YMMV / Broadchurch

  • Author's Saving Throw: The complete lack of Susan and any of the lawyers in Series 3, despite some big hints in Series 2 that there was more planned for them, is viewed by many fans as a tacit admission from the show's crew that they seriously screwed up whatever they were going for with the characters and it was best to just drop them completely.
  • Awesome Music: The main theme, which is incredibly beautiful and sad at the same time. It was even used in the teaser trailer for Fantastic Four (2015).
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • "I know men who'd rape you!" The line is completely over the top, and doesn't lead to anything later. It is brought back during the trial though.
    • Ellie's return home to collect her things in the final episode is a very poignant scene until she detours into the living room to step on a slug. Was it meant to convey rage, tragedy, senselessness? The problem here is it's tough to combine a squashed slug with piano music and slo-mo. (@BroadchurchSlug has its own Twitter account. #slugjustice!)
  • Broken Base: People who watched for the characters tend to really like the reveal of the killer, and how it affects everyone. Those who watched for the mystery are irritated by the lack of clues and overdose of creepy characters to what ended up being no purpose.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • In the middle of endless doom and gloom, Ellie verbally tearing Tom a new one over his perjury to help his worthless pederast and murderer father beat the rap, and after he'd been such a jerk to her the whole series, is incredibly satisfying.
    • He gets it again in Series 3 when Ellie takes a hammer to his phone and laptop over his porn surfing.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Series 1 toed the line, and Series 2 fully leaps over it, being largely just scene after scene of Ellie being completely miserable.
  • Evil Is Sexy: In Season 2, many viewers found Lee and Claire to be scorchingly hot, both together and separately.
  • Funny Moments:
    • In the middle of an argument, Ellie abruptly invites DI Hardy to dinner, her house, pick a night. You ask the boss to work, she doesn't like it but what people do. Hardy looks like he's been hit in the head with a brick. His panic when told you don't talk about work is wonderful:
      "What will we talk about?"
      "I don't know! Just say yes."
      "Thank you. Bloody hell! Knob."
    • ...And then he shows up with a bottle of wine. And flowers. And chocolates.
      "Wasn't sure what I should choose, so I just got them all.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • After David Tennant played a hero and James D'Arcy an antagonist in this show, they joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the opposite.
    • See the Doctors of the past and the future together! There is also a former companion, someone who would later play the actor of the First Doctor (and then the First Doctor himself) and a large number of actors who have also appeared, or would later appear, on Doctor Who. Guess who became the head writer of Doctor Who after finishing this show.
  • Idiot Plot: The entire courtroom plotline of Series 2 relies entirely on judge, jury and prosecution all suffering from severe, writer-inflicted brain damage. Even if Hollywood Law were not in effect, vital evidence (such as Hardy's illness, which would have prevented him from physically assaulting the defendant) goes unmentioned, timelines are ignored (Q: are we sure that the defendant's injuries did not occur before rather than after the confession? A: yes, because both events are on police camera), and the net result is a trial that takes up the whole series.
  • Narm:
    • Lee Ashworth's love of standing on distant hills to threateningly stare at people. It works pretty well the first time, but then he just keeps doing it until it's impossible to take seriously. Especially when he appears to sprint like his life depended on it to get in position a few seconds after ringing Claire's doorbell to drop her favorite dish off.
    • The show doesn't explain that in the British court system the attorneys don't wear their wigs while talking to children to make them less intimidating, so to anyone unfamiliar with it, Tom's turn on the witness stand comes off like the crew just forgot to bring the wigs that day and they went ahead anyway.
    • Mark being saved from his suicide in Series 3. Many fans said that it could have worked if the whole thing had been contained in a single episode, but the way the show let them stew over it for a week before saying "Nope, just kidding!" feels like a gimmick that should be far beneath it.
  • Sophomore Slump: Series 2 is considered to be far inferior to the first, with the less compelling mystery and multiple legal faults tending to be the largest points of contention; the first series won a hat-trick at the BAFTAs, including Best Drama Series, but Series 2 was overlooked completely. Series 3 is widely seen to be an improvement on Series 2 - with the plot being more even and less contrived, as well as the central mystery not being a rehash of the original.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The opening theme is incredibly beautiful and sad.
    • When Beth Latimer asks Tom Miller for a hug.
    • "I miss his hugs."
    • Jack's breakdown and tragic suicide.
    • The town lights a bonfire on the beach in memory of Danny and as we watch, more fires start up the distance, until the whole coast is spotted with pinpricks of light.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans have said that Ellie's theory that Lisa accidentally killed Pippa and ran away would have been a better solution to the Sandbrook case than the real one, especially since what actually happens makes Lisa being a case of Never Found the Body completely pointless.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Mark, Paul and Maggie all exist in minor subplots in Series 3 with no connection to the case of rape that drives this final series, clearly just to keep the actors in the cast. Mark tracks down Joe and tries to kill himself, Paul is in a rut because church attendance has gone down after it increased in the wake of Danny's murder, and Maggie struggles with the new owner of her magazine's tasteless approach to journalism. Beth only avoids this by having become an ISVA and coincidentally being assigned to Trish Winterman, the same person whose rape Hardy and Ellie are investigating.
  • Values Dissonance: The age of consent in Britain is 16, which can cause certain scenes to seem strange to people who live in areas where it is 18:
    • Jack makes a point to note that had he waited a few weeks for his 15-year-old lover's birthday, their romance would have been perfectly legal. In many places, however, the girl was more than two years too young to be having sex with any adult, even ignoring the fact that he was 40.
    • The Latimers make a big deal about the fact that their 15-year-old daughter is dating a 17-year-old. This seems weird to them because the boy is an adult. In many places, both are still seen as minors, so it doesn't seem like such a big deal.
    • The same happens in reverse in countries where the age is 15 or lower (for example, most of mainland Europe).
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Alec Hardy began suffering from a heart illness right after his wife cheated on him and ruined his career by losing some highly important evidence while meeting with her lover. An almost literal case of broken heart.
    • Metaphor extends into series 2. Hardy's heart heals.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Series 3 got a lot of people back on board after the highly controversial Series 2, returning to a bigger focus on the Ellie/Hardy partnership and banter and with a case that's largely divorced from the previous two, avoiding any of their baggage.
  • The Woobie:
    • Jack. He got jailed and his reputation tarnished for a consensual relationship. He married his lover only for their son to die at a young age. He moves to Broadchurch to start anew only for his conviction to resurface and get twisted, culminating in the town turning on him and forming a lynch mob when some former members of his club provide some maligned "evidence" to him being a pedophile. And even after he reveals the truth, his house is vandalized and he gets a picture of his dead son and ex-wife thrown into his face. He's Driven to Suicide, and to rub salt in the wound we get to hear Chloe complain about how she doesn't care about his funeral since she never liked him anyway, and nobody pays for basically hounding him to his death.
    • Ellie. In season 2 she has been demoted to a traffic cop, her oldest son will not talk to her and almost the whole town has given her the cold shoulder.