Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Killing: is that relentless rain ever going to stop or what

A programme called The Killing was never going to be a barrel of laughs.

But the murky grey depths reached in this US remake of a Danish murder/mystery may leave you agog.

Or it could just be the misery of the relentless rain in nearly every single shot.

It's set in Seattle (instead of the original's Copenhagen) and this new 13-part series, now showing on Channel 4, follows detective Sarah Linden, played by Mireille Enos.

Sarah's only hours away from a new start in LA with her husband-to-be and stroppy son when she becomes embroiled - embroiled, I say - in a new case following the discovery of teenager Rosie Larsen, drowned in the boot of a car, and hauled from a river.

How did she get there? Who killed her? How many different gut-wrenching ways can we see her family express their grief?

Cheery, it is not.

'Oversize jumpers'

And, in a subtle lesson that seems to suggest a working mum cannot, in fact, successfully manage a work/life balance after all, Sarah seems a bit on the edge: she's got an annoyed husband-to-be on the phone (he'd already left for LA); she eats soup from a saucepan; wears oversize jumpers that 'don't do a lot for her' (Copyright: my mother); and seems dependent on nicotine gum.

All this as the murder case itself begins to take over her life, while her son stays with a family friend on a boat.

The plot's thickening up nicely, probably not unlike that soup she ate from the saucepan, and several possible suspects are emerging.

There's several spoilt rich kids with evil faces and hair that says 'bad' in more ways than one; a political candidate and his various hangers on, ripe with narrow-eyed ambition; and even a school teacher.

What's more, there's going to be a season two - so it will be interesting to see if the murder of Rosie Larsen is even concluded in 13 episodes (but let's hope so).

Best of all, is Sarah's sidekick, Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), who is reminiscent of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

And although the addition of a cute talking dog with an affection for oversize sandwiches would probably cheer things up a bit, it's more likely that Scoobs himself wouldn't fit well with the overall air of doom and foreboding of The Killing.

At least not yet, that is. Come season two and he could well be cast as the comedy relief.
  • Here's a trailer for season one:

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