Line of Duty/Broadchurch (UK)

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  • Line of Duty/Broadchurch (UK)

    This is a bit of a UK-centric one. Oh, and some mild spoilers, obviously.


    So I binge-watched the second series of Line of Duty today and I'm kind of seething. Five and a half hours of stunning, beautifully paced, superbly made drama, followed by an utter arse of a final 30 minutes. Most frustrating of all was that it pulled the exact same trick as Broadchurch, by having a '2 months earlier' flashback in which let's forget all the details, claims, counter-claims and instead just have a really prosaic explanation of what happened.

    I know this risks spinning off into crap-plus-one territory, but I cannot understand how smart people sat around and said, okay, we have a perfectly linear, carefully plotted police procedural that beautifully builds to a climax... only then let's throw in the one and only flashback, just for the purposes of sh*tting exposition onto the audience like a stag-do cabaret act. And it kind of worries me that given the success of both Broadchurch and Line of Duty that this will become something of a norm - that the prospect of delivering a concrete ending that both complements and tops all that's gone before is just too tricky, so let's break the fourth wall and let the audience in on what really happened. It's cheap and lazy.

    The Danish and US versions of The Killing managed it. Both series of The Bridge managed it. Is it really too much to ask..?

    I guess if nothing else it does prove that with things like VO and flashbacks, you either really commit to them or you don't do them at all - any time I feel tempted to throw in a last act flashback, a big Line-of-Duty-shaped hammer will slam me in the nuts.
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