I have to admit that I've never watched an AMC series. Not Mad Men. Not Breaking Bad. I watched one episode of The Walking Dead, and never went back to it. I'm not a faithful TV person. There are very few shows that I fall in love with enough to watch them weekly. If I can get them later on DVD, and watch them in a crazy marathon, that works better for me. The last dramatic series that I watched faithfully was Lost.
But I love AMC's The Killing. It's the story of the murder of a Seattle high school girl, the effects of that killing on her family, friends and community, and the two police detectives investigating the case. It has a fantastic ensemble cast, is nicely written, and beautifully shot. For me, the show has several high points.
1. In most TV crime shows, a murder happens, you see the family for maybe two minutes, and then the detectives run all over town talking to possible perpetrators. The Killing shows you exactly what this kind of crime does to the family that is left behind. Michelle Forbes, the actress who plays the murdered girl's mother, is absolutely amazing week after week. Even when the show seems either slow or overly convuluted, the parts of the story focusing on the family are always so sincerely sad that they bring tears to my eyes.
2. Joel Kinnaman is the actor who plays Holder, one of the lead detectives on the case. The show is supposed to be about his partner, Sarah Linden, but I have fallen in love with Joel Kinnaman as the slightly scuzzy ex-narcotics officer with a thing for gray hooded sweatshirts. Kinnaman is actually a Swedish actor, hailing from Stockholm. I would love to see more of him. No, not like that--in movies, TV. . . more of him.
3. The story here is building across thirteen episodes, each one of them capturing a day in the investigation. This allows the plot to build slowly, the characters to develop different dimensions until they become fully realized, and a lot of rain to fall in Seattle. Does it really rain this much in Seattle? I mean, I love gray days, but it looks like they need to travel by canoe there if it rains this constantly.
The series is based on a Danish series of the same name. The original is not available on Netflix, but I would love to see it. The AMC version is currently in week eight. I hope someone else out there is tuning in, because it's unusually good TV. Catch it on Sunday nights, on AMC, at ten p.m. I'm sure, when it's over, they'll run it in a big long crazy marathon, if you've missed it up to this point. Worth investing thirteen hours in.