I know I've harped on the wonders of ITV's Broadchurch, but, to come clean, I wasn't quite as enamored at first. I loved the entire series up until the finale. [Spoilers ahead.]
The reason was, mostly, that I believed too much in human integrity, in good ol' small towns and decent middle class families. The last episode shattered my hopes and gave me a strong dose of Calvinism - it took me a while to recognize the hope that accompanied that disillusion, and the deep themes of love and grace among ubiquitous sin.
I recognize that the sudden aberration was supposed to be shocking and unexpected, but I was so struck by the way it destroyed my illusions that I had little time to focus on other themes. My revelation came mostly through this article, which I fully recommend (and to which I can add nothing but my endorsement):
It feels that underneath all of this pain [in Broadchurch], the question that lurks down deep is “am I known? Who really knows me and do I really know anyone?” What would true intimacy, true community look like? David Tennant’s character has a line in episode 4 that is intended as humor, but evoked a main truth of the series in my opinion....“Why do we have to create some false intimacy by calling each other by first names?” The line, as is the scene, is funny, but also belies a lurking unbelief in intimacy and, I suspect, a sadness of its absence....As DI Hardy says in the final episode, “People are unknowable… You can never really know what goes on inside someone else’s heart.”
Whilst this might cause some of you to want to skip Broadchurch, might advertise it as depressing, negative, etc… Don’t. Yes, there is the deep truth of Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Yet, there is also a hope lurking....Broadchurch might open the door for despair of humanity, but it also opens another door.
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