I just had a chance to watch the crime drama television series, Gracepoint, which premiered on FOX in October. For those unfamiliar, Gracepoint is a crime drama series that is an American remake of the popular British crime drama series Broadchurch.
I have not had a chance to see Broadchurch, (because it was only on Comcast for a short time last summer and I missed my chance to watch it), which critics say is better than Gracepoint. I think the fact I hadn’t seen Broadchurch before watching Gracepoint benefited me greatly, because I didn’t find myself saying “pft, Broadchurch had a better cast,” or “Broadchurch did a better job with the story-line.” None of these preconceived notions interrupted my viewing of Gracepoint, and I have to say I enjoyed it that much more. It’s unfortunate that Gracepoint didn’t get good ratings, because I think it was one of the best new shows of the Fall.
Now I have no intention of giving away any spoilers in my review of Season One, because I think it’s something you should watch not knowing anything, especially when it comes to the identity of the killer.
Gracepoint tells the story of twelve year old, Danny Solano, whose body is found on a beach early one weekday morning. This news terrifies the citizens of Gracepoint, because they live in a small coastal California town that has never recorded a murder in its long history.
Detective Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn) returns after a two week vacation to discover that her promotion to head Detective was given to Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant), who is new to Gracepoint, and is a mysterious man, who is determined to solve the murder of twelve year old Danny Solano. Detectives Miller and Carver clash at times, due to their different methods and Carver is a very prickly and serious man, who comes off as quite unlikable at first.
The show does a very good job of giving you enough information each episode, where you still want to come back for more. Some episodes end on a cliffhanger, where some new evidence is unearthed and a resident of the town is now considered a suspect in the murder investigation. The show purposely makes you think said person is guilty, but quickly you start to realize they are just hiding some secret that they don’t want Detectives Miller and Carver to find out.
The acting is superb and Anna Gunn and David Tennant were both fantastic. I knew David Tennant was a good actor, but he does such a good American accent and does not slip out of it once (much like Hugh Laurie as House). Also David Tennant has proven that he has range as an actor, he can play a hard-ass Detective, an unlikable character, or an eccentric Alien Time Traveler (Who could I be referring to? Did you see what I did there? Haha) Some of the characters are genuinely unlikable such as Susan Wright (Jacki Weaver) and Vince Novik (Stephen Louis Grush), who are just so weird and creepy, which is a testament to their acting ability. Michael Pena is great as Mark Solano, the father of Danny Solano, who you really feel for, because he wasn’t the best father to Danny at times, even though he really did love him. Suffice to say the cast and acting (minus Tom, that actor is so annoying!) is just top notch, and really improves the overall quality of the show.
The pacing of the season is great as well, and the plot keeps you guessing essentially saying “Oh you thought this person killed Danny, nope try again.” I love shows where you think you know what’s going on and then BAM! they pull the rug from underneath you, shows that are predictable are rarely entertaining. The plot twists and developments will keep you guessing, and some of the citizens of Gracepoint have their own dark pasts, which adds to the show, fleshing out many characters.
Gracepoint may not be as good as Broadchurch (I cannot make that assessment seeing as how I have yet to see Broadchurch), but it is still worth a look). I for one was not disappointed and thought that this was a pretty good season on its own, and look forward to future seasons. If you like crime drama shows, or mystery shows, I would highly recommend Gracepoint, it’s an intriguing series and you really will not guess who the killer is and your jaw may drop a few times, so fair warning!
MY FINAL RATING GRACEPOINT SEASON ONE IS A 10/10!
What say you? Have you seen Gracepoint? Have you seen Broadchurch and refused to watch Gracepoint because you thought it wouldn’t compare to it? Whatever your thoughts let me know!