At the end of its first season, The Killing alienated many of its viewers with its plot developments. The drama about the investigation of a murdered teenage girl revealed that its big discovery never actually happened and that many pieces of evidence, up to that point, were red herrings that went nowhere.
Now, with last Sunday’s two-part premiere “Reflections/My Lucky Day,” the show continues to spin its wheels but not go anywhere in a disappointing and boring way.
The Killing focuses on Detective Sarah Linden, played by Mireille Enos, the lead investigator into the murder of teenager Rosie Larsen, who was found in the trunk of a submerged car in the first episode of the series. What should be a compelling and exciting police drama that bypasses the standard procedural route is unfortunately bogged down in other plot points that aren’t nearly as interesting as the writers want them to be.
Since this is serialized television, the show obviously doesn’t simply focus on the murder of a teenage girl. There are conspiracies and political schemes, which of course all tie back to the murder. Every action is carried out by characters that you will quickly lose interest in.
Over the course of an hour-long episode, not much happens for the first 50 minutes. After the final commercial break is when anything of value occurs.
This is a miniseries storyline put into 15 episodes (so far), with no real end in sight. When only a tiny bit of new information is revealed about the central plot after two hours, it continues to be clear that this show will be stretched out until AMC ends it, at which point the final answers to all the questions will likely be uninteresting. Maybe if something exciting happened, it would still be worth watching week-to-week.
But more than anything, The Killing is boring. The series has no sense of humor, something that’s required in a serialized drama. Shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, which never back down from violence, still have some darkly funny moments that don’t seem out of place among any tense scenes. The Killing stays away from any sort of humor at all, taking out any real personalities from the characters. They have dry conversations about the plot, sidestepping any opportunities for character development.
The Killing is frustrating since what’s presented on screen isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s just been done before on many other shows. The actors, especially Enos, are all very good, even if their characters aren’t that interesting. The show is perfectly shot, with a dark tone that presents a gloomy feeling over all the action.
Good cinematography and acting can’t help an uninteresting story that seemingly will never end. And when a show makes some of its already dull moments turn out to be completely unnecessary, it’s really hard to care about where it’s all going to end.