Klavan On The Culture

TV: The Killing

I’m hearing a lot of people are feeling ripped off by the conclusion to The Killing’s first season on AMC.  You can count me among them.  And I have a lot of other complaints beside.


This was adapted from a successful Danish TV show and it might just as well have come with subtitles.  They reset it in Seattle but other than that…  the general social milieu and the politically correct sub plot about Muslims would’ve made a lot more sense overseas.

Killer Actor

It went on too long too.  And the main character, Detective Sarah Linden – well played by the hypnotically beautiful Mireille Enos of HBO’s Big Love – was not only a crummy mother but not really that good a detective, which made it hard to identify with her or care much about her.  And, as in all Scandinavian mysteries, the left wing assumptions were thick enough to choke on.

All that said, there was plenty to like.  The story was genuinely well constructed – that’s what kept me watching.  Not only was everyone a valid suspect, but the unraveling of each character’s secrets was emotionally compelling and added to the layers of the piece.


And more than anything, the main detective’s partner, ex-narc Stephen Holder, was such a terrific character and so brilliantly played by virtual newcomer Joel Kinnaman that it would’ve been worth watching for him alone.  It was a star-making turn, a piece of acting that was both deeply intelligent and wildly entertaining.

I don’t know whether I’ll watch a second season of this, but despite my objections, I did find myself sticking with the first one through to the annoying end.

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