Monday, June 20, 2011

Somebody kill it!

I quite enjoyed the premiere episode of AMC's new cop series, "The Killing": stylish TV noir with some very promising characters. Then over the course of the season the show steadily deteriorated, introducing one or two lame plot twists every week, each featuring its own "likely suspect of the day" who turned out not to be so likely after all by the end of the episode.

Now it turns out that I may just have been watching the wrong TV show, because apparently there was a much better series with the same name, over which the NY Times critic Ginia Bellafante gushes, "With its lyrical pacing, restrained performances and a palette so visually cool that it feels as though you are watching from inside a Sub-Zero, 'The Killing' is at once a procedural and a rich exploration of the perils of obsession."

I know for a fact that she was watching a different series, because she concludes from the final episode that there is only a ".0009 percent chance" that the prime suspect is not guilty, whereas the final episode of the series I watched made it rather clear that the prime suspect was being set up.

What I find particularly unforgivable about "The Killing" is the way it spent the entire season developing a main character whom both the viewer and the protagonist come to like and trust, only to turn around and make him into some kind of con man in the final 10 seconds, I guess all for the sake of being "clever" and "unpredictable." It's a cheap trick. Son Aidan was right: "Dad, this show sucks, it's all about Breaking Bad."

I won't make the mistake of watching it again next season, unless I can figure out where to find that excellent show Ms. Bellafante was writing about.

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