With Mad Men not coming back until next March, I had a hole to fill in my TV schedule. So I started watching AMC’s newest show, The Killing, which is apparently based on a Danish show called Forbrydelsen.
And boy, am I glad I did. There are only three episodes left this season, so it’s a bit too late for you to start watching, but I definitely recommend DVR-ing the reruns or watching the whole season when it comes out on DVD.
Each episode documents one day in the investigation into the murder of seventeen-year-old Rosie Larsen, who, after a high school dance, was found dead the trunk of a car in a lake. The car belonged to the campaign of Darren Richmond, a city councilor running for mayor of Seattle. The detective investigating the case, Sarah Linden, was about to leave Seattle for California to get married, but as she gets further into her investigation, her departure looks less and less likely.
The story is told with no flashbacks and has three main storylines: Linden and her replacement, Stephen Holder, investigating the murder; the Richmond campaign’s struggles in the aftermath of the killing; and the grieving of Rosie’s parents, Mitch (for Michelle) and Stan.
I won’t go into detail about the suspects or motives for those who haven’t seen it, but it’s very suspenseful and well-acted and I never want an episode to end. If you’re an X-Files fan, Linden, played by Mireille Enos, reminds me so much of Dana Scully—a petite, VERY SERIOUS redhead who’s consumed with her work.
The show isn’t perfect—there’s a lot of implausibility, including there only being two detectives on the case, leads they didn’t follow up on sooner, and the fact that it is constantly pouring out (I’m told it doesn’t rain that much in Seattle). But it’s very, very good and easy to get addicted to.
Other shows I’ve been watching:
When this show premiered, everyone loved it because it was so different from anything else on TV. But the tide has turned and now no one can speak about Glee without complaining about it. Everyone, it seems, has a problem with something about this show. Obviously conservatives don’t like the gay characters. Other people complain that a character is reinforcing a stereotype, or that a character needs a love interest, or that Character X isn’t getting enough screen time while Character Y is getting too much and there’s not enough focus on Ship A and too much on Ship B. Oh, and Rachel is an annoying diva, Finn’s voice isn’t good enough, the characters are inconsistently written, and Will is unprofessional. Plus, it’s gotten too episodic and preachy. Did I miss anything?
I’ll give you that the episodes are a bit preachier and more episodic (“The Religion Episode,” “The Britney Spears Episode” “The Prom Episode”) than they used to be. But everything else is just complaints about things that have been there from the beginning.
This is the thing. Glee is not a show meant to be taken too seriously. It’s a farce. It’s not, and has never been, in any way realistic. I mean, the first episode had Will planting pot on Finn to blackmail him into joining the glee club, for God’s sake. And personally, I don’t watch it because I want something to relate to or because I ship any characters. I watch it because it’s funny and sweet and has good music.
Also, keep in mind—this is the only show on TV that has characters with such diversity of races, religions, sexual orientations, sizes, and abilities. It does its best to show each character positively, and it cannot please everyone. With all the whining about various Issues on sites like the rapidly-getting-on-my-nerves Jezebel, I’m not surprised that so many other shows are less diverse. Showrunners figure they’ll never be able to satisfy everyone and just stick with casts of white heterosexual characters.
This summer I’m going to be catching up with the Season 1 DVDs. I just started watching this season and I love it. But who doesn’t? It’s gotten all kinds of critical acclaim and awards and isn’t doing too badly in the ratings, either. This is one show that manages to hit all the right notes—it’s often laugh-out-loud funny, every single character is likeable, and it’s often very touching without being sappy. The characters could so easily be clichés—trophy wife, doofy dad, ditzy teenager, flamboyant gay guy—but instead they manage to come across as real and full of personality as well as funny. The acting is excellent, and basically, if you’re not already watching this show, you should be.
What can I say? I love this show and I can’t wait for the new season. I know a lot of people think this show is a sign of the apocalypse. It’s true that the people on it are ridiculous and not people you’d ever want to know in real life, but…well, sometimes they’re funny and entertaining, too. And no one on the show is all bad. Okay, I’m done trying to justify it. Let me have my guilty pleasure!