Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Killing Time

Counting the moments to the season 2 premiere of The Killing.  I just found season 1 on Netflix and I think I watched the whole season in 2 days.  From the "who killed Laura Palmer" opening, I was hooked.   (in fact, I'd argue this is, in many ways, a complete flip of Twin Peaks - a trip through the female psyche).

Since I just found it, I missed the whole controversy surrounding the end of season 1.  You can find articles about it ad nauseum. It didn't disturb me, in fact, seeing it after it aired, I thought the move quite brilliant.  I love shows with flips, twists and multiple perspectives - I love the way Damages doles out information in teaspoonfuls so the big picture keeps changing, the heroes become villains and the villains heroes - so this was a welcome twist for me.  I didn't want to lose the great actors Michelle Forbes (she is so essentially human here - such a great role for her) and Brent Sexton to unnecessary subplots in season 2.  I also didn't want a season 2 that felt like it was a season 2 because season 1 got such good ratings.

I'm not mad; I'm excited.  After the disappointment that was the US version of Prime Suspect (the show - not Maria Bello), I think I've found what is the rightful heir to that series.   Though she doesn't have alcoholic tendencies, Sarah Linden is a first class commitment-phobe and workaholic.  She plays big league with big boys without making a fuss.  She neglects her son to catch the killers of dead girls.  She obsessively chases those who have harmed women, children or innocents.  She can smell a lie and never lets go of the truth.  She doesn't scare easy. She will apologize for mistakes in the line of duty, but never notice a personal gaffe.  What would Jane Tennyson do?  Exactly and all that.  Mireille Enos' understated performance is masterful - we are just noses pressed up against the windows of truth.

The writing is so clean, succinct, economical, stark.  The actors have so much room here.  Joel Kinnaman gets everything right about his character - it's a shockingly truthful performance, and Billy Campbell has reached an entirely new level with Darren Richmond.

I may be losing Shameless on Sunday, but I'm gaining The Killing.  Bring it on.

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