The BBC murder mystery Broadchurch just ended its run on BBC America, earning rave reviews for its depiction of the ripple effects of murder on a small town. It was a great show with some truly standout performances, especially from Doctor Who’s David Tennant as a tortured police detective and Olivia Colman as his competent and put-upon partner.
Now FOX is taking Broadchurch and bringing it to America, again, with a remake also starring David Tennant. And the burning question is: why?
Broadchurch was (and maybe still will be, since it was renewed for a second season in the UK) a great show. It took a hard look at the repercussions of a young boy’s murder on the small town in which he lived, spending time with his family as well as with the media, police, and handful of sketchy suspects.
What Broadchurch is not, however, is remarkably original. Looking at the above description of the show a host of other “murder in a small town” movies and TV shows come to mind. The weird Twin Peaks, for example. Or the moody but imperfect AMC drama The Killing.
What made Broadchurch work was the economy of the storytelling and the deeply felt performances by the main cast. Remade for American audiences and probably expanded to more than the original run’s eight episodes, I can’t imagine Broadchurch will seem like anything remarkable to those who aren’t familiar with the UK original.
“Oh, another season-long murder mystery in a small town? Great.” You can already hear audiences hitting the snooze button. What made Broadchurch a great show didn’t lie in its premise, but in its execution.
The American remakes of British originals that work, however, usually work because the American version can spin something new and interesting from a unique premise. Like a documentary about a paper company (The Office) or a vampire, ghost, and werewolf living together (Being Human).
The first season of Broadchurch was a perfectly paced, self-contained story with a far from unique premise. Replanting the story to America and giving it more episodes to fill isn’t likely to make the show any better. For every successful American remake, there are at least five British to American disasters. Let’s hope Broadchurch isn’t one of those disaster adaptations, but even if the FOX version turns out to be good, it certainly doesn’t feel like a remake that needed to happen.
What do you think? Are you excited about the American remake of Broadchurch or scratching your head about why FOX is remaking it at all? Share in the comments!
More:David Tennant Brings His 'Broadchurch' Detective To The American RebootHollywood's Case of AnglophiliaDavid Tennant Returning For 'Doctor Who' Anniversary Special
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See- Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
A certain doctor will be popping up on American television sets in a familiar role. David Tennant, who played a tortured British detective in Broadchruch, will now play a tortured American detective in Fox's remake of the show. Because foreign accents are different and scary, Tennant will leave his British accent behind, and adopt an American one for the new series that hopes to premiere on Fox in the 2014-2015 television season.
The original Broadchurch follows the lives of Alec Hardy (Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), two detectives investigating the death of a young boy in small town Britain. The first season of the ITV series just wrapped up its first season on BBC America.
More:Hollywood's Case of AnglophiliaThe New 'SNL' Cast is Kinda BoringThe Post-Breaking Bad Survival Guide
From Our Partners:A Complete History Of Twerking (1993-2013) (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Chris Brown is convinced the public should overlook his legal problems and support his music career in the same way Jay Z's supporters accept the rapper's troubled past. The singer has struggled to regain his popularity after he was convicted of a brutally beating his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, and Brown feels he has been unfairly treated as so many other stars are able to carve out careers despite having previously broken the law.
The Kiss Kiss star cites Jay Z as an example, insisting the hip-hop star's fans don't judge him for his drug-dealing past, or his conviction for stabbing a music producer in 1999.
Brown tells Jet magazine, "Jay Z... is accepted by White America because he shakes hands and kisses babies. No disrespect, because I'm a fan, but nobody brings up the fact that he stabbed somebody and sold drugs. He gets a pass... Instead of being an artist, I've been called a woman beater; I've been insulted in public and judged."
The star also insists he is working through his anger issues to become a better person, adding, "You have to go through the struggle before you can get to the good part. I don't try to lash out at people, or be as mad or impulsive as I used to be."
Irish actress Niamh Cusack has become an ambassador for a U.K. autism charity after learning about the disorder during her recent run in the West End. The star, who is Hollywood hunk Max Irons' aunt, recently appeared in the acclaimed production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which features an autistic lead character.
To research her role as Siobhan, the character's mentor, she visited the young patrons of Ambitious about Autism, and was so moved by her experiences she signed up as a spokesperson for the organisation.
She says, "I’ve had a wonderful time playing Siobhan in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for the last year. One thing I’ve particularly enjoyed is meeting so many different young people with autism through Ambitious about Autism, including its Youth Patrons.
"Hearing about their experiences has been so inspiring, they have offered me a window into some of the ways people with autism see the world, and deal with it. They are unique and extraordinary people with unique and extraordinary families. This is why I’m delighted to become an Ambassador for Ambitious about Autism. I look forward to continuing to support the vital work the charity does by raising awareness of autism."
In July (13), Cusack helped raise $150,000 (£100,000) for autism charities by appearing in a fundraising gala performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time alongside Jude Law, Dame Helen Mirren, Matt Smith and Chris Martin.
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
More Reviews:'The Hunt' Is Frustrating and Fantastic'You're Next' Amuses and Occasionally Scares'Short Term 12' Is Real and Miraculous
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Doug Meszler/Splash News
The Law & order franchise is known for rooting through headlines to find fuel for its upcoming episodes. We've seen high profile cases from Mel Gibson's drunk driving incident/anti-Semitic rant to Gov. Eliot Spitzer's sex scandal take form in Dick Wolf's gritty little world. But the NBC mainstay seems to be getting a little ambitious in its old age. Maybe the recent years have provided too many public controversies for law & Order to cover one by one, or maybe Det. John Munch has stepped behind the scenes as showrunner, instituting creative progress with some of his famed conspiracy theories inspiring the choices. But whatever the reason, SVU is doubling up on crimes for a forthcoming episode: EW reports that Season 15, which premieres in September, will feature a single episode that combines Paula Deen's highly publicized scandal with the events surrounding Trayvon Martin's killing. Something tells us this one was a late night in the writers room.
law & order: sVU executive producer Warren Leight explains the conflation of the controversial topics: "[Jeffrey] Tambor is a defense attorney representing a very high-profile celebrity woman chef [played by Cybill Shepherd] who thought she was being pursued by a rapist and turned around it was a teenager. And she shot him ... There's a lot of stop and frisk elements to that as well." So, add that into the mix.
Perhaps it is by necessity that Law & Order is weaving together the cases of Deen and Martin. Although Deen's story might have chucked in the celebrity chef's previous allegations of sexual harrasshment, SVU might have had to forgo inclusion of the Trayvon Martin for lack of any sexual component to the young man's story. Still, you have to wonder why, exactly, producers didn't opt to fictionalize elements about each case independently, rather than gluing them together via a fabricated plot device. And then you have to wonder if they'll continue on this path.
After all, we've got plenty of controversies to draw on from the past year. Could Anthony Wiener send a picture of his junk to Amanda Bynes, prompting her to throw a bong out of her high rise apartment window? Could we find Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning on trial for trading classified information with Edward Snowden, who leaves the Moscow Airport in protest of Russia's persecution of homosexuals and hides out in a rehab facility with Lindsay Lohan? What about Robin Thicke — that video must count as at least a misdemeanor, right? Where does he fit into all of this?!
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
More:Chris Brown and Rihanna Get the 'SVU' Treatment'Law & Order' Takes on 'Legitimate Rape' ControversyMeet Lady Mary's New 'Downton Abbey' Men
From Our PartnersBattle of the Bikini Bodies (Celebuzz)Fangbanging: Complete Guide to All of 'True Blood's Sex Scenes (Vh1)
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has accepted a substantial donation to charity in lieu of damages from the British law firm which outed her as the secret writer of The Cuckoo's Calling. Rowling launched legal action against Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells law firm, for breach of confidentiality after he recently revealed she was the mastermind behind the crime novel, which was released under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Gossage accidentally leaked the information to his friend Judith Callegari, also named in the lawsuit, who published the revelation on her Twitter.com account, which was subsequently picked up by editors at The Sunday Times.
On Wednesday (31Jul13), a judge at London's High Court ruled in Rowling's favour and executives at Russells were ordered to cover her legal fees and make amends by handing a donation to ABF The Soldiers' Charity, also known as the Army Benevolent Fund.
Rowling's solicitor Jenny Afia said the author, who was not in court, was "dismayed and distressed by such a fundamental betrayal of trust".
A statement from the charity issued after the ruling reads, "The Soldiers' Charity is honoured and thrilled to announce an extremely generous donation from world renowned author, J.K. Rowling. Damages from the litigation case surrounding her unveiling as Robert Galbraith and all global royalties from sales of her book, The Cuckoo's Calling, will be donated to the charity."
The multi-millionaire writer recently announced she would be handing the profits from The Cuckoo's Calling to the organisation for a period of three years, dating from the 14 July 2013 - the day her pseudonym was made public.
We all know what a huge influence Walt Whitman has been on Breaking Bad. The great American poet shares initials with the AMC series' hero/villain Walter White, who was given a copy of Leaves of Grass by doomed rival meth cook Gale Boetticher. A copy of Leaves of Grass that caused Walter's brother-in-law Hank to finally realize he's Heisenberg. But now, Breaking Bad is switching poets.
In a haunting new teaser for the final eight episodes of the series, Bryan Cranston intones the immortal words of Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias." It's a sonnet about a traveler in the East who encounters the fallen statue of a great king. On it reads an inscription: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" The idea being that this ancient ruler left such greatness in his wake that none shall ever forget him.
The only problem with Ozymandias is that all he created eventually turned to dust. The final two lines of the poem say, "Nothing beside remains. / Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch far away." Even the pyramids will one day crumble. Immortality is nothing but illusion. Everything fades away.
Walter White, like Ozymandias, might be in the "Empire Business," but a meth empire is even that much more illusory than one made of mortar and stone. How quickly everything he's built could evaporate. And it's made all the more haunting as we see the kind of static location shots — of mesas, the RV, Walt's house — that we see all throughout the show. Bad things are coming, and lonely birthday breakfasts are soon to be had. "Remember my name?" the Season 5 ads proclaim? Walt would be wise to remember Shelley's lesson: that the one constant in human nature is forgetting.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
More: ’Breaking Bad’ Final Eps Teaser Shows One Very Mad Hank Chris Hardwick to Host ‘Breaking Bad’ Talk Show ‘Talking Bad’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff Moving Full-Speed Ahead
From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)
Soul veteran Eddie Levert is standing united with Stevie Wonder by vowing to boycott Florida until a controversial self-defence law is overturned following the controversial acquittal in the Trayvon Martin murder case. The Superstition icon declared he would no longer book shows in the area, and 22 other states which carry similar laws, earlier this month (Jul13) after neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter charges relating to the teen's death last year (12).
Zimmerman claimed he shot the unarmed 17 year old in self-defence as part of Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which permits locals to take appropriate action if they believe their safety is under threat.
Gospel sisters Mary Mary announced last week (ends19Jul13) that they were following Wonder's lead in boycotting Florida for the foreseeable future, and now Levert has thrown his support behind the campaign too.
In a recent Twitter.com post, he writes, "Well!!!!! I'm going to join MR STEVIE WONDER IN HIS BOYCOTT OF FLORIDA I EDDIE LEVERT WILL NOT PLAY FLORIDA UNTIL THEY CHANGE THIER (sic) GUN LAWS".
Zimmerman's acquittal has sparked mass protests across America, with a number of stars including Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus all speaking out against the verdict.
Following the Trayvon Martin case, Chris Matthews had a serious discussion about racial profiling on his MSNBC show, Hardball With Chris Matthews, on Thursday. During a segment of his cable news program, he spoke with NBC News Vice President Val Nicholas and former RNC chairman Michael Steele.
Nicholas wrote an op-ed for MSNBC.com titled "I Could Have Been Trayvon Martin," where he recalled that "twice as a teen, I ended up looking down the barrel of police guns for no other reason than I happened to be a black teenager."
Steele had similar experiences of being judged solely by his race. "It is a story of a lot of young African-American males. What Val, myself, and so many others have in common is our black skin, and a lot of the perceptions that come with that," Steele said.
Matthews reacted to his colleagues' stories by saying, "I'll just tell you one thing, and I'm speaking now for all white people but especially people that have tried to change over the past 50 or 60 years, and a lot of them have really tried to change: I'm sorry for this stuff."
Although Matthews' willingness to work on the country's racial issues is commendable, there's probably a lot of white Americans out there who wouldn't appreciate him speaking on their behalf.
Follow Mary Oates on Twitter @mary_oates | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
More:Keith Olbermann Returns to ESPNJohn Oliver and Stephen Colbert Attack Zimmerman VerdictJ.K. Rowling's Personal Whistleblower Revealed
From Our PartnersBattle of the Bikini Bodies (Celebuzz)Fangbanging: Complete Guide to All of 'True Blood's Sex Scenes (Vh1)