All the excitement about the return of spring shows has, understandably, centered on “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones.” Those are good shows. “The Killing” is not. Let’s recap: Last year, “The Killing” debuted with huge ratings and massive support from critics. The pilot was brilliant, establishing a season-long murder investigation in which two detectives would battle the Seattle rain and winnow down a series of suspects until they found their killer. The first few episodes were fairly remarkable. The show was glacially paced, but it felt as though there was a point. Many of us mistook slow pacing for intelligence.
By the end of the season, however, those still clinging to “The Killing” were bored. The show presented too many red herrings and took us on too many pointless detours. But we soldiered on. Why? Because we knew that, at the end of the season, the show would finally reveal the killer of Rosie Larsen and we could all move on with our lives. Few had any interest in a second season.
Then, “The Killing’s” showrunner, Veena Sud, did something absolutely evil. She didn’t allow the detectives to solve the case. She left us with an ambiguous ending and came out immediately to say that it wasn’t really ambiguous at all. The case had not been solved. We’d have to wait another year to find out who killed Larsen. However, Sud revealed that “The Killing” would solve that murder in the first few episodes, then introduce a new investigation.
Fine. We’ll suffer through two or three episodes to find out who killed Larsen, and then we’ll be done with it. Right? Not so fast: Sud then went back on her word, and has now revealed that the murder investigation will fill the ENTIRE season. Twelve more glacially paced episodes until we find out the killer, if Sud doesn’t screw us over again and extend it into a third season.
What’s most criminal here is that Sud had a perfectly good template with which to work. The series is based on a Dutch series of the same name, which was very popular in the Netherlands and even more popular in the UK. But instead of following their single-season murder investigation, an arrogant Sud decided to drag it out and see how long she could test our patience.
Here’s the television spot for the second season of “The Killing,” which you may have seen during commercial breaks on “The Walking Dead.” As you can see, like “Mad Men,” there is no new footage.
For comparison’s sake, here’s the series two trailer for the Dutch series. Even in a language I cannot understand, it looks far more intense, far more compelling, and far more entertaining than Sud’s version.
That’s the show we deserve, damnit. The question is, will you stick around anyway to see who killed Rosie Larsen?