Broadchurch

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Broadchurch TV Poster Image
Bloodless, gripping crime drama deals with child's murder.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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
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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult 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... Continue reading
Adult Written byHilary L. December 14, 2016

An intense detective drama

Broadchurch is a detective drama that revolves around an eleven year old's murder in a small seaside town. Detective Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller are assign... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
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... Continue reading

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?

TV details

For kids who love drama

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate