Oh, hey, did you guys watch the two-hour series premiere of The Killing on AMC last night? It was…OK? The Killing is based on a Danish TV series, I guess, called The Crime. Which is a really good name for a show. The Crime. They should have just called it The Crime! Anyway, The Killing is about, well, a killing. No duh. A 17-year-old girl, Rosie Larsen, goes missing but then she is found dead in the trunk of a car and there is all kinds of intrigue. Like, the dad was out camping the night she disappeared? Huh! And the car that the girl was found in belonged to the campaign of a councilman who is trying to oust the current mayor of Seattle. Interesting! And then there is this real shit-faced looking rich kid who has a GORGEOUS house on the Puget Sound and used to “stick it to” the dead girl but isn’t “sticking it to her” anymore but he is suspicious and his dad is rich so maybe his dad is suspicious too. Meanwhile, the lead detective on the case is just one day away from her retirement (LOL), by which I mean one day away from moving to California with her young son and her lover to start a new life. Will she stay to solve this mystery? Probably not. I bet the next episode starts at her wedding and she turns to her husband and says “Who cares about that dead girl, let’s eat cake,” and then the rest of the show is about her eating that yummy cake! Meanwhile, there is a new detective in town who has solved the case of Who Has a Rat Face! (SPOILER ALERT: he does.)
As someone who loves a good mystery, and is very into smelling what AMC has been cooking lately, this show intrigues me, but I did have a few problems with it. For example:
Why is everything so Scandinavian? Like, if you’re going to Americanize a show from Denmark, you might as well Americanize it? Otherwise, just slap some subtitles on the original, which is probably what you should have done in the first place. Instead, AMC’s version of The Killing feels weird and vaguely European in an indeterminate way that is hard to put your finger on. The lead actor is Swedish, so that might have something to do with it? But even the way, like, the BUILDINGS look is through some kind of translator. It’s weird!
Also: why is the sound so muddy? This show was actually HARD to watch, and not because of the subject matter. It was nearly impossible to hear what anyone was saying! I’m not sure what the problem was. It’s 2011. We created PHOTO-REALISTIC DINOSAURS for the Jurassic Park movies almost 20 years ago, surely we can get some high quality audio up in this show. (Similarly, the framing of a lot of the shots was just…a little…off. It was kind of like in Batman Begins when all of the fight sequences were filmed so close up that you couldn’t tell what was actually happening and it gave you a headache. Like that, except a subtle and moody police procedural.)
“You my ride, Linda.” Argh. Let’s just move on.
There were a couple of details that rubbed me the wrong way, too. Like, in the opening of the episode, the lead detective, Linda, is called to investigate a crime scene in some kind of abandoned steel mill or something. So she is going through this thing alone in the dark with a flashlight, following a blood trail which leads her all the way to her SURPRISE going away party. Sure, except before she got to the going away party, I was like, hey, hold on a second, if the police have secured the scene, then they should put some floodlights in there! Why is she walking around in the dark, mussing up an active crime scene? That’s just shoddy police work!
Similarly, when the councilman is going around from door-to-door campaigning, there isn’t a single leaf on any of the trees. But elections take place at the beginning of November. There would probably be one or two leaves, you know? I thought for a second that maybe it was a special election, in which case it could be any time, really, but it isn’t a special election because he’s trying to unseat the incumbent governor. Look, I’m just saying. A good murder mystery is ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS. Isn’t that right, Laura Palmer?
Oh, and in the “this season on The Killing” sizzle reel, the title card said “Every Hour Counts,” but is that really true? I mean, the pilot episode covered a few days already, and “this season on” implies that there there are going to be MULTIPLE SEASONS, so I’m sure every hour counts but also not really. Maybe if Rosie was still missing, but she’s dead. We can relax! Take our time! Let’s solve this mystery, but let’s not lose ourselves in the process, you know? Life is for the living!
Anyway: I don’t know. I’m definitely going to watch next week. I’m curious to see where this goes! But I was also not blown away. The battle for My Favorite New Show Of The Season is still any show’s for the taking. I’m looking at you, GAME OF THRONES. Right, nerds?