Sunday, June 26, 2011

COMPLETE Thoughts On AMC's "The Killing"

It's been quite a Danish week for me.  I've spent the majority of it in Copenhagen, ate my first danish, in years, at the airport, and watched the finale of the Danish turned American television series, The Killing, that aired last Sunday on AMC. 

All spring my Sunday nights revolved around three questions: 1) What should I order for dinner? (usually Japanese) 2) How cool is Game Of Thrones? (really fucking cool) and 3) Who killed Rosie Larson?  (WOULDN'T I LIKE TO KNOW.)

Admittedly, I probably have too many pet peeves.  But my biggest one, without question, is when someone informs me that they have juicy information and then, in the same breath, withholds it with some BS excuse about being sworn to secrecy.  Seriously, if you want a quick punch in the face, just say "OMG I HAVE TO TELLZ YOU ABOUT SOMETHING, BUT I'S CAN'T!"   Well, thank you AMC for greenlighting a show that was a thirteen week long version of that annoying pet peeve.  So don't hold it against me when I say I'd like to throttle the entire production team behind this show with Mirielle Enos's entire enormous sweater collection. 

The Killing was essentially a 13 week long procedural show (think a reallllllly long version of CSI) that used the extra time to provide an intimate look into the lives of the cops, victim's family, and suspects so we can further empathize (or hate) the characters once the show has ended, and the killer revealed.  I can't say this enough...THE KILLER REVEALED

The Killing, though compelling at times, was not the strongest show on television (unless you like pointless ancillary characters and dead ends) and featured a fundamental flaw within its concept.  When designing a murder mystery, the creative team obviously tries to throw the audience for loops and curveballs by goading us into believing innocent characters may have committed the crime.  But since this is a 13 week mystery, we already know that suspects in episodes 1-3 (Rosie's classmates) didn't do it, and we even are fairly certain later suspects (like Bennett Ahmed) were also innocent because, if they were guilty, what would the show do for the final five episodes? But we, as viewers, roll with the punches because, even though we are aware those characters won't factor into the conclusion, we are invested enough in the story to find out who did.  And AMC's marketing plan fully catered itself to this desire.  After all, their entire campaign centered around the question: WHO KILLED ROSIE LARSON? They even featured a "suspect tracker" on their website that encouraged guessing.  When discussing the show with friends, the first question I always was asked was "who do you think did it?"  And I generally answered, "I don't even really care, I just want to know already." Why?  Well, because, the entire fucking show was designed to scratch that itch.

Which is why its 100 percent, wholly unacceptable (not to mention annoying) that they DIDN'T REVEAL THE MURDERER IN THEIR MURDER MYSTERY.  Seriously, after episode 4 or 5, there was only one reason to even watch this show: I was invested enough where I wanted to know the killer and really didn't care much about the main character's love life, or the fact that it never stops raining in Seattle.  The Danish version (kudos to them) did reveal the killer in their final episode (it was the Belko character I believe), so I can confidently call the masterminds behind the American version a bunch of a-holes for toying with the formula. 

Now, I'll safely assume they will reveal the killer next season, but if I have to honestly wait another 13 weeks to figure out the murder in the already convoluted mystery, I'd rather not bother.  

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