By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Bloodless, gripping crime drama deals with child's murder.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
While the detectives' quest for the truth is a constant, so is the prevailing sense that the small town of Broadchurch -- a seemingly idyllic place -- is teeming with secrets. On the plus side, justice is ultimately served.
Positive Role Models
Some residents aren't as trustworthy as they seem, and many keep dark secrets. But the detectives searching for the killer are dedicated to finding the truth.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is implied with the dead body of an 11-year-old boy, but it's a bloodless crime.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters, one of whom is married, are having an affair.
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Some audible swearing (mainly "s--t"). Other terms include "piss off," "hell," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A teenage girl is dating a drug dealer, and police find a stash of cocaine under her bed. A local hotel owner is also a drug dealer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Broadchurch revolves around the death of an 11-year-old boy, but there's no blood and only a few brief shots of the body. That said, you will hear some unbleeped swearing (mostly "s--t") and other salty terms like "piss off" and "hell." All other iffy content is mostly described rather than shown: several characters are involved in illegal drug-dealing, and two characters are having an affair.
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What's the Story?
When the body of an 11-year-old boy is found face-down on the beaches of BROADCHURCH, a quiet town on the English coast where murder is an anomaly, no one knows what to make of the crime. But as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) work together to find the killer, the local residents' best-kept secrets begin bubbling to the surface.
Is It Any Good?
Inspired by series creator Chris Chibnall's longtime home on the Jurassic Coast, the fictional town of Broadchurch seems like the kind of place everyone would want to live. But when you learn that the town's first murder in recent memory is that of an 11-year-old boy, it suddenly isn't as idyllic as it seems. You're also effectively hooked, thanks to thoughtful pacing and an intriguing ensemble of characters who make for a high-quality whodunit.
The most refreshing aspect of Broadchurch for parents will be its reluctance to rely on overly graphic visuals -- a rare thing indeed for a modern crime drama -- which means it's relatively safe for older teens, too. Not that they'll definitely want to watch, but if they do, they'll be treated to a well-constructed series that proves you don't need bells and whistles to make an impression.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the fictional town of Broadchurch and how closely it resembles the places they live. Is murder as rare in your town as it is in Broadchurch? How would the people of your community react if a similar crime took place where you live?
Broadchurch was a critically acclaimed series in its native Britain. How well do you think it will play to American audiences? Does the fact that it's set in the UK make it more or less appealing?
How does Broadchurch's violent content compare to other crime series you've seen? Does a series have to be bloody and graphic to be gripping?
- Premiere date: March 4, 2013
- Cast: David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, Olivia Colman
- Network: BBC America
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: June 1, 2023
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