The failure of AMC’s The Killing

by  on Jun.19, 2012, under Millennium, Rant, reviews

So AMC’s The Killing finally wrapped up and for those of us that held out we were rewarded with a outcome that was pretty dumb. I didn’t see the first season of The Killing until it showed up on Netflix so it wasn’t too painful to watch over the course of a few days as opposed to 13 weeks. A beautiful young girl named Rosie Larsen was found murdered in the trunk of a car. Two detectives are assigned to find out what happened and we follow Holder (Joel Kinnaman) and Linden (Mireille Enos) as they break the news to the Larsen family and then begin the work of piecing together the final days of Rosie Larsen in an attempt to find her killer. The first season of the show we seemed to have a new prime suspect with every episode. We were treated to so many red herrings that it became frustrating. Then the biggest punch in the balls came with the season 1 finale where it seemed like we were getting the answer to who killed Rosie but after a lot of build up we’re told it was all just a set up to end the cadidacy of a mayoral candidate. Then season 2 began and things only got worse.(Spoilers ahead)

The Killing is a dark show and I have to give some credit to AMC for backing a series that almost never has a moment of levity. People are sad, dealing with death, trying to hold their families together and solve a brutal murder. Watching the Larsen family deal with the death of their daughter was one of the best parts of the show. The father was trying to be the rock to hold the family together while the mother ran away from the whole situation to avoid it. It didn’t help matters that the show was being set in Seattle and shot in Vancouver with its grey winter skies and almost constant downpour of rain. In fact I wondered if my favorite TV series “Millennium” had any hand in inspiring the look and tone of the series.

But the problem with The Killing became clear pretty quickly for me. In season 1 there was a different prime suspect each week. Then there were problems with suspension of disbelief. Characters who had to have known each other didn’t when it served the story. Then suspects and plot points were picked up and dropped after they served their purpose of distracting us from the actual killer for another week. The show never felt like it had a clear goal with its storylines and there seemed to be a lot of episodes that ultimately did very little to move the story forward.

Then there was the B-story of the Mayoral race the the big hearted underdog Darren Richmond who’s entire staff seemed to go in and out of being suspects at different times. The second season slowed down a bit on the whole “suspect of the week” storylines but then it became about crime bosses, prostitution rings, and corrupt politcians. Most of these plots never panned out to be anything more than another way to fill time. Finally Richmond’s campaign manager Jaime finally admitted his part in Rosie’s murder. He blubbered and told Darren Richmond how he did it all for him like some kind of scorned lover. Jaime made a deal with the local Indian Casino owner, Chief Jackson, to plant bones at a Waterfront development site the current Mayor was hanging his re-election on. Rosie, worked at the casino as a maid and somehow none of her family or friends knew this. She happened to overhear Jaime meeting with Chief Jackson at the casino. Case solved! finally we get our answer and its boring as hell. But wait the show still has 45 minutes to go. So we get a surprise twist that the Rosie’s Aunt was also involved and the one who actually put the car into the lake, Finishing what Jaime started and killing Rosie.

The whole series felt unplanned and made up as they went. Veena Sud, the show runner and writer of every episode is to blame for this. She comes from a horrible network TV series called “Cold Case” where convenient things take place in order for a horrible detective to solve a old case in 40 mintutes time. So its no surprise that there seems to be little forethought put into a story that needs to continue over 26 episodes. If by some complete lapse in judgement at AMC, The Killing comes back for a 3rd season, I won’t be there to see it. AMC has had a pretty good track record with “Mad Men”, “Walking Dead”, and “Breaking Bad”. All superior series to The Killing with better writing and continuity. I really expected to see something better than the dreck the networks are showing each week. I guess I was wrong.

3 Responses to “The failure of AMC’s The Killing”

  1. What do you think of the TELEVISION program The Walking Dead? I have actually been viewing it now for 3 years and I think it just keeps getting better. I love viewing the tv program every week simply to discover if my favorite charcters have actually been eaten by zombies! Great website by the way, I have spent at least an hour reviewing your articles.

  2. Christopher says:

    I am an avid watcher of the Walking Dead and have loved just about everything that has happened so far in season 3. The first 2 seasons were a bit bumpy but yeah this year has been great! I just hope they can keep it going like this. I’m sure I’ll do a whole article on it at some point! Thanks for your comment!

  3. I agree on Daryl being a badass and also personally the only person I would like to see be killed, is Carl because he is full of himself and naive.

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