This American series, based on a Danish one, starts with the murder of a girl named Rosie Larsen.
If you’re used to quick and witty detectives and quite like those, don’t start on this series. It takes two entire seasons to solve one case.
The Danish or generally Scandinavian culture in filming simply has a different kind of structure. Actors can be part of the scenery. When they’re silent, you feel the emotion that is meant or at least accept the inner struggle that is there.
The Killing doesn’t provide Danish actors, nor those sceneries. I’m not saying the actors (Mireille Echols and Joel Kinnaman ) are bad, but the scripts are quite clearly depending on them making the same kind of silent moves. The sort of ‘slow motion’ acting that can sometimes be shown to prove a point, is used here to imply an emotion that was already displayed.
Plus, being sort of used to Sherlock Holmes, Luther and other superdetectives, it disappoints to see that the detectives here genuinely don’t seem to know anything else than what’s shown. You’re getting frustrated, thinking: ‘let me handle this!’
Also, it doesn’t have the same rhythm of solving any case. It takes two entire seasons. The road that’s been taken is put out there in almost every detail. Meanwhile, the characters don’t show that much emotion or personality. It’s quite shallow, all in all.
What’s left is, I have to admit, a certain intriguing factor: no Hollywood-nonsense. No typical attraction between the two detectives, no quick solving of problems, plot twists that keep turning and turning. Whose no longer of interest, doesn’t show up anymore.
In season two several things happen that don’t make too much sense though. Who has, by then, gotten to know detective Linden, will not find her actions that believable for her personality. Nor what happens to Holder. It’s human, yes, but these two haven’t shown those specific emotions when it has concerned anyone in their casefiles.
The ending is a bit Hollywood-like, as it is happy, but thankfully the Danish have at least done it in their way: in the middle of something, instead of where you’d expect it. And yes, that’s about as clear as I’m gonna be on the subject.
It’s not for everyone, this series, and it ends because I’m sure the audience just didn’t grow.