How 'Broadchurch' Changed The Crime TV Genre Forever

How 'Broadchurch' Changed The Crime TV Genre Forever

'​Broadchurch' has always been good at showing us that healing will eventually be achieved with time, although the pain might never completely go away.
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From seeing the very first trailers for the first season, to watching the last scene in the final episode, something about the British crime drama "Broadchurch" has fascinated me like no crime show ever had before. In the past, I’d try to watch an episode of two of whatever CSI series was in re-runs at the time but no matter how much I wanted to be a part of the bandwagon, I just could not find it in myself to keep up with any of them. "Broadchurch," from the very beginning, was unique. David Tennant and Olivia Colman’s portrayals of their characters, Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller, anchor the storylines of the three seasons, keeping the viewer glued to the screen at every turn. From Hardy’s gruff and haunting personality to Miller’s genuine desire to be there for her family and friends while still doing her job, the personalities of each character are so well-crafted that they make this show impossible to walk away from.

From the very first episode of the first season, I was struck by the show’s raw portrayal of the emotions of the people living in "Broadchurch," the hometown of Danny Latimer, whose murder is the focus of the first season’s plot. Of course, they were all concerned with finding out who was his killer but, as the mystery builds, “why” began to matter more than “who.” The confusion and shared grief of the townspeople were some things that other crime shows had never incorporated into the plot. The most painful part of the storyline was the Latimer family’s grief. Danny’s mother, father and sister had to figure out how to go about their lives with a huge empty space in their hearts, and without knowing who to blame for putting it there. In what I found to be the most painful scene, Danny’s mother, Beth, is in the cereal aisle of their local grocery store — this being her first time out since the news of her son’s murder spread throughout the town. She is met with stares and sympathetic looks and finds herself in the cereal aisle holding a box of Danny’s favorite cereal. The pain on Beth’s face holding this symbol of her son in her hands and realizing that she will never be with him again is unmistakable to anyone who has ever felt a loss. It is scenes like this one that handle such pivotal moments with incredible delicacy while still getting the point across that set the show apart from all others in its genre.

When the second season began, it quickly became clear to me that the plot would be mostly focused on the courtroom proceedings of Danny’s killer. I had a lot of doubts about the show’s ability to repeat the greatness of the first season, but those concerns were eased by the skillful writing of Chris Chibnall, whose ability to craft the show’s storyline brought new and conflicting emotions to the characters and, by extension, the viewers. The way that this season showed the lives of central characters come crashing down and their pasts unearthed still had me glued to the screen at every turn. The steps that Chibnall takes to add depth to the characters at the risk of viewers getting bored are well worth it in the end.

The third and final season was by far the most impacting out of the entire series and the most influential in the way that "Broadchurch" impacted the media. It focuses on a woman, Trish Winterman, who was raped during a party. I have never experienced anything close to what she did and I had relatively little experience with the topic of sexual assault. In a world where rape is often talked about in hushed tones, "Broadchurch" showed every aspect of the assault in all of its harsh reality from the difficulty in obtaining real evidence to the invisible pain it inflicts on the one assaulted and those around them. Every element of the cinematography establishes the devastation that Trish and those close to her feel. The show walks through every step of the investigation, even bringing Trish back to the scene of the crime. In recounting the events of that night, Trish says, “I was so happy that night” before showing the faces of Hardy and Miller, who are utterly heartbroken.

I have yet to meet another person who has watched a single episode of "Broadchurch," and I can understand why. Despite the fact that these episodes are often times gut-wrenching to watch, mostly because you know that the devastation shown is what many in the real world feel every day, I believe that we could all learn a lot from this show, Trish Winterman’s case especially. "Broadchurch" has always been good at showing us that, although the lives of the people impacted by these crimes will never be the same, over time, those involved will become stronger and able to use their experiences to help others in the process of healing.

Cover Image Credit: Blogspot

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10 TV Shows that were Canceled Before Their Time

They should have been given a real chance.
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Television shows have been a staple in many homes around the world for almost 100 years. During that time, multiple shows have come and gone without being given the opportunity to really get on their feet.

Some were of low quality and could have just been pulled because of it; while many others were excellent...but due to low ratings, were canceled by their network. I asked TV junkies on Tumblr and Oh No They Didn't which shows they thought were undeserved victims of such an injustice. Here were the top 10.

1. "Pushing Daisies"

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This was overwhelmingly named as the top show that got treated dirty by the network, ABC. It was bright and colorful, literally, and had a gripping story of Ned, a piemaker (Lee Pace), who had the ability to bring dead people back to life with just a single touch. He used this talent to help solve murder cases. Throw in dynamic characters, such as the private investigator, played by Chi McBride; and Olive, portrayed by the amazing Kristin Chenoweth, it's a shame this show didn't make it past three seasons. It was canceled in 2009.

2. "Selfie"

Selfie ABC

This sitcom was another casualty of ABC. It was a modern-day version of "My Fair Lady." Granted, neither its title, nor its pilot, were very appealing, but it really hit its stride on the third episode. Plus, John Cho as the romantic lead? Yes, please. Sadly, the ratings did not improve by midseason. ABC pulled it in 2015 after airing only 13 episodes.

3. "Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23"

Yet another show that ABC canceled (it's not intentional, I swear!). Starring a pre-"Jessica Jones" Krysten Ritter, it centered around Chloe, a party girl who intentionally tries to scare off her roommates. Featuring a fictionalized version of James Van Der Beek (yes, that James Van Der Beek), the series received much praise from critics, but its ratings did not agree. ABC canceled it midseason in January 2013.

4. "Freaks and Geeks"

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Moving over to NBC for this one, "Freaks and Geeks" starred young Linda Cardellini, James Franco and Seth Rogen. It followed brother/sister duo Lindsay and Sam Weir as they befriend different groups in their new high school, the "freaks" and the "geeks." Low ratings only allowed NBC to initially air 12 of the 18 episodes in the fall of 1999. Fan outcry caused the network to air the remaining six episodes on the Fox Family Channel in September 2000.

5. "Galavant"

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Back to ABC, "Galavant" was campy, fun and musical. With the music and lyrics co-written by Alan Menken (known for conducting much of the Disney songs we know and love), the show centered around a knight called Sir Galavant and his rivalry with King Richard. Comedy and songs throughout made it a fun story, which began airing in the 2015 midseason. Its second season kicked off with an episode poking fun at its low ratings and precarious status before ABC canceled it in spring 2016.

6. "Better Off Ted"

better off ted

Another ABC sitcom and this is a show that I had never actually heard of, but its title came up a lot in the polls. It was a satire about a single father (Jay Harrington), who was the head of the research and development department at a large corporation. Costarring Portia de Rossi, the series premiered in March 2009, but its ratings dropped each week, forcing a cancellation in Jan. 2010.

7. "Kings"

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Not to be confused with a Canadian show with a similar name, "Kings" was on NBC for a mere 12 episodes in 2009. It starred the always terrific Ian McShane in a futuristic version of what was eerily similar to the Bible story of King David. NBC aired the first five episodes in March 2009, then concluded airing its other seven episodes that July before announcing its cancellation.

8. "Firefly"

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I was surprised that this one did not make it higher on the list. Even today, fans still talk about the unfair treatment it received from Fox Network. The story took place in the year 2517 on various planets and star systems in space. It centered around a crew aboard the Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship, captained by Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion). It premiered on Fox in September 2002, but then the network announced its cancellation after only 11 episodes were aired. Fan popularity and fan campaigns led to a movie, "Serenity," released in 2005, followed by a fan-made documentary in 2006.

9. "Rome"

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The only cable show on this list, "Rome" was a historical drama set in first century BC during the time when Ancient Rome was transitioning into an empire. The characters were loosely based on real people from history, but the protagonists were two fictional soldiers by the names of Lucius Vorenus, played by Kevin McKidd, and Titus Pullo, played by Ray Stevenson.

It ran for two seasons on HBO, as well as the British Broadcasting Company, from August 2005 through March 2007. Unlike the other shows on the list, its reason for the cancellation was not because of low ratings but because the show was very expensive to film. Allegedly, there is currently a movie script based on the show being shopped around to different production companies.

10. "My So-Called Life"

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Ending this list with, of course, another show canceled by ABC. Though, this one was a drama, not a sitcom. It premiered in August 1994 and starred Claire Danes as Angela Chase, an insecure teenager who encounters hardships in her social circle. The show dealt with heavy issues such as child abuse, homophobia and school violence. It received acclaim from critics, as well as a Golden Globe win for Danes. However, it succumbed to its low ratings in 1995, after only 19 episodes were aired.

Do you agree with this list? What other shows do you think should have made it on here? Do you feel like going back and watching any of these shows, and then screaming at the unfairness of its network for taking them off the air?

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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We Can't Choose Our Born Appearance, But We Can Choose Our Tattoos

For the first time in my life, I felt beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.
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On a Saturday afternoon, I received my first tattoo. Not in an act of rebellion or consummation of my newfound privileges as an adult, but rather in a calculated decision to take ownership over the aesthetics of my own body.

Without an appointment, I walked into the tattoo parlor with my friend Rachel. The musty, carpeted staircase and dim lights created an atmosphere of suspicion. I nudged her, “This is where I die, right?” “Yeah, definitely.”

There was a collection of bold artwork hung on the bright yellow walls, everything from demonic warrior bugs to naked skeletal figures, the screamo music a real punch to the ears – I’m more of a classical music fan. The women at the front desk walked me through the process and assisted me in choosing a final design.

Nothing too extravagant, I thought. Music is life–a cliche, I know, but true nonetheless. I remember playing the piano alongside my American Girl Dolls, pressing single C and D down in succession, with my thumb and index fingers.

Twelve years later, I whipped around the keyboard playing Chopin Polonaises and Scriabin Etudes. To this day, I cannot prevent my fingers from tapping away on desks and countertops, the music perpetually flowing through my body. Music made me who I am – I wanted to commemorate that. And I wanted to express who I am inside on the outside.

I laid down on the table. The tattoo machine buzzed and shocked my skin at first: “Are you alright?” the tattoo artist asked. “I’m fine.” I was momentarily in shock, but the machine felt more like a deep tickle.

We have no choice in our born appearance. However, we do have the agency to style our hair, choose our clothes, tattoo our skin, pierce our ears and various body parts, etc.

The empowerment I felt when I first took off the bandage is an unmatched experience. I looked at my body in the mirror and saw someone closer to my true self.

For the first time in my life, I felt beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.

Cover Image Credit: Christine MacKenzie

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