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Eight Reasons to Watch the Killing
by Grady Jane Woodfin
Last week, I gushed over Bates Motel which -- let’s face it -- may not be up everyone’s alley. But this week, I’m going to talk about a different show I’m crazy about. So, if you’re like me and have an active “to watch” list, get ready to add this one.
In 2011, AMC aired their original murder-mystery series The Killing. Now fans of The Killing, they’ve been through a lot. After two seasons on AMC, AMC announced that The Killing would not return for a third season. Fans were devastated.
However, a deal was struck between AMC and FOX, and the two decided to get together to produce the third season of the show. After the third season (which ended on a huge cliff hanger), it was announced that The Killing was for sure not going to be green-lit for a fourth season. Once again fans all over the world were crushed. How could this be happening? Why were we being punished like this?
But this is where Netflix stepped in to save the day.
In 2014, Netflix took over The Killing and made the fourth and final season, giving fans their much-needed send off to their beloved detectives.
So, now I’m going to use the following nifty list and my rad persuasion skills to get you to watch The Killing. Okay, here we go.
First, it falls into the classic murder-mystery/suspense genre. Which happens to be -- quite frankly -- my favorite. If you are a sucker for homicide detectives seeking out the bad guys, while dealing with their own drama as well… Oh, man, The Killing is for you. But I’m sure some of you reading this aren’t the biggest fans of the murder-mystery genre (dishonor!), and if that’s the case, then please, keep reading.
The Killing is quality storytelling. Now, I can’t watch a show that doesn’t have good story. The Killing has lived up to my standards and much more. In this genre, it is easy to run into plot-repetition, uninteresting cases, and stereotypical characters. The Killing has done a great job of breaking out of the box, but also respecting, knowing, and cherishing the genre it’s in. The creators of the show knew The Killing could fall victim to stereotypes of the genre, and they took extreme caution to avoid that. By doing so, they created -- in my opinion -- a classic.
This show takes its time to solve murders. I know what you’re thinking, and I can hear you groaning from here. “But, Grady, if I want to watch a crime show, I could just turn on the cable box and watch any ‘ole CSI show that comes on 27 times a week. Why should I waste my time on The Killing?” You see in this show, there is actually some build-up to finding the murderer. Shocker! I know. The show offers a sense of realness. These detectives don’t get to solve a sweet, little, cookie-cutter murder that takes place in an hour and leaves you feeling satisfied in time for you to enjoy dinner and your next show. This show takes whole seasons to find out who dun it. Are you being persuaded yet?
The stakes are always high. One of the biggest parts of telling good stories is making sure the stakes are high enough. Is the audience going to care? The Killing is an excellent example of honing in on the suspenseful elements of the genre and playing them as an advantage to the show. If you’re not already a television show binger, you may become one if you try out The Killing. You’re not going to want to wait. You’re always going to know what happens next. And that’s the kind of stuff I love.
The main character is a strong, female protagonist. I am all about girl power, and I’m definitely all about girl power when it comes to industries (like police homicide) where there is a larger ratio of men to women. The Killing brings Sarah Linden played by Mireille Enos into a male-dominated industry, and let’s her thrive. If you’re not already, you will be on #TeamLinden by the end of the first episode.
Linden & Holder. Oh, man. Of course, I love Linden all by herself as the main female lead. But there is something about a crime-fighting duo that will always feed my soul. Linden’s new, rookie partner is Stephen Holder played by Joel Kinnaman. You’re going to like them individually, and you’re going to love them together. They work well as a team, but are so different that their partnership also adds more conflict to the show. They’re easily my favorite pair (right under Mulder & Scully, of course).
The Killing is so human. (This is actually my favorite point, so pay attention.) Are you groaning again? “Grady, what does ‘so human’ even mean?” It just means that the show isn’t full of glamorous actors and actresses that get in the way of their own story. You see, this show takes characters that actually feel real. They’re flawed. I’m talking physically and emotionally flawed. Both main characters seem to match the grit of their jobs. When you watch the show, you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about. But they also aren’t these mindless, crime-solving beings. They have feelings, families, and regrets, and this gives the show a humble, real-life vibe that is often lost in the genre somewhere.
And lastly, The Killing is not that long, and it’s all available to stream. The show is only four seasons. When Netflix picked it up to air in its final season, they only made the last season six episodes, which I think was super smart. So, sure, four seasons could take a while, but it would be worth it, and you’d be satisfied. Also, if you have Netflix (which you should unless you’re a heathen), then it should be available in all its magnificence right at your fingertips.
I will leave y’all with a trailer for the first season. So, if you’re on the fence still, maybe this can give you a push one way or another:
Okay, guys. That’s all I have. I hope that you’ve already stopped reading, and that you’re on your way to watch the pilot of the show.
But, if you are still here, tell us your thoughts on The Killing. Have you watched? Are you going to? Did you love it? How much? Do you ship Linden and Holder as much as I do? Let us know in the comments, and share this article with your friends so they can get a taste for quality television.