April 1, 2012

Filthy Review - The Killing Season 1

The Killing: Season 1 (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Cop shows and the like are a dime-a-dozen, they all run to a formula, sometimes the formula fits all shows, and everything is neatly tied up by the end of the hour. It’s TV that is meant to be easily consumed with hopes that you will come back for more. I mean, why wouldn’t you? After all, you do not what you are going to get. I can honestly say that the last two TV shows that held my interest throughout their duration, and involved the police and/or a murder case, were Twin Peaks and Murder One (Season One). These were two vastly differing shows, yet they added something new to the game, and both aired in the 90’s.

Now, The Killing, which is based on the Danish show Forbrydelsen, has come along and tried its own part in changing the formula. On the surface the plot is very straightforward; Rosie Larsen has been murdered, and it’s up to Detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder to try and solve the case. Told you it was straightforward.

Of course, there is far more to it than just that. The show actually comes at you from three different angels, there is the investigation itself, the fallout and effect of the murder on Rosie’s family and then there is the Majoral campaign that is running in the show’s setting of Seattle. Each story interlinks in and out of the others, with some story strands being more successful than others. Personally I felt the show lost a little steam towards the middle of its run, and some of the political aspects of the storyline I found tiresome, but there is so much going on that it quickly picks up pace again and moves on.

That being said, do not be fooled into thinking this is a pacy show full of quickfire edits and witty one-liners, far from it. The story is a studied and measured approach to the aftermath of a murder and its widespread ramifications, and this is unraveled incredibly well by the writers of the show.

The show itself looks beautiful, especially on Blu-ray, with Seattle, and its surrounding area, being as much of a character in this story as the people themselves. The colors seem washed out with greys and greens being very much in evidence, after all it does rain a lot in Seattle apparently.

Visuals and storyline aside though, it is the cast on display where the show really excels. Mireille Enos as Linden is quite superb as Sarah Holden, and is the focal point of where the story goes. Backing her up is Joel Kinnamen, as her partner Stephen Holder, and he lends the show its few light-hearted elements, without taking away from the serious nature of the show. The entire cast is all spot-on though, from some of the more familiar faces to those you may not have seen before. It truly is an ensemble piece.

Included in this release is an extended finale, which I thoroughly enjoyed, as well as a couple of commentaries and a gag reel. There is also a short featurette entitled Autopsy of The Killing, which features interviews with cast and crew, and despite its short running time was quite informative.

One thing is for sure and that is watching this set me right up for the second season. The Killing is an excellent show and this release is well worth picking up, especially if you are new to it. Although existing fans will no doubt want to pick it up for the extras and the extended finale, of which the last ten minutes or so are brilliant television.

The Killing Season 1 is available now on Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox. Season 2 starts on AMC on April 1st.

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