Public Service Announcement 18 of 2015: Gracepoint

American remakes of European shows generally don’t work. (And vice versa.) Gracepoint, the US re-do of Broadchurch, doesn’t seem to have bucked that trend: after generally lukewarm reviews it was canned by Fox after one season. David Tennant reprises his lead role as tortured cop with a Secret Past, and Anna Gunn plays Olivia Colman. In truth, I can’t think of a single reason to watch this, unless you’re a Tennant stan. If you do, though, apparently it has a different ending. Inasmuch, that is, as the UK version actually had a season 1 ending, following its deconstruction in season 2 (ITV Encore, tonight, 10pm).

And the ongoing search for the highest of high TV concepts reaches its logical – if unpleasant and exploitative – conclusion, with new drama Parts, in which a reputedly wealthy heiress is kidnapped. In each episode her abductors send one of her severed body parts to someone connected to her past or present life, thus unfolding more of the mystery. So “Part 1” is her left ring finger, “Part 4” will be her right ear, and so on. Do you see how this works? It’s difficult to see how Parts could make it to a full 22-episode season, as they’ll presumably start to run out of limbs – Part 7 will apparently be her right hand – and one would guess that a second season with the same victim is completely out of the question. On the bright side, though, UK viewers are in the same position as everyone else, as the first episode is being shown everywhere today. April 1st.

And coming soon, some TV heavyweights: Mad Men, Louie, Treme, Jane the Virgin, Madam Secretary, and a show with dragons in it.

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8 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement 18 of 2015: Gracepoint

  1. Snoskred April 1, 2015 / 8:16 am

    I love Anna Gunn, and I made it maybe 20 minutes into Gracepoint before I turned it off. It was very, very bad. I’ve never seen Broadchurch and I am probably not likely to after this experience. 🙂

    Madam Secretary has been mostly reliable and decent, if you can escape the annoyance at the occasionally implausible storylines, and the somewhat irritating family life of the Madam Secretary. I like that it explores a universe we are partly familiar with at the same time as exploring a universe which we are not very familiar with eg the secretary of state and what they do there.

    Speaking of shows, it would be remiss of me not to mention The Royals, which I was deeply excited about and then terribly disappointed by. I was expecting a lush and expensive awesome thing, and while the lush and expensive was there, the awesome most definitely was not. While in some cases I am willing to overlook everything if the costumes and the universe is pleasing enough to the eye, I was unable to overlook the quite terrible acting of some of the newer and younger cast, and the soap opera aspect of this was far too much for me. It was a great shame as I do think a Royals show could be incredible in the right circumstances.

    Parts sounds like an interesting concept and I totally think you should pitch it to the channel that shows The Fall, ASAP, before someone else does.. Happy April Fools Day to you! 😉

  2. Jed Bartlet April 1, 2015 / 8:32 am

    Broadchurch is almost certainly better than Gracepoint – in the view of some people, the first season was very good indeed – so it might still be worth a look.

    We’re getting Madam Secretary towards the end of April. I’m inclined to give it a try.

  3. Jed Bartlet April 1, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    As for Parts, one of the things that’ll get people watching is the potential ship between the lead detective and her ex, now married unhappily to someone else. But does he perhaps know more than he’s letting on?

  4. Jed Bartlet April 1, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    Also, for the detective it’s personal. At the end of Part 5 (‘Right Earlobe’) we get a major clue about her Secret Pain: the camera pans down and we see that she’s missing a toe…

  5. CJ Cregg April 1, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    *shakes head*

    Obviously having a female lead detective in Parts is an attempt to stave off all the comments I will be making about its misogyny and the general use of women’s bodies as currency in tv drama. Pro tip: This will not placate me, Parts-makers.

    But since we’re here and somebody’s bound to write some variation of this show if they haven’t already…. Sherry Stringfield for lead detective with Secret Pain? Hayden Panettiere for the poor heiress? Henry Ian Cusick for the ex?

  6. Jed Bartlet April 1, 2015 / 7:52 pm

    Perhaps the showrunners would argue that their use of female body parts as disposable commodities is in itself a comment on the sexism of so much TV drama. It’s actually a feminist statement.

    Paige Turco for the lead detective.

    • CJ Cregg April 1, 2015 / 8:15 pm

      Will she be called Lt Meta?

  7. Jed Bartlet April 1, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Becki Newton as the heiress? I can see her giving the material precisely the amount of gravity it deserves.

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