Monday, June 18, 2012

The Killing

Season 2
As the mayoral election approaches, the search for Rosie's killer continues as detectives Linden and Holder follow the various strands while confronting their own personal demons. Following all the accusations at the close of last season, i was willing to let it slide because I was still intrigued by the atmosphere of the series and some of the acting. Season 2 does nothing less than validate these claims of the series being misleading and spinning its wheels. Red herrings and unworthy storylines abound in a season that continually trades in its audience's goodwill, and wraps up in a series of revelations that hardly seemed worth the effort. All is not without its merits, and stars Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman continue to turn in stellar work (Kinnaman deserves an Emmy). I also actually enjoyed the performances of Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton who succeed once the histrionics are turned down. Also, it is kind of amazing how far a city (Seattle) can carry a show. Still., season 2 of "The Killing" proves largely disposable, and serves as an argument that this would have worked better in an abbreviated miniseries.
** 1/2

Season 1
The Killing is a crime drama adapted from the successful Danish series by Veena Sud. The show follows the police investigation of a murder of a 17 year old girl. Each episode represents one day in the case, and along with the investigation, we delve into the lives of the two investigators, the murdered girl's family, case suspects, and politicos involved in a tangential political election. Starring newcomer Mireille Enos as a single mother who is trying to leave her position as a Seattle detective, but becomes too involved with the investigation, so much so that her personal life begins to suffer. She is teamed up with a narcotics transfer played by Joel Kinnaman, who looks unkempt and appears to be always on the take. Also coming into the mix are a politician running for city council played by Billy Campbell, the victim's teacher (Brandon Jay McLaren) who is a suspect and has ties to the campaign, as well as her suffering parents played by Brent Sexton and Michelle Forbes. The look and feel of the show is dark and dreary, and the use of rainy Seattle locations nicely adds to this. Throughout the first season, there were many red herrings used to mislead the audience, which I didn't mind to much as I imagine this is what an actual investigation goes through. A major gripe I have with the show is the quality of the acting, which I've noticed suffers with supporting players in television series. Enos and Campbell are solid, and I would like to note the work of Kinnaman whose role is complex and who pulls it off exceedingly well. The rest of the cast however, for the most part, could use a few semesters at the Actor's Studio, particularly Forbes and Sexton who really hurt the show by dropping the proverbial ball in vital roles. The Killing is engaging television, but I felt that the show was struggling to pull off its day to day format. It will be interesting to see how the series progresses in season two and if it can maintain its current structure.