Investigate how far Broadchurch, series 1 episode 1 conforms to genre conventions
Crime drama is a drama which evolves around law enforcement and trying to solve a crime that has been committed. Crime dramas are so popular because there is so many sub genres to entice a wider audience so can attract more viewers. Some of these sub genres are The Fall which is crime noir, Broadchurch which is location lead and also lone detective shows like Luther. The target audience for this genre is older viewers for most of the dramas are shown after watershed.
Viewing figures:Broadchurch is a very popular crime drama. The show averages 2.9million viewers per episode showing that it's clearly popular. However, it's not as popular as Luther which averages at 5.7 million per episode, Luther is aired on BBC 1 so will gain more ratings because of popularity, Broadchurch is aired by ITV so will be less popular however because of the new series hype the new episode of Broadchurch collected an audience of 7.5 million. Broadchurch is shown from 9pm to 10pm after watershed so they can attract an older audience so the show can be a lot darker than before watershed. Also shows like Luther and The Fall are shown after watershed because they deal with more darker matters of crime making them more interesting because they don't happen to the audience everyday this attracts a lager audience.
General iconography: Broadchurch first opens with a darkened street which conforms to crime drama which connotes to be dangerous which hooks the viewer into wanting to watch more. After this, we see mum, Beth Latimer waking up and dad, Mark Latimer starting their day this also conforms to crime dramas as the ' calm befor the storm ' for they have not yet discovered the death of their son, Danny Latimer. We then see Ellie Miller played by Olivia Colman, the female cop which goes against the stereotype of a woman to not be as strong or smart as a man. We also see Ellie giving gifts to the other police officers, this also comes apparent when Danny is found dead on the beach. Then we see Ellie nearly becoming D.C.I Miller which would not conform to most crime dramas and go against the stereotype of a woman not being able to be in power. We then meet new D.C.I Alec Hardy played by David Tennent, we notice that Alec looks very tired this conforms to crime dramas because it is typically for the man to look over worked and working hard to get the case solved, we also see this in 'Luther' who also looks very tired during a case. Alec is the typical 'bad cop' for he is the outsiders of the town because he is new, however this contrasts to Ellie who is a typical 'good cop' because she is the more caring one. This is typical of crime dramas because the partners are polar opposites this creates friction between the characters because there personalitys will clash causing drama. The whole series follows Todorrove's Narrative theory. Broadchurch also is a linear narrative which conforms to typical crime dramas, where as 'The Fall' is non linear which can cause confusion for the audience and making the series hard to follow.
Camera Angles & Distance: In the beginning minutes of Broadchurch there is a over the head shot of the parents which makes them look vulnerable causing the viewer to feel like they are in ' a god' like position, this conforms to crime dramas because it puts an empathise on the ones who are the victims. There is also an establishing shot over the seaside town, showing the town, the cliffs & the sea this however doesn't conform to typical crime dramas because it doesn't fit the typical conventions of a crime drama e.g dark noise city. There is also a shot of the mum, Beth running down to the beach in slow- motion to draw the most attention to her through the crowd , so people start to sympathies with her because you can see the horror in her eyes.
Lighting, Framing & Mis-en-scene: Near the beging of Broadchurch there is the zoom in of all the clocks which is slown down creating an uneasy effect when we see Danny on the edge of the cliff , this makes the viewer feel on- edge. This also conforms to crime dramas because it's typical of crime dramas to cause the viewer to feel uneasy especially crime noir. Also when Beth is running down to the beach she is wearing a red dress which stands out from everyone else in the shot, the red connotes to danger, this also makes Beth look like the victim is always the one who stands out especially to everyone else.
Editing pace & Transitions: After Danny goes missing the family are oblivious but as soon as more evidence is shown that he is missing the faster the pace gets & the pace also slows down as soon as Beth realises that Danny might be dead. This dose conform to crime dramas because the audience normally dose this in their head to get to a conclusion quicker bower ever Broadchurch has been edited to creat more tension between the audience.
Diegetic & Non-Diegetic: When Beth starts to run to the beach the sound are all muted except a police car siren which is non diegetic to put emphasis on the police and attention is drawn to this scene, this scene also conforms to crime dramas because of the conversations of a crime drama it puts emphasis on the police car's siren. Once Beth finds Danny's body the piano music starts to play, this is because piano music connotes sadness or loss which Beth has lost her son so the piano music fits white the scene.
Broadchurch conforms to many of the crime drama conventions. I think Broadchurch is so popular because it has a realistic vibe through out the series. The series is different to other crime dramas by each episode leading to the next this is because the crime isn't solved by the end of the first episode this allows the episodes to go into more depth making the series more interesting and more popular.