The Killing is one of the most frustrating shows I have watched (I watched the first 5 episodes of the first season as they aired; then stopped, and watch all of season 2 on Netflix), it routinely squanders talented actors and takes itself WAY too seriously for a procedural (it is supposed to follow one case for an entire season or two if the show-runner, Veena Sud is a LOON). I won’t even attempt to make fun of the first two seasons because Starlee Kine’s (you may know her from This American Life) recaps for Vulture are SO much better than anything I can do AND I really don’t want to get into just how insanely weird the first two seasons were (weird as in show-runner decisions are INSANE not the show is meant to be weird a la Twin Peaks). If you want an example of how a show-runner can control a show to a point where it is often unintentionally hilarious then I recommend watching both seasons on Netflix.
So, why then am I even thinking about watching season 3? Well first off I love the relationship between Linden (Mireille Enos) and Holder (Joel Kinnaman). Despite the fact that Linden didn’t own a smartphone nor was she very good at her job (she also chewed nicotine gum like a cow and could NOT catch a flight to save her life or the life of her child) and Holder looked and talked like a street thug (which was always hilarious, I’m very sad that for season 3 Holder is wearing a shirt and tie) they made a really compelling team. I also loved how there relationship went from one of mutual animosity and distrust to absolute love and respect (AND PLATONIC –though I would not mind if Linden got it on with Holder he is hot in a sweaty ex-druggie kind of way). I give ALL the credit to actors Enos and Kinnaman who do everything they can to make Linden and Holder 3-dimensional and for the most part pull it off. It’s sad that because of The Killing’s pretensions it loses sight of the fact that it does have two really interesting characters in there own right without all of the crazy plot shit that gets thrown at them (I am a strong believer that a procedural should be more like a work-place dramedy and less like a dreary drama).
Another reason to be excited is Peter Sarsgaard joining the cast as a death-row inmate who may or may not be innocent. He is another really good actor for Veena Sud to squander but like Enos and Kinnaman he will try to not get lost in crazy plotting.
After watching the first two hours here are the things I liked that will make me keep watching, and the things that were annoying and that I will probably eventually stop watching if they don’t change.
Reasons I will stick with season 3
Holder still sounds like a thug…THANK CHRIST! You can take the hoodie from the man but you can’t take his bad fucking slang. Also Holder wants to become a Sargent, I’m guessing this is why he no longer dresses like he is an extra in an Eminem video.
The street kids are like mini Holders, I initially thought this might be annoying but in the end much like my love for Holder I find it endearing (mostly because Veena Sud’s idea of street talk is hilarious). I also like all of Holder’s interactions with the kids and hope that if there is a season 4 it is less cop drama and more foster care comedy with Holder and Linden raising all the kids in an abandoned mansion.
The fact that both Linden and Holder are still smoking (I loved when they lied to each other about quitting –oh you two just get a room).
Joel Kinnaman in a wife-beater dating Kaylee from Firefly!
Peter Sarsgaard is terrific as I thought he was going to be. He is a sadistic fuck which makes you think he is guilty but also makes you think he might just be a sadistic fuck who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s very interesting.
The final shot of Linden finding all the bodies was creepy and definitely made me want MORE.
Things that are going to annoy me in season 3
I hate Holder’s new partner, he is a putz and possibly a misogynist. I think he is supposed to be some sort of comic relief but neither I nor Holder are laughing –PUTZ. Also he appears to be very lazy and a terrible cop.
Seattle still appears to be weeping, I know it rains a lot but on The Killing it rains so much it would be a terrible place to live.
The whole prison thing is so cliched from the one sadistic guard to the other inmates.
The entire Linden finding the dying cow and having to kill it was sad, gross, and completely unnecessary to the plot or her character plus it’s indicative of the crap they pulled in seasons 1 and 2, that I had hoped they wouldn’t be doing in season 3. Also is Linden’s hinted at affair with her ex-partner NECESSARY because she NEEDS one more bad thing in her past because being a foster kid, lousy mother, and occasionally emotionally unstable ISN’T enough. Then she breaks up with her boyfriend because she “breaks things.” NO Linden you don’t break things the writers just want you to be continually tortured so that Holder can fix you with his hilarious street slang and copious amounts of cigarettes and vegan eating.
[I don’t watch this show but this looks like a summer Netfix project. Thanks, Katie! -M]