begin?

The series makes its U.S. debut on BBC America on Wednesday, August 7 at 10pm, and its eight episodes will unspool once a week from there. Even though it was initially meant to be a one-off, ITV has already announced that there will be a second season. So even though this is a complete story, fear not—there will be more. 


Who will enjoy Broadchurch?

I know I've made a lot of references to Doctor Who, and it's hard not to, but if you're assuming this thing will be all timey-wimey, or that David Tennant is going to emotionally shout that he's not ready to go, Broadchurch is going to be a confusing experience for you. This is a pure murder mystery crime drama; it's all about the extended investigation into an 11-year-old boy's death and the aftershocks his murder has on the community. If you're the kind of person who tuned into The Killing to find out who offed Rosie Larsen, Broadchurch is definitely in your wheelhouse. And even if you're the kind of person who quit The Killing sometime during the first season, don't be afraid of Broadchurch; it's not as drab or as ponderous, and the case doesn't overwhelm the show with bad cliffhangers and pointless misdirects. 


What works about Broadchurch?

Quite a bit. That Killing comparison is easy, but instructive: Murder of a young person, guy/gal detective duo, grieving family, larger scope on other corners of the surrounding community, etc. There are big chunks of The Killing that I like, but after five episodes of Broadchurch (and by the way, I intended to watch one, maybe two before writing this preview—the show is that addictive), it works a bit better than The Killing. It does a wonderful job of exploring how young Danny Latimer's death impacts all kinds of people, and while the case brings to light all kinds of dirty laundry, the ensuing revelations never feel especially silly or exploitative. At times, the murder investigation easily falls to the background so the interpersonal dramas can step forward, and the show doesn't miss a beat. There are cliffhangers along the way, but they aren't the OH MY GOD THAT'S THE KILLER kind that often plague bad murder mysteries. 

Two other big pluses in Broadchurch's favor: The performances and the location. Everybody in the cast is on their game, starting with Tennant, who certainly shows a different side of himself here with Detective Inspector Hardy's jaded, burned-out persona. And Colman really drives the action as Miller tries to balance her professional instincts with her personal connections to possible suspects. Elsewhere, Whittaker and Buchan never make the Latimers' grief seem overheated, and the show's slew of supporting players are solid as well. 

And man, does this sucker look great. Whereas The Killing's Vancouver-for-Seattle setting makes for a truly depressing and sometimes suffocating viewing experience, Broadchurch's beautiful and often sunny beaches nicely contrast with the show's seedier undertones. Directors James Strong and Euros Lyn shoot the action in a way that emphasizes the lush locales, but there's no excess gloss or sheen. It looks awesome. 


And what doesn't work so well?

I have very few complaints. Broadchurch certainly isn't devoid of cliffhangers and misdirects, which can be frustrating in the early going when it's obvious that the show isn't going to reveal too much integral information. Similarly, there are characters the series constantly keys in on, as if to say HEY, THEY'RE SUSPICIOUS, and that can grow tiresome. In general, it doesn't offer anything particularly original; you've seen this before. 


Okay, so should I watch it?

Oh, most definitely. While it may not be the most original thing on TV, Broadchurch offers a really great execution of a story and characters you're very comfortable with. The cast is great, the episodes visit some really compelling places, and there are some gorgeous shots interspersed throughout. 


Can I get a preview?

A preview? How about a full first episode, available for free online RIGHT NOW (albeit not embeddable)? But if you just want a quick peek, here's a trailer, too:



What should I drink while I watch Broadchurch?

It's gotta be a pint of your favorite English stout. Maybe two pints.



Ed. note: If you've already seen Broadchurch, please avoid posting spoilers in the comments! We'll be back Wednesday night with a review of the first episode, though we likely we won't cover the show weekly unless clicks and comments demand it. So... speak up if you're interested in regular reviews!

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/22/2015

Season 2 : Episode 8

101 Comments
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I just finsihed it - such a good show!! i was addicted loved it
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David Tennant! Arthur Darvill! David Bradley! Dinosaurs on a Spaceship-writing! (Seriously, 'How do you start a triceratops?!' is one of my all-time favorite Doctor lines, and there have been so many…)
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In Australia we are more than half way through and I love it so far. Slow moving but this is real to life and its certainly gripping. Last week was a real 'oh so sad' moment at the end. Great to hear there will be a second series.
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Nice show if you watch it for the characters, extremely disappointing if you watch it for the who-did-it.
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I liked Broadchurch and would definitely rewatch it. If you're on the fence about watching this, give it a go! It'll hook you in. :)
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I'm so happy to see Tennant in something else. Long overdue. The show sounds good.
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FWIW, Olivia Colman is also a Dr. Who alum....she was Prisoner Zero's psychic/physical-form-link thingy at the end of Smith's first episode, The Eleventh Hour. She was the mom in the mother/daughter link who first told the Doctor that silence would fall.

Cory, lemme ask you this: I really liked the Brit (original version) mini-series "State of Play" (which later got made into a so-so movie with Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck). That was a murder mystery of sorts, with a lot of political overtones, but I'd call it largely a murder mystery. That was a 6-episode deal, I think. Wondering if you've seen it, and if you'd compare Broadchurch to that.
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Watched it in the UK. Some nice twists and a good basic plot however, it was about twice as long as it needed to be so I found it dragged a bit.
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not sure if i'll watch it. more shows coming back on in the next 2 months

really wish we had BBC America HD. BBCA just looks gross after watching mostly HD programming
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maybe i'll watch when it comes out on netflix.
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Watched already! Excellent casting! Liked it very much! Tennant & Coleman have v. good chemistry!
I think it was done with great taste, plus I love those small communities by the sea...
It is not of course the "ultimate drama" but did not feel like I had wasted my time nor anything like that... Would even... rewatch! LOL
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The killing is a snoozefest! Broadchurch is good. The ending is brilliant! Tennant is very dark and troubled in this, he is not DR WHO any more people......
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also, it's not DR WHO. its DOCTOR WHO. you cant spell TORCHWOOD without all the letters. :)
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the killing was pretty good this season.
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I have already watched, but I will compulsively follow the reviews if there are any. And there will be no spoilers from me :)
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Surely you should watch this. But don't mind Cory Barker, The Killing is better. Still, this is a good show and totally worth watching.
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i actually finished watching this yesterday. i really enjoyed it. i though david tennant was good and the story was really good.
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Let me put it this way: If you like Tennant, as I do, DO NOT watch this. If you like suspenseful, smart cop thrillers, DO NOT watch this. But, what am I telling you for. WATCH THIS and stop watching after 5 minutes, or by the first Tennant scene, where he's about as twatty and ill-cast as you can get :-)
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I think Tennant's really good in this (Colman's better, but that's fine), and this show isn't really a thriller. Much more about the grief and aftermath of a death.
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Could agree on that - a bit like "The killing", we do not care that much who is the killer at the end - although I felt a bit cold at the beginning with the reactions to the death on the part of the family. I will never know if it is the show's fault or just my state of mind of the moment. But if it was really really good, my state of mind should not have mattered...
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I couldn't disagree with you more. Tennant is still my fave Doctor, but he is brilliant in the role of DI Hardy. I love seeing that he has such a range, and I like even more that it's such a departure from Who that you don't constantly think, "That's David Tennant!" It's a great show, 8 episodes is about perfect, and the plot twists flow naturally and well. One of the best series I've seen in a while.
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Me not understanding. I like Tennant. He is great in here. This is a good cop thriller. But this is defenitely not doctor who... is that where we are going?
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I've seen this.. it's alright.. quite a slow series
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Slow? Really? What did you want?
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As a rule I love British dramas BUT this one bored the hell out of me the first time I saw it on a trip to England! The sheer blandness of the characters and the location was unbelievable.
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Just watched the first episode and it was great. Really dramatic and great character development especially for just one episode. Although I did find David Tennant's character a bit jerkish.
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The "jerkish"ness is intentional, and part of the story. By episode 3, you'll be fully rooting for his success.
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Watched it a while ago from the UK, it's absolutely superb, recommend it to anyone with good taste in dramas.
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I've already seen it as well and it's freaking brilliant! I'd highly recommend it.
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I've already seen the series and it is fantastic absolutely worth tuning in to watch
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Tennant it one of my favorite actors currently working but I'm not really ready for a new show, I somehow am finding myself short on time to do anything and have fallen behind on many things (I didn't even get to read my book yesterday) so I'm not about to widen my horizons just yet. Plus even though I'm sure he can do serious I prefer Tennant in more light hearted roles.
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I'm behind on so many things, but this is worth making time for. I promise.
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I heard good things about the show but delay watching it when it was first out because I was already watching the killing and the fall. I thought I do not need yet another serial killer show.

The summer came and I finished the fall so I started on this. I finished it in a few days. Well it is not as good as The fall but slightly better than the killing. The scenery is beautiful. There are some misdirect but it was done well. There are a few times when you thought you knew the killer but alas...and it does not feel forced.

One thing I liked about British series is the leads are not Hollywood type of attractive so they feel more real.
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"One thing I liked about British series is the leads are not Hollywood type of attractive so they feel more real."

Totally agree 200% with you there... They wear very little make up, you can see the wrinkled weathered faces... you think these people have lived... PLUS they can act LOL!

I feel that as well from Canadian series: although some series have very good looking people, they all look exotic, with uncommon features, wide variety of skin colours! Absolutely love that!
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i got super bored and finally shut it off a half hour in.
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I didn't like Dinosaurs on a Spaceship too much, but this vehicle is pretty watchable, athough you can see some of the developments (affairs, etc.) telegraphed pretty clearly already. It's kind of a "Peyton Place" meets a Britiish coastal setting. From the commericials, I was hoping it would be a little more eccentric in a Twin Peaks way. However, I love all the Doctor Who actors and the casting seems fairly competent. I'd say it's worth watching so far.
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The good news is that this isn't really anything like Dinos on a Spaceship, right? Though...that'd be interesting.
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I watched it when it was on here in the UK and found it a bit boring - mind you, everyone else I know who watched it thought it was great
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i watched it all yesterday,it was ok,the killer wasn't obvious so thats a plus,a little too slow for me at times but worth watching
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how am i going to b able to watch it without cable?
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It's brilliant, stella cast and superbly made. Also David Bradley is another Doctor Who connection :-)
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Absolutely loved the first episode of Broadchurch. I am from England and would love to see more episodes since I don't get the BBCAmerica channel.
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This series had me and all my friends talking, especially about whodunnit. I think Facebook uk went silent the night of the finale, lol.
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For those who haven't seen it, I would recommend giving it a try. That said, the season-long-murder-mystery format isn't exactly in my wheel-house so Broadchurch isn't a huge favorite of mine, but it is very good for what it is -- it's better than The Killing (but I guess that's not high praise or anything).
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I've already seen the series and it was fabulous - definitely worth watching. If you enjoy the Killing than you'll love it.
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Omg yes this is a defiant must watch. I loved it so much that after watching the finale I watched the entire thing over again. This gives The Fall a run for its money for best crime drama of the year.
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I cant recommend this highly enough. I think its possibly the best drama I've seen on tv this year - or even for a few years
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I couldn't agree more. Great show and the cast is fantastic
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I agree, highly recommend. I'm really into the character study single case mystery right now, and I love these small town settings. Tim's spot on about it being addictive.

I actually think I may like "Top of the Lake" a little more than "Broadchurch", but I must say that in terms of emotion, "Broadchurch" was one of the most moving and powerful dramas I've seen in years. There were few episodes where I did not feel tears threaten if not outright have a good cry over.
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oh my, I still have to watch Top of the Lake! thanks for the reminder :)
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(not Tim)
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LOL, but you look and act like identical twins. Easy mistake to make. :)
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Apologies Cory, my mistake! I totally wasn't paying attention; evidently today is not my multitasking day.
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I'll give it a shot.

I heard similar comments from friends about "The Fall" but I just didn't enjoy it that much. I'll admit it's nice seeing Gillian Anderson on the screen so much lately (Hannibal and The Fall) but I just wasn't invested in "The Fall"'s story.
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The Fall was good, but not great.
Broadchurch is at times great
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have to disagree on this, politely - I found The Fall several degrees better than Broadchurch.
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I'm passing based solely on the "very serious" tone of the marketing. I'm just burned out on "very serious, emotionally-draining drama" stuff in general, and all the sad eyes and accusations in the promos for this are a turnoff for me. I don't doubt it's good though, it looks gripping and ripe for strong acting moments.
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Well, it is very serious indeed - Tennant doesn't change his face more than once or twice in the whole run.
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And look at it, it's tired, sad, rumpled, pinched from emotional distress and swallowing misery. One can only take so much of that in life.
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Seen it, loved it, you should definitely watch it. The only bad news is that an American network station is doing a remake already. WHY?!
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I'm also wondering about this... why...? why a remake of this?? why taking the risk? I mean, I can understand if the original show is in a different language because most of us are lazy with subtitles... but why this?? I'm glad that at least the UK version will show on American TV much before the remake!
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here's praying honey boo boo is the victim in the remake!
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Because Fox is dumb sometimes.
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ooh ok, that's why...
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Sometimes, Cory? Sometimes?
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Be fair, guys. It could have been any American network that had the brainfart to copy this show. Let's review NBC's Coupling, MTV's Skins, ABC's Life on Mars, or Starz' Torchwood Miracle Day.
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Heh, there's probably some truth to that, but BBC did make a good series in Cardiff for 3 years. The difference in Season 4 was moving it to the States and co-producing with Starz. Regardless, it was horrific.
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Oh, sure, just pretend that BBC Wales didn't have anything to do with it!
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Watched it on ITV. Definitely check this one out guys, Best drama I've seen this year.
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Having watched the entire series i wholeheartedly recommend it
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I'm really looking forward to this. I heard great things about it while it aired in the UK. Unfortunately, one article let slip who the killer is, but I plan to enjoy it anyway. BTW, Olivia Coleman was in the 11th Doctor's first adventure with Amy Pond (The Eleventh Hour) and Euros Lyn directed many Tennant era episodes of Doctor Who.
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I knew the Euros Lyn name sounded familiar! Thank you.
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He also directed all 5 episodes of Children of Earth.
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that was quite something!
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It would be watchable if its half as good as the fall!
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disagree, The Fall is better - but you can go up and down on that - i enjoyed both, and if you liked the fall, you will like this!
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cool...I loved Fall.
Gillian Anderson was simply mindblowing.
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It's better, I think.
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I'm in the middle of The Fall and have seen Broadchurch and they are both brilliant. We don't need to know which is better as we can enjoy both like cake and ice cream and be glad they make good stuff like these two...
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I'm defenitely glad! (but The Fall is better LOL)
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I hope you're right, and wouldn't that be nice with two episodes to go...
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I watched it on BBC Iplayer and it is a fantastic series. Tennant is fantastic in it, so is Darvill. It isn't rewriting the who dunnit but it is a sumpremely competent show and all actors and actresses do a fine job.
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The acting is absolutely amazing....what I don't like about it is the same as ever...why do the police have to arrest everyone, like picking of the apples, one by one until only two are left? The Fall is a much better series.
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Agree!! :-D
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watched it in the uk and it was ace. so i would recommend it
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Edit to my first post : I wouldn't be intested in weekly reviews but as a non american person, I'm interested in knowing what american people thought about a foreign TV show made exclusively for british television.
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The Brits make some great stuff and it's just different enough to see how other cultures do things like how their laws parallel ours and how concepts of justice don't vary all that much. The only problem I have are some of the acronyms are not always easy to figure out, but we have Wikipedia for that. It amazes me that criminals don't always get how technology gets them caught more often than not.
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I agree : watching foreign TV shows allows me to see a country differently and to approach in some way their culture. It also makes me desire to visit the country.
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I didn't realize that they love their alphabet soup across the pond as much as they do in the US and I agree, it can be confusing, especially when they introduce themselves with acronyms rather than with proper titles.

There are approx 38 jurisdictions operating common law legal traditions. The laws of the US are predominantly based on English common law though the American system has distinguished itself over time. One of the things that has peaked my interest is the difference in the rights stated upon arrest and how that all works out in a criminal case. Perhaps I might take in some Law & Order: UK to educate myself.
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I learned the acronyms on Life On Mars (UK). Good stuff. Different than the American one. Also, the sequel series Ashes to Ashes.
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I watched this the first time round here in the UK and I have to say that it was the first TV show in a long time to get people talking in the office and to friends, trying to work out 'whodunnit', how and why.

You're in for a treat.
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First time in a while that I watched ITV. ITV is usually bad with there shows (not on the same caliber as BBC1) but this was very very good!
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Chuckle. Largely true from what I've seen (I've liked 4 of their shows ever, and i know 1 of them is crap), but its funny to hear considering the Downton Abbey craze still droning on in America.
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I never got into Downtown Abbey, found it a bit boring. Usually ITV keep pushing out unforgettable crap, I only check this out at first because I like David Tennant and I was not disappointed!
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I've already seen it and while it wasn't great ( some of the characters are a bit too sterotyped for me, especially Tennant's), it was a good piece of television. What worked best for me was the cast : all the actors were good.
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could not have said this better
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