The season finale of The Killing is tonight. I started watching this show for a few reasons: it was on AMC, which had recently wowed me with The Walking Dead (and people rave about Mad Men, which I have yet to see but do plan on catching on DVD one of these days); the premise and actors interested me; there wasn’t much else on television to compete with it; and I watch, well, just about everything that’s on, ever, that has the slightest bit of buzz about it. Reality shows I can generally take or leave, but a scripted show – I’m there.
I’ve now watched 11 episodes of this show. The premise is – well, first, let me just give a general spoiler alert, although I don’t know if I’ll be giving that much away; I hate accidentally being spoiled, so if you want to remain 100% spoiler-free about this program, skip this post! – the murder of a teenage girl, and the investigation into this murder by two Seattle police detectives, as well as the impact the murder has had on the people involved in the girl (Rosie Larsen)’s life. Sounds good, right? Compelling?
I’m sorry. Of course, this is just my opinion, and a lot of people are raving about the show, and it’s obviously doing well enough that it was just picked up by AMC for another season, so good for the people involved with the production. It’s got a great premise, which could be interesting. But I am bored out of my mind. I continue watching it because I am not a quitter unless a show is so bad or boring I can’t continue on ($@!* My Dad Says; The Apprentice) and because there is really very little competing with the time slot.
The show is slow. Like, the turtle in the famous race would have beaten the show by a month. Nothing happened of import for ten episodes. Last week, something finally happened, but I’m fairly sure it was a red herring. A red herring this late in the game? Smells fishy to me. (Ha!) It rains constantly. I know, I know, it’s Seattle. But come on. Rain is really another character in the series (and honestly more exciting than some of the other plot points.) The main detectives aren’t all that interesting – one is an ex-junkie with both horrible fashion and common sense; the other is a woman whose last day was the day after the murder, and she just refuses to leave (her fiance is waiting for her to arrive for their wedding, her son is not being parented, and she just keeps sloooowly working the case, ignoring all distractions.) They talk slowly. They work slowly. The big reveals aren’t all that exciting. And it just keeps raining. It makes me have to use the bathroom, all that rain. It’s like putting a girl at a sleepover’s hand in a bowl of cold water. Half an hour into the program, I’m crossing my legs and waiting impatiently for the commercial.
Rosie’s parents are shady. Her aunt is shady. Her father’s co-workers are shady (one is the “meet me after school, I’m going to rape you” kid from Welcome to the Dollhouse. Who is actually a very interesting actor. He is being underutilized here.) Her teacher is shady. There’s a shady politician. I assume they’re all so shady because there is no sun in Seattle, ever. I don’t know who to suspect. If it weren’t for the manner of murder, I’d suspect Rosie of suicide to escape the constant dreariness and boredom and having to look over her shoulder to keep an eye out for the shadiness.
No children are being parented. The children are not being fed, are running rampant, vandalizing, sending things via the internet that shouldn’t be out there, almost being accidentally asphyxiated, doing drugs, putting themselves in situations where they could be abducted, possibly prostituting themselves.
The acting isn’t awful. The story isn’t awful. But it’s like a two-hour movie they dragged out into twelve hours.
My internal (and sometimes external – yes, I live alone and talk to the television and have cats; your point is?) monologue:
“He looks mysterious. Are you going to talk to him? No? You’re going to talk to that guy. Again? You already talked to – ok, ok, fine. Oh, he knew nothing new. Not a waste of taxpayer dollars at all. Aren’t you supposed to be on a plane to California at the moment? If I were your partner I’d murder you just to make some excitement happen right now. This show is called The Killing. It really should be called The Raining. Or The Dragging (it Out Over Three Months). WHY AM I STILL WATCHING THIS.”
The Walking Dead comes back in four months. Shit happens on The Walking Dead. Zombies get their brains knocked out with pickaxes; people cut off their own hands with hacksaws. You are never bored, watching that show.
I’ll finish The Killing, because I’ve invested three months in it. But season two? I don’t see it in the cards for me. Even if they’re investigating the suicide of most of the characters due to Seasonal Affective Disorder (both justifiable and understandable – case closed. Bring on the zombies.)