TV Review: The Killing (AMC)


The Killing did not live up to the hype for the pilot episode. It is dark and tragic as the executive producer has described and gives the slow-burn of storytelling a full onslaught. AMC should have pushed for a bit more suspense and thriller for this crime drama series. Admittedly, we have only endured the first episode and we are in for the long haul but can the audience be expected to return?

The music has the feel of a movie of the week or a true story theme that Lifetime Networks could replay all weekend long. Understandably it is set in Seattle, Washington where rain is a given and the population often does not even think twice to check the weather forecast. One scene has the two main characters, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos ) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman ), standing outside in yet another downpour at a crime scene where fog is flowing leaving us to question. It is dark and cold; a car is being dragged from a pond, so where is the fog coming from?

The characters are tossed at us with no explanation as to the connections they have. The audience is begging for the writers to establish the cast so they can sink their teeth in and ride along. Detective Stephen Holder often talks as if he is a street thug rather than a member of the homicide division. It only works well in one scene when he needs to extract information from some high school girls. When he is playing a cop in proper form, his acting brings the viewer more encouragement that it may take a few more episodes before the writers hit their stride.

Mireille Enos could not have been a better pick to play Sarah Linden. She does not give us over-acting or emotional temperament that is often displayed in today’s television. The viewer knows that this character will have her moment of poignancy and in that be able to drive the series. But that will not happen quickly as we have yet to see her in a light other than her job.

When the youngest son, Tom Larsen (Evan Bird ), of the victims mother, Mitch Larsen (Michelle Forbes ), hears her husband, Stanley Larsen (Brent Sexton ) scream on the phone and begins to break down, the boy’s face has future star written all over it. Bird gets another opportunity to show his potential when his brother, Denny Larsen (Seth Isaac Johnson ) does not comprehend that their sister has died and Tom begins to scream.

The long, theatrical, over-dramatized visual spanning leaves the audience bored with thoughts of housework, bills, job or anything that pulls away from the story. A recap next week prior to the new episode will easily bring the viewer up to speed. Let’s hope they understand that writing a script entails actually putting words on paper for actors to say that will build a good story. At this point, the audience can only guess as to what the characters are thinking while the camera follows them around. At one hour and forty minutes into the pilot, we were still hoping there was something around the corner. Maybe episode two will give us more persuasion to see this through the season.



–MISSING (Episode 11)

Finally, after 10 episodes, the writers get to the meat and potatoes of the story. Simply speaking, anyone who has not seen the first 10 episodes can easily step into this storyline and get everything they need for a complete update in this episode. Now, the story really begins, and thank you because my eyes were drooping through every episode until tonight.


–BEAU SOLEIL (Episode 12)

Another well-written episode; not sure what happened. Maybe the people in power started actually watching and realized that this series needed a boost, or the viewership would dwindle down to nothing. It is a straightforward suspense thriller for the first time, and I cannot wait until next week.



I cannot believe how much this show has improved. The slow burn philosophy is very tricky in that you can lose much of your audience before the story grabs the viewer. This may have happened in that without writing a review for the show (and therefore needing to see the first season through to the end) I would have stopped watching by the 2nd or 3rd episode. Hopefully a lot of people stuck around only to find that another season is necessary. The writers surely need to pick up the pace and grab the audience in the beginning and leave them hanging at the end of each episode. They started at a two star level but can easily be credited with finishing at a five.