Monday, June 18, 2012

The Self-Importance of The Killing

There's a promo that constantly runs for The Killing that has detective Linden saying, "Can you ever really know a person?"  This is set to a collection of scenes of Rosie Larsen running around, smiling and being happy.  The ad companies are making it out that this is a series based on identity, who a person really is, and if those around them are able to truly know them.

That sounds like a series I would watch.  Unfortunately, that was not The Killing.

I'm not sure if a network has ever put out a show that treated their audience with such contempt.  The writers all assumed we were idiots, and that we watched those show because it was good, when in actuality, one hour of television and one father's broken-hearted screams for his daughter are what sucked us in.  From there, though, it was all down hill.

We never learned to care about Rosie, and it never seemed like she was truly a person to be missed.  Really, we still have no idea who she is and who cared about her.  Was she a high-class hooker?  A cocktail waitress?  Someone who helps out local boys and girls clubs?  And in all these places, was there really a person she cared about or that cared about her?

The show made many missteps along the way, the most grievous of which was making us wait 26 hours to find out that her Aunt Terry killed her accidentally.  She didn't know it was Rosie in the car that she pushed into the river, with the hope that her lover would fly off to Vegas with her and never return.  No, she was ok with it being a random girl screaming in the trunk, but her morals kick in when it comes to her daughter.

26 hours.  That's longer than 24 (that's really just a simple math problem.  And I'm not even a math major!  I did have a calculator, though).  The difference is that 24 usually had 3 or 4 mysteries in the course of a season.  The Killing had one mystery.  There was one thing going on.  And don't tell me that we had the mystery of who framed Richmond, because that was solved right away.

More crap was thrown in, more shoddy police detective work (Bunk and McNulty would have solved this in 3 days).  Linden and Holder were thrown off the case, then given FBI clearance to look at the construction site of the casino, while still off the case, then thrown off the case that they weren't even on, then commended by Duck Phillips for a good day's work.  That took 26 days.

We had to sit through pointless conversations, red herring after red herring, Stan Larsen being allowed to roam free even though he had just beaten a school teacher to death, Linden's whiny son being sent to live with his father and not her current Cylon fiance, three women in the show named Reggie, Mitch and Terry (It's Pat would have a field day with this).

And in all, what are we left with?  A show that will probably get a 3rd season that even less people will watch.  A showrunner who compared her lack of a season 1 ending to The Sopranos.

Most of all, The Killing is forgettable.  It will end up as a joke.  Who killed Rosie Larsen?  In 10 years it will be a question during bar trivia night about little-known television shows.

The Killing thought it was something more, it thought it was going to be among the top 5 shows of all time.  It might not even be in the top 5 on its network.  But the writers treated it like it was the most important show ever to be made, and they were the most important writers in the history of the world.  I feel bad that I wasted so much of my time watching this show and trying to figure out who killed Rosie Larsen.  I spent most episodes checking the clock trying to figure out when it would be over.

Because I didn't care.

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