22 July 2017

Notes on Broadchurch

1. Like any other teenager during my time (not sure what fills teenagers' heads nowadays), I fantasized about having a family.

2. The fantasy gave way to other things as I grew older, until it went on reverse: it became the last thing on my mind. Currently, unimaginable.

3. I'll admit. I jumped on the Broadchurch bandwagon because of Jodie Whittaker. BBC announced that she will be the next Doctor in Doctor Who. Not having heard of her before, I googled her works. Broadchurch happens to be available on Netflix, so I binge-watched the series and finished three seasons in two days.

4. I'm excited, by the way, to see a female Doctor. For the simple reason of novelty. I remember enjoying the David Tennant and Katherine Tate combo because the latter isn't the typical young, pretty companion. Am looking forward to this new dynamic between the leads. (Speaking of the show — a by the way within a by the way — Michelle Gomez's Missy is oh-so-fine!)

5. This is very strange. After watching Broadchurch, I kind of want to raise a family.

6. The story begins with an eleven-year-old boy named Danny found dead on the shore. Jodie plays his mother.

7. Okay, wow, I'm going back to Doctor Who. I believe the episode was A Christmas Carol. The details won't be precise but the mom (guardian? — an important, lovable woman) passed away, then towards the end, by some magic or timey-wimey manipulation, she was brought back to life and everybody was happy.

I was disappointed, not just because it felt like a cheap trick, but because... wait I tweeted about it before (getting used to quoting myself; repetition bulldozes the message home):

8. In Broadchurch, the parents take their son's death as their failure. That's the word they use repeatedly. Fail. I failed. I'm a failure. Jodie in an outburst says her job as a mother is to prepare Danny for life, and she fails at it.

9. Whenever I (adult me) would sit down and think about having a family — why I may or may not want one — I would discover that, among other things, what's stopping me is that fear of failure to protect (which I've explained better here).

10. I'm sure I've come across other stories with characters meeting death head-on. But Broadchurch has made such an impact on me because it's simply well-made, what else?

Other stuff I like about the show:

11. Acting and casting. Special shoutout to Olivia Colman! The people of Broadchurch look like people in a real town. The only miscast actor for me is Arthur Darvill, whom I feel is too baby-faced for the role of the reverend.

12. The reverend. Darvill's fluffiness aside, the show makes a case for keeping our Faith, capital F. It paints the church kindly, as a sane institution.

13. Death is not the only horror in Broadchurch. It's a hugely horrific show that inspires me to live. Because the good people persist despite personal failures and failed systems. They don't win against criminals or change corrupt institutions, but they somehow find ways to overcome them.

14. I'm sleepy, I'll end here. All praises to Broadchurch. I already like Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor.

Jodie Whittaker (leftmost) is Beth Latimer in "Broadchurch" and future Doctor in "Doctor Who". (Photo via @BroadchurchTV)

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