Broadchurch

 
(i)

 

Bloodless, gripping crime drama deals with child's murder.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Violence is implied with the dead body of an 11-year-old boy, but it's a bloodless crime.

Sex

Two characters, one of whom is married, are having an affair.

Language

Some audible swearing (mainly "s--t"). Other terms include "piss off," "hell," etc.

Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, Olivia Colman
Network:BBC America
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Broadchurch was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byotisnova September 7, 2013
 

Decent show, marred by excessive sexual sub-plots

Made a point to watch, or dvr Broadchurch after reading some of the glowing reviews. The actors, setting and plot are all very good or excellent. While I don't consider myself a prude by any means, I am a bit upset that the writers had to throw in 4 or 5 sexual sub-plots to spice this show up. One or two of them are key to the plot, but come on! (Warning plot spoilers ahead) - The father of the mudered boy was having an affair the night of his sons death - The old shop owner was accused of being a pedophile, later it turns out he was shagging a 15 year old. - The boys daughter who is 15, is dating a 17 year old, and shaggibg him---al least with condoms. - The newspaper affair. They kiss, then wind up shagging. We see them wake up together and discuss shagging again. - The detective on the case embarrases himself by coming on to the B&B's owner. She refuses to shag. I probably missed some, but really, do we need all of this to keep our attention. This is on BBC, which is part of why I think this is a bit much. I enjoy shows like Game of Thrones and True Blood where the sex and violence is expected and needed.
Teen, 17 years old Written byJoshua Neumann October 6, 2013
 

Broadchurch effectively pulls you in to a whole new life, filled with mystery, wonder, and heartbreak

A brilliantly dark show. Completely terrifying and beautifully structured. You cannot help but be hooked. Broadchurch does more than entertain - it gives one a perspective on life. Nothing is as it seems. Even though it portrays such twisted ideas, it gives one a stunning sense of beauty and love. It makes one question what this world has come to, and it makes one believe in something more. It will make you smile, and it will most certainly make you cry!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byLunaWolf March 29, 2015
 

First season = Perfect. Second season = Not so good.

The first season is brilliant, amazing acting tension and a good who done it. There is a little swearing, (f*** s*** and p***) but overall the language is okay with only minor obscenities, there is quite a few references to sex including an affair between two character and the relationship between a fifteen and seventeen year old, but other than references the most we see is a persons naked back. There is quite a bit of tension due to the death of Danny which some may find upsetting, but overall it's a well acted and well written show that if you get past those issues is a brilliant watch. The second season however not only is less well written but contains about two sex scenes and a fair amount of explicit talk along with violence and some infrequent swearing. I would recommend the first season to any reasonably mature eleven year old but I'd leave the second series (Depending on your child's maturity.) until they are 12-13+.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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