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What THE KILLING has going on

Executive Producer Veena Sud’s THE KILLING premiered on AMC last weekend, and it’s got a lot going on. First of all, in concept, it proves the brilliance of European storytellers. Based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen, the premise is one episode per narrative day – so one 13-episode season equals 13 days on a murder investigation. Three stories surrounding the murder of a Seattle teen intertwine: the police, the grieving family and the suspects. Now why couldn’t an American think of that? It subverts the entire cop procedural formula, allows for a type of storytelling that is practically non-existent in the States, and pairs a crime story with serious character investigation — a joy.

Other subversions have to do with the brilliance of how it’s been adapted and developed for American audiences. The Americans have assembled a great cast, particularly in lead Mireille Enos, playing Sarah Linden. She brings something fresh to this series, a quiet, determined quality that is less dialogue and all body language and looks. The writing also brings an amazing epiphany, which is that Sarah Linden has pretty atrocious fashion sense. “She shops at Ross,” says her teenage son. If that! But it lends Sarah a quality of such authenticity, so rarely seen on television, where ridiculous heels occupy the workplace when in reality we know if you’re over 40 you’re likely to sport some sort of bunion buster. True, she’s a cop, so stilettos would be wrong anyway in the field where the cops search for Rosie Larsen, but hey — Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson always has on a form fitting coat and a bit of cleavage – while Sarah Linden sports a big baggy jacket, a snowflake pattern wool sweater and a pony tail. Don’t get me wrong — she doesn’t look bad, in fact she looks good – and real. Bravo Sud and team!

Trailer here:

Danish trailer here:

–AH