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Broadchurch is an enthralling show with an exceptional cast like David Tennent and Olivia Colman. This series explores the mysteries, the oddities, and the deep secrets rooted in the coastal town, it exceeds expectations. If crime dramas with emotional traumas in shows like Broadchurch are of your interest, this list of recommendations is for you.
Broadchurch is a suspenseful murder mystery show created by Chris Chibnall with a talented cast and it first aired in 2013… The show begins with the discovery of the body of an 11-year old boy called Danny in the small fictional town of Broadchurch on the coast of Dorset, England. The story focuses on Detective Inspector Alec Hardy played by David Tennant and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller played by Olivia Colman.
The performances by the main and the supporting cast were exceptional. It puts into light how we often think everything with people is okay from afar, but when we look closer dark secrets unravel. The show portrays new colours of grief, and internal struggles not only through the actor’s performances but from places one least expects. The show has beautiful and atmospheric locations and the soundtrack feels like a haunting ballad. The show symbolises nature’s inadvertent influence on life that challenges human morality.
We have compiled a great set of recommendations for series like Broadchurch that we are sure you will like.
List of TV Shows Like Broadchurch
- Deadwater Fell
- The Sinner
- The Killing
- Sharp Objects
- Big Little Lies
1. Gracepoint (2014)
Gracepoint is an American version of Broadchurch. It also has David Tennent playing the same character in the American crime scenario. Here detective Ellie Miller is played by Anna Gunn and the show is set in California instead of Dorset. The plot of the show is the same. It is about the murder of a young boy where Emmett Carver is appointed as the lead detective and Ellie, who was on her maternal leave is upset when she discovers that she has to work with another person on the murder case.
The American version attempts to seal all the loose ends of the British version of the show. If you have seen Broadchurch, the story will be of no surprise to you but it may help you get closure with certain questions. If you are looking for shows like Broadchurch to watch and don’t mind watching a remake, you should check this out.
2. Deadwater Fell (2020)
This crime drama sees David Tennant again in the lead, but this time as a part of the family affected by the tragedy. He plays Tom Kendrik, a village doctor. There is a fire at Kendrick’s home which kills Tom’s wife and 3 young children, Tom is the only one rescued from the fire. It is soon discovered that all 5 members were drugged before the incident which leads the investigation in a new light.
David’s performance is undoubtedly good, but Jesse Milner (Cush Jumbo) and Kate Kendrick (Anna Madeley) elevate the show with their layered performances. Deadwater Fell reminds us that everything that shines is not always gold, if you want to watch more of David Tennant as the central character and are interested in Family trauma crime shows like Broadchurch, this is a perfect fit.
3. Collateral (2018)
Created by Academy nominee David Hare and directed by S J Clarkson, this is a 4-part British drama series. The main character Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie is played by Carrie Mulligan, who is known for her skilful portrayal of complex female characters.
In the show, a crime that seemingly starts off as a random shooting of a pizza delivery man soon unravels a deeper story. DI Kip finds herself in co-incidental situations where she uncovers secret links that lead her to the special forces of the branch military.
Collateral focuses on the portrayal of the conventional police procedural in a more authentic way, The show refrains from cliche characteristics and delivers excellent acting performances and cinematography. The writing is lacking in many places but the rest of the elements of the show make up for it. If you are searching for TV shows similar to Broadchurch, you might like this one.
4. Sherlock (2010)
The 2010 modern-day re-imagining of the classic stories of Sherlock Holmes has had an extremely dedicated fan following and, rightly so. Produced by BBC, Sherlock is set in present-day London. Talented actors, Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson play their characters to perfection. The show uses innovative ways to express the extraordinary intelligence and ever-green charm of Sherlock Holmes.
The perfect mix of nostalgia with the ‘221 B Baker Street’ to the time-appropriate re-imaging ‘The Game is on!’ makes this not just a perfect adaptation for previous Sherlock fans but also provides them with an excellent directed scenario of Sherlock using technology and forensic science with his brilliant skills of deduction, observation, and logical reasoning.
The show does not miss a single beat, it’s worthy of all its praise and critical acclaim. Andrew Scott’s take on Moriarty brings a cult following for the typical villain of the story. If you want to watch something similar to the detective TV shows like Broadchurch and still haven’t seen Sherlock, this one’s a no-brainer.
Also Read: Shows like Person of Interest
5. The Sinner (2017)
The Sinner show was inspired by Petra Hammeshfahr’s novel. This is an American Police Procedural anthological series. The Sinner has received great reviews from critics and viewers alike. In this investigative show, Detective Harry Ambrose investigates a new murder each season, where he is exposed to new crimes, he is often trying to understand the inner motives behind the actions of the criminals.
The talented Bill Pullman acts as the central character of the show, Detective Harry Ambrose, viewers look at the world from his point of view. The show’s obsession with finding the answer to ‘Why would someone commit a crime?’ gives the audience the opportunity of looking at the criminal state of mind in a more dynamic way. Excellent performances from Chris Messina, Matt Bomer and Jessica Beil highlight the political, religious, and dark philosophical intricacies. If you are in search of shows similar to Broadchurch, you will like The Sinner’s darker take.
6. The Killing (2011)
Based on the Danish TV show Forbrydelsen ‘The Crime’. The main characters of the show are detective Sarah Linden and detective Stephen Holder. Set in Seattle, Washington, the series follows the various murder investigations by the two, one of which is the focus, The murder of a teenager called Rosie Larsen. The characterisation of both the main characters is as dynamic as the story, both of them have their own personal traumas.
As many crime dramas go, the investigation unravels more secrets hidden within the victim’s family. The cinematography of the show is hypnotising and terrifying to watch. The Killing is a great show for you to binge if you want to watch shows like Broadchurch.
7. Luther (2010)
Luther is a British crime thriller drama series, with Idris Elba playing the intelligent DCI John Luther. Luther works in the Serious Crime Unit, he is often obsessed with the investigation, the questions possess his mind which also brings out the violence in his character.
Luther is dedicated to bringing justice to the victims of brutal crimes who are stuck in a twisted bureaucratic legal system. It’s a constant struggle for Luther to retain his morals as he uses questionable methods to ensure justice. Set in the gloomy and harsh London to translate the show’s nature, the show does not shy away from focusing on the dark side of reality to bring out a more honest representation. If you want to watch shows like Broadchurch then Luther’s rawness will be worth a watch.
8. Sharp Objects (2018)
Sharp Objects premiered in the year 2018 and is based on the 2006 debut novel by Gillian Flynn of the same title. The show is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, the story follows talented Amy Adams as a crime reporter Camille Preaker. Camille after distancing from her home for years and treating her childhood traumas and mental illness is now asked to return to her hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls. The show is set in a small, isolated town. Upon return, she is unwittingly forced to deal with her own demons.
Camille goes home to meet her strange, uptight, and controlling mother and her younger sister, whom she never really got to know. Richard Willis, an out-of-town detective, is appointed to the case. The town folks advise Willis not to get involved with Camille but he goes against the advice and helps Camille. Camille uncovers the horrifying truth through her forgotten traumas. Through a combination of characters’ flashbacks and epiphanies, the show reveals haunting yet deeply engaging elements. Sharp Objects conveys a story that viewers will not imagine in their wildest dreams. This is an incredible series to watch next if you are in search of shows like Broadchurch.
9. Fargo (2014)
Fargo show is inspired by the 1996 movie of the same title, which by itself was inspired by real-life events where an ordinary salesman out of desperation for money, formulates a plan where two thug men have to abduct his wife so that he can create a situation of kidnapping and force his rich father-in-law to pay a ransom. The plan falls apart quickly with a series of mishaps and rogue actions like the thugs shooting a state trooper take place.
Fargo gained high critical acclaim upon release. The show has a skilful cast with actors like Martin Freeman, Chris Rock, and Kirsten Dunst. The themes of deception, intrigue and great dark humour in the cold-blooded murder in the frozen town of Minnesota bring out a cynical, unsettling yet amusing side of humanity. If you are in search of shows like Broadchurch that can bring out eeriness and morbid humour effectively, Fargo will be the right fit for you.
Also Read: Shows like Twin Peaks
10. Big Little Lies (2017)
Big Little Lies is based on Liane Moriarty’s best-selling novel of the same name. The only show that’s not a conventional crime series on this list. This show is a dark comedic drama series that tells the story of 3 mothers or first-graders, Madeline Martha Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), her best friend Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman), and their new friend Jane Chapmans ( Shailene Woodley).
Big Little Lies has an illustrious cast with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgard, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, and Adam Scott. The 2nd season includes the legendary Meryl Streep as Mary Louise Wright. The show is set in the coastal town of Monterey Bay, California.
It’s a jarring take on the classes of society, abuse, and American culture. The Big Little Lies finale is incredibly satisfying to watch. If you are looking for shows similar to Broadchurch in terms of its setting, cinematography, and brilliant performances, you are sure to love Big Little Lies.
The following shows did not make the recommendations list, but you check them out as well.
- Under the Banner of Heaven
- The Bridge
- The Fall
- True Detective