Saturday, June 1, 2013

AMC’s ‘The Killing’ staves off execution

AMC’s ‘The Killing’ is one of those high concept shows that is slow on action and big on character development.

I was a big fan of that formula in the first season – but not so much in the second season.

When AMC announced that ‘The Killing’ wouldn’t be coming back for a third season, I wasn’t all that surprised.

While the central mystery – who killed Rosie Larsen – was twisty and interesting during the first season, the slow format faltered in the second season.

The mixture of tortured heroes, ambiguous bad guys and questionable morals was an interesting character sketch early on. I was interested in seeing where the story went – and more importantly, why we were being led in the direction we were being led in.

Then ‘The Killing’ made its fatal mistake.

Fans were led to believe that we would find out who killed Rosie Larsen during the finale of the first
season. That didn’t happen, though – and fans were understandably outraged.

Then, show runner Veena Sud added gas to the fire when she essentially told fans to just “get over it.” Just a tip, that’s not the way to endear yourself to vocal fans.

The second season of ‘The Killing’ saw a drastic decrease in viewership – and even though the killer was revealed in the final episode, the revelation fell flat after so much build-up. It wasn’t what fans wanted – or expected. It felt like an after thought more than anything else.

I can’t deny that I was surprised when I heard that ‘The Killing’ had miraculously staved off execution a few months ago.

This go around, show runners promise that the current mystery will be solved in one season – and the only returning cast members are Mireille Enos (Sarah Linden) and Joel Kinnaman  (Stephen Holder).

This season’s story starts out about a year after the events of season two, with Sarah Linden retired from the police force and Holder having to ask his former partner for help in a missing girls case that ties to a case from her past. 

I’m hopeful that ‘The Killing’ can recapture some of that first season magic that made it must-watch television – but I’m a little leery.

Kinnaman and Enos have terrific chemistry – and I’m really excited about the addition of Peter
Sarsgaard as a death row inmate that Linden put away – and who may be innocent after all.

I like the gritty atmosphere of ‘The Killing’ a great deal – and I’ve been a fan of Enos since she portrayed a set of twins on ‘Big Love’ – but ‘The Killing’ is going to have to start out strong and bring back a lot of the fans it lost in the second season if it wants to survive for another grisly go around.

I’m definitely up to giving it a shot, though.

AMC’s two-hour premiere of ‘The Killing’ debuts Sunday night.

What do you think? Are you going to tune in for the third season of ‘The Killing’?


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