Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"You know what's cool about The Killing? That there's nothing 'cool' about The Killing."


That's what I turned to Jul and said a week ago as we were watching the premiere, and I feel the same way after having seen the third episode.

Now, don't misunderstand -- The Killing is awesome. It plays out like you're watching a more or less real time investigation in a very realistic fashion, seeing how this one event (a missing -- and we quickly discover, murdered -- teenage girl) affects the lives of a variety of people in a city. The cops leading the investigation. The murdered girl's family. Her best friend, classmates, and teachers. A councilman running for mayor and his campaign. We're with all of them and feel for every one, and I'm just as engaged by their personal struggles as I am by the slowly unspooling investigation.

So what does that title mean? Well, that there's no flash. No pizazz. No 'hook.' Our cops don't have any super special skills that they have to use to solve the mystery every episode -- they're just detectives. No flashbacks like another season-arc show, Damages, to whet our appetites for what's to come and wonder how we'll get there, the show just plays out linearly. There's not even that much in the way of shock value -- what little blood, sex, or gore they have is downplayed, and the story twists feel natural rather than, well, shocking.

And what was amazing to me, watching that premiere, was how engaged I was without any of that superfluous noise. An event occurs and we bear witness, discovering character only in how people react to the situations they are put in. The Killing is a slow burn, to be sure, but it's also just good old fashioned storytelling.

1 comment:

thecrossfader said...

yeah, it's a good show. i like it