Broadchurch series three was about toxic masculinity – so why did it end by saying “not all men”?

broadchurch season 3 david tennant olivia colman julie hesmondlalgh rape not all men sexual assault mishandling criticism hd series 3 chris chibnall jodie whittaker

The series, then, was about toxic masculinity. That was the overarching theme, evident from the start and continued (almost) to the closing moments of the series. More specifically, though, it was about men controlling women – exerting influence over them, disregarding their boundaries and autonomy, and attempting to control them. 

However, it’s telling that at the end of it all, we get a “not all men” scene. DI Hardy decries the rapist as an “aberration”, insisting that “not every man is like that”. Which is odd, really – quite apart from all the problems inherent with that phrase, it seemed like every episode up until now had been about saying yes, actually. All men.

So why did the final episode flip the script?

Hmm, so. Broadchurch series 3.

Mostly, everyone loved this series of Broadchurch. I thought it was particularly good – and, really, more importantly particularly sensitive in terms of how it handled its rape plotline – until, at least, the final episode. There were a lot of issues, I reckon; from pushing Trish to the edges of the narrative, essentially removing her from her own story right at the end, to the redemption scenes given to each man (particularly Charlie Higson’s character), to the identity of Trish’s attacker full stop. Oh, and, the fact it said “not all men”. Yikes.

Pretty much no one, however, seemed to be writing about it – the praise was largely without caveats, and none of the above was raised in critique. So, obviously, I wrote about it. Problem was, I suspect, it took me a week to actually get the above piece done, so it didn’t exactly latch onto the public consciousness. I hope that, if Broadchurch ever undergoes a critical re-evaluation, this final episode becomes a bit more of a sticking point.

The other thing about this article, though, is that I decided to avoid outright criticising the show – or, maybe more accurately, just criticising the show. I thought it’d be a bit more interesting and worthwhile to try and divine why Broadchurch swerved at the last moment, and what that meant in terms of the overall message it was trying to impart. I’m not so sure about the second half of the piece, where I get all symbolic about things; nowadays, I’d be much more direct in my condemnation, like I was with Liar. Though equally Liar was a lot more straightforward in its flaws, so, perhaps it wouldn’t have necessitated an article like the above in the way that Broadchurch did. Or seemed to me to.

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Broadchurch series 3 finale – who attacked Trish? One last look at the suspects

broadchurch season 3 david tennant olivia colman charlie higson chris chibnall trish attacked suspects

Over the past eight weeks we’ve watched Broadchurch, with rapt attention, as Hardy and Miller attempted to solve one final crime.

The first episode saw Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondlalgh) calling the police the morning after being sexually assaulted. Over the course of the rest of the series, it was revealed that there was a serial rapist in the coastal town.

Tonight (Monday, April 17), the attacker is set to be revealed – last week’s episode ended on a cliffhanger as Miller and Hardy found the last piece of evidence they needed. Here’s a final look at who it could be, and why…

One last piece on Broadchurch for the Metro.

I never got these articles quite right, to be blunt. There was something that seemed a little tawdry about writing, effectively, whodunnit theory posts for Broadchurch series 3 in a way that doesn’t quite seem to apply with the first two instalments of the show. Indeed, while I was writing them, one of my Yahoo colleagues Ben Homes wrote something to that affect, saying the show wasn’t about a whodunnit; while I’m not quite sure I’d agree, it did feel a little like an indirect, whether consciously or not – probably not, and it was more my own concerns about what I was doing that prompted how I read his piece.

You can notice, too, that I never quite came out and directly addressed what happened in Broadchurch, always using words like “attacked” or “assaulted”; my friend Zak, who’d been reading my articles but not watching the show, was under the impression until fairly late in the season that there had been another murder, which is telling.

So, yeah, I don’t know. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think my approach with these articles is exactly an ethical failing or whatever, but there was definitely a bit of a screw-up going on here.

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