We’ve all seen the news reports from real life… the standard “we never thought something like this could happen in our little community” statements setting a sad and tragic soundtrack to pictures of an idyllic, quiet town – a town not used to danger, where harmony is as ever present as in a Boyz II Men song from the 90’s. But, as we all know bad shit happens, and evil lurks anywhere… here are a few good TV series where your typical small town is visited by darkness and truths are unraveled.
A young boy is found dead on the beach of a small coastal city in the south of England, and investigation into his death is led by DS Ellie Miller (the dead boy’s neighbour) and the new DI Alec Hardy. Although we’re used to the classic partnership of investigators who have their differences, it still works in this show, greatly helped by David Tennant and Olivia Colman, who do wonders with the aforementioned main characters. What really makes Broadchurch stand out during it’s first season, however, is how it nails the emotional aspect of a family torn apart by the loss of one of their family members. Jodie Whittaker, who plays the murdered kid’s mother, is perfect in the scene where she realizes that her life has just changed forever (don’t worry, it’s early in the first episode, and basically the premise of the show, so no spoiler). The supporting cast is good all around, and I’ll just say it… those Brits sure how to make good crime drama. Season 2 is currently airing.
Fun fact: David Tennant was so good that he was cast in the same role in the American remake of the show… (yes, they just had to remake it…)
Top of the Lake
It was hard not to think of ‘Twin Peaks’ when this show came out. Small city rattled by a crime and a great selection of weird characters… add to this the amazing scenery of New Zealand, where the story takes place, and you have yourself a winner. Tui, a pregnant 12-year-old, tries to drown herself in a lake, and after having been questioned by Detective Robin Griffin, the little girl disappears without a trace. Yeah, you guessed it, it’s not a feel good TV show…
Either way, the hunt is on, and as always, plenty of characters with something to hide become involved in one way or another. Elisabeth Moss (Peggy from ‘Mad Men’) is perfect for the lead, showing everyone that she doesn’t need her “safe” surroundings of a 60s Manhattan ad agency to shine. Personally, I’d also point out Peter Mullan as Matt as a standout performer in this show, whereas Holly Hunter is always up to the task. And why wouldn’t she be? She’s Holly Hunter.