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This show has gotten a couple small mentions in other threads. It is a really, really good show. The subject matter is intense though, and I can get why people might not want to watch it for that reason. If it does interest you though, I think this is one of the best TV shows in existence right now, and possibly one of the best ever.
The show follows two police officers as they try to unravel major crimes in a small community on the south coast of England. One officer (Olivia Colman) is a local who grew up in the town and knows everyone. The other is a transfer (David Tennant) who is looking at the town with a cynical, outsider's eye.
Tennant's portrayal of Hardy is great. Not only is his acting superb, but the character (and everything else) is written very well. As with most lead detectives in a TV show or movie, he's obsessed with his work, but he feels believable in his motivations. Justice and truth are certainly ideals for him that he holds dear, but they're also the only thing he has left in his life. He's a workaholic because his work is all he has. It doesn't make him happy. In fact it makes him miserable. He almost seems to hate what he does, but he's like a dog with a bone and just won't give it up out of habit.
I'm not familiar with Colman outside of the show, but she feels very real in her role as Detective Miller. She feels very much like a normal person who has a job and wants to do it well. Because she's part of the town's history, her personal life gets caught up in the first case very early.
Season 1 is about a boy being murdered. It throws the town into shock and as the police investigate, it peels back the layers of lies that people tell each other. People obstruct the investigation to avoid revealing their own secrets.
Season 2 is a rehash of season 1, but it's still very good. One of the big twists is a little predictable, as it almost has to make that twist to make the season worthwhile. The process of getting there is still so good though. The season also digs further into the past for the detectives, which is a good ride.
Season 3 just started a couple weeks ago, here in the US. It's about a completely new case, but because it's a small town, the events from season 1 are still sending shock waves for some of the characters. It airs on BBC America, or you can buy the season on Amazon.
For me the big problem with cop shows is if the detectives feel like stock characters, or if they're something new and different. This show has detectives that feel very original and real.
Also, the show has nothing to do with comic books.
The show does a really good job at making me uncomfortable, especially series 3. Julie Hesmondhalgh is terrific in it.
I would not say that series 2 is a rehash of series 1. Series 2 deals with the fallout of series 1, something that crime shows normally don't do. I wasn't a fan of the second plot, but I liked the series overall.
For a similar show, take a look at Happy Valley.
Yeah, I struggled with how to word that. It treads over the ground of season 1 a lot, while still introducing new elements. It's still dealing with the same case and only a couple of new characters are introduced. It goes over the same ground, but I don't want to give the impression it's dull or boring. Poor wording on my part.