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Gavin Breeden

The Killing

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I've still not found the time to finish this one, but my ears still perk up whenever news of it crosses my computer screen. This essay especially caught my attention:

Reconsidering The Killing as a Feminine Narrative Form

In our own informal criticism of the show (conveyed primarily by chat), we shared our puzzlement at the expectation of certain critics and audiences who believed that The Killing should behave like a conventional police procedural or mystery story, with tightly crafted plot moments based around what is considered “action.” To the contrary, we found pleasure in the ways The Killing allowed its melodramatic emotion – not to mention the camerawork – to linger beyond the boundaries of its official generic conventions and connect itself to another genre that is closely associated with television: the daytime soap opera. We wonder how anyone could miss the soapiness of Sud’s series.

(Although, as far as I can tell, Salon's problem with the show was precisely that it hewed too closely to "a conventional police procedural or mystery story.")

Later, the authors argue:

Framing The Killing according to the notion of a feminine narrative form, we suggest, is a necessary intervention. Tania Modleski’s seminal piece on the soap opera foregrounds the vexing manner by which the central questions emerge within a soap — questions of paternity, questions of “whodunit” quite similar to The Killing’s “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” — and then demonstrates how the operative logic of the genre is ultimately one of deferred resolution and extended waiting for the viewer.2 What’s more, when the question is resolved it only generates more questions, making the viewer almost wish the damned question was not answered in the first place.

(Although Twin Peaks did the same thing and wasn't weighed down by a--I think, at halfway through the series, I'm allowed to make this judgment--frankly boring political angle).

Meanwhile, The Killing has hit British shores. Here's a review, which spends most of its running recapping plot-points and comparing the show to the Danish original. My favorite stuff is in the comments, though; as self-important as Guardian commentators tend to be, they can be pretty amusing, too. Particularly the bits where they suggest it should have been sub-titled (there's a pleasing shock in realizing that, somewhere, someone thinks that accents you take for granted are impenetrable).

EDIT: One of those selfsame commentators reminds me that there's a novelization of the original series on the way from author David Hewson. Adaptations upon adaptations.

Edited by NBooth

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Just finished the series--finally. Can't say I'm too let down by the ending (mostly because I knew it was coming), but the series definitely took a dive early on and I'm not sure it's recovered enough. My main complaint--echoing complaints voiced elsewhere--is the nonsensical teacher plot that ate up the whole middle of the season. I mean, really--first, it kept the cops from doing real copwork (I think someone said that they do better investigation when the boy goes missing than anywhere else in the series). And second--it's absolutely useless. Nothing leading to it gets a pay-off in that storyline, and once it ends everyone goes around more or less pretending it never happened. It amounts to a good chunk of the series just spinning its wheels.

That said, if we could excise those episodes and skip straight from the Hole to the casino, I think we would have a reasonably good (though not spectacular) series. Hopefully next season the writers will get their act together, though the way they blow a perfectly satisfying solution in favor of a last-minute twist doesn't give me much hope. And I'm frankly angry at the sudden revelation regarding one of the investigators; that character is one of my favorites, and seeing all that development seemingly thrown away to make a hook for the next season is disheartening.

EDIT: And let me withdraw the comments on the "frankly boring political angle." It was certainly boring when I wrote the post--in the middle of the wheel-spinning episodes--but once it actually clicks into place things get a little more interesting. Still, if you substitute "slightly boring" you'll have it about right.

Edited by NBooth

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I'll tune in at that point, but I won't waste my time with another full season.

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I'll tune in at that point, but I won't waste my time with another full season.

I think this is pretty much...everyone.

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I'm about midway through Twin Peaks. The Killing gets compared to that program a lot, but I think The Killing has maintained its quality whereas after about the tenth episode, I'm realizing that Twin Peaks is getting too soap-opera-ish (a very technical term) for my tastes. The Killing is still my second-favourite AMC show after Breaking Bad.

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after about the tenth episode, I'm realizing that Twin Peaks is getting too soap-opera-ish (a very technical term) for my tastes.

Do you meant the tenth of the series, or the tenth of the second season?

Either way, it just keeps going down in that direction. Except the final episode, which is bat s**t awesome.

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I'm almost halfway through the original Danish series. I'll start a new thread for that though. Later.

Matt

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after about the tenth episode, I'm realizing that Twin Peaks is getting too soap-opera-ish (a very technical term) for my tastes.

Do you meant the tenth of the series, or the tenth of the second season?

Either way, it just keeps going down in that direction. Except the final episode, which is bat s**t awesome.

The tenth episode of the series. The Donna-James-Maddie love triangle is killing me (even though I've already seen how it plays out).

Edited by winter shaker

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after about the tenth episode, I'm realizing that Twin Peaks is getting too soap-opera-ish (a very technical term) for my tastes.

Do you meant the tenth of the series, or the tenth of the second season?

Either way, it just keeps going down in that direction. Except the final episode, which is bat s**t awesome.

The tenth episode of the series. The Donna-James-Maddie love triangle is killing me (even though I've already seen how it plays out).

Pretty much anything to do with James sends me into a milder sort of rage. The only character more useless than he is Nadine, and she at least has the virtue of being weird. James is just hopelessly bland, and the storylines he gets tend to be the most irritating of the lot.

I've not decided if I'm going to bother with season 2 of The Killing yet. I've still got The Wire and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to get through.

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after about the tenth episode, I'm realizing that Twin Peaks is getting too soap-opera-ish (a very technical term) for my tastes.

Do you meant the tenth of the series, or the tenth of the second season?

Either way, it just keeps going down in that direction. Except the final episode, which is bat s**t awesome.

The tenth episode of the series. The Donna-James-Maddie love triangle is killing me (even though I've already seen how it plays out).

Pretty much anything to do with James sends me into a milder sort of rage. The only character more useless than he is Nadine, and she at least has the virtue of being weird. James is just hopelessly bland, and the storylines he gets tend to be the most irritating of the lot.

I like Nadine's storyline because it's so bizarre.

But I found the plot involving James having a fling with Evelyn to be less annoying than Benjamin Horne's ridiculous Civil War episode.

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after about the tenth episode, I'm realizing that Twin Peaks is getting too soap-opera-ish (a very technical term) for my tastes.

Do you meant the tenth of the series, or the tenth of the second season?

Either way, it just keeps going down in that direction. Except the final episode, which is bat s**t awesome.

The tenth episode of the series. The Donna-James-Maddie love triangle is killing me (even though I've already seen how it plays out).

Pretty much anything to do with James sends me into a milder sort of rage. The only character more useless than he is Nadine, and she at least has the virtue of being weird. James is just hopelessly bland, and the storylines he gets tend to be the most irritating of the lot.

I like Nadine's storyline because it's so bizarre.

But I found the plot involving James having a fling with Evelyn to be less annoying than Benjamin Horne's ridiculous Civil War episode.

Yup. I think I blocked that part out of my memory. There's some serious wheel-spinning going on in season 2.

Speaking of wheel spinning, the DVD for season 1 of The Killing has a release date: March 13th. And special features:



  • Commentary on the Pilot with Veena Sud
  • An Autopsy of The Killing
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • "Orpheus Descending" -- extended season finale
  • Commentary on "Orpheus Descending"

Looks like Amazon U.S. will be selling it at $45 for the DVD and $54 for the blu-ray. Not that too many people around here will be rushing out to buy it. I won't--I bought the whole darn season on Amazon Unbox, and that's as much as I need to spend on it).

Meanwhile, the original version is--of course--still not available in the U.S.

Edited by NBooth

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after about the tenth episode, I'm realizing that Twin Peaks is getting too soap-opera-ish (a very technical term) for my tastes.

Do you meant the tenth of the series, or the tenth of the second season?

Either way, it just keeps going down in that direction. Except the final episode, which is bat s**t awesome.

The tenth episode of the series. The Donna-James-Maddie love triangle is killing me (even though I've already seen how it plays out).

Pretty much anything to do with James sends me into a milder sort of rage. The only character more useless than he is Nadine, and she at least has the virtue of being weird. James is just hopelessly bland, and the storylines he gets tend to be the most irritating of the lot.

I like Nadine's storyline because it's so bizarre.

But I found the plot involving James having a fling with Evelyn to be less annoying than Benjamin Horne's ridiculous Civil War episode.

Yup. I think I blocked that part out of my memory. There's some serious wheel-spinning going on in season 2.

I can't think of a series that fell off the rails so fast other than perhaps Heroes - both had such promise.

But yeah, from Bob to Windham Earle and Andrew Packard...what a mess.

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I could be okay with that. Kinda enjoyed the show.

Of course I haven't seen the second season.

Edited by Justin Hanvey

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Season 3 to premier June 2

Season 3 begins one year after the close of the "Rosie Larsen" case (the focus of the series' first two seasons) with Sarah Linden (Enos) no longer working as a detective. But when her ex-partner Stephen Holder's (Kinnaman) search for a runaway girl leads him to discover a gruesome string of murders that connects to a previous murder investigation by Linden, she is drawn back into the life she thought she'd left behind.

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Just a quick post. Anyone been watching the new season? I find this season is holding my attention much more than season's 1 & 2. I'm definitely finding Peter Sarsgaard's storyline the most interesting.

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I've been following it, although I missed the last episode. I have enjoyed it so far.

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AMC has re-killed The Killing.

 

For the sake of synergy, we should call the 3rd season its Walking Dead Season.

 

After season two, I couldn't care less that they cancelled it.  Then this season really grabbed me, and now I'm bummed.

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I lost interest after the first season, but to hear the AV Club tell it, it might be time to catch up:

 

Just in time for its end, The Killing became the show that it promised to be during those early episodes of season one. It took a circuitous route, with two cancellations and a move to Netflix, but it sticks the landing with this affecting, impressive final season.

 

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