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Showing posts with the label The Killing

The Daily Beast: "17 Shows Worth Watching This Summer"

Get out of the sun—there’s recovering zombies, addictive serial-killer mysteries, and the Breaking Bad finale on TV. My take on what not to miss for this cool summer season. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "17 Shows Worth Watching This Summer," in which I round up 17 shows worth watching during the sweltering months to come, from FX's The Bridge and BBC America's Broadchurch to ABC Family's Switched at Birth  and CBS's Under The Dome . (Plus, Showtime's Ray Donovan , which SHOULD NOT BE MISSED.) Summer isn’t the television wasteland that it used to be. While the broadcasters are still figuring out what to do with their real estate during these lazy months (original drama? reality competitions? burn-offs?), cable channels have long known the power of airing high-profile series throughout the heat, and there is quite a lot of original programming to be seen during these next sweltering months. CBS is launching the event ser

The Daily Beast: "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen"

Sofie Gråbøl may not be a household name in the U.S., but around the globe she’s now legendary for her performance as Sarah Lund in the Danish television drama Forbrydelsen . At The Daily Beast, I explore Lund’s appeal and the sensational third season of the original The Killing , which premieres on BBC Four in the U.K. on Saturday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen, " in which I explore both Sofie Gråbøl and Sarah Lund’s appeal and the gripping tension of Forbrydelsen III . It is tragic that American viewers have been denied the chance to become obsessed with Forbrydelsen and with the show’s magnetic star, Sofie Gråbøl. The Danish detective drama exemplifies the power of the provocative and globally significant Nordic noir genre, and the show's lead delivers one of television's most haunting performances of the past decade. Gråbøl, 44, has achieved cult status in Britain and

The Daily Beast: "The Rise of Nordic Noir TV"

The Duchess of Cornwall is just one obsessive viewer. Nordic Noir—embodied in Scandinavian dramas like The Killing, The Bridge , and Borgen —have become cult hits in the U.K., and are about to become the go-to formats for American TV pilots. I explore the genre’s appeal, its breakout female characters, and why audiences in the U.S. are unlikely to see many of them in their original form (but it is possible to see them!). Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Rise of Nordic Noir TV," in which I explore why these Scandinavian dramas have become cult hits in the U.K., how they are ripe for American adaptations, and their universal appeal. While AMC’s The Killing has been dumped in a trunk to die like Rosie Larsen, its progenitor, Denmark’s Forbrydelsen, continues to slay viewers around the globe on the strength of its moody wit and strong-willed protagonist. Forbrydelsen (in English, The Crime) became a cult hit in the United Kingdom when it air

The Daily Beast: "How The Killing Went Wrong"

While the uproar over the U.S. version of The Killing has quieted, the show is still a pale imitation of the Danish series on which it is based. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "How The Killing Went Wrong," in which I look at how The Killing has handled itself during its second season, and compare it to the stunning and electrifying original Danish series, Forbrydelsen , on which it is based. (I recently watched all 20 episodes of Forbrydelsen over a few evenings.) The original is a mind-blowing and gut-wrenching work of genius. It’s not necessary to rehash the anger that followed in the wake of the conclusion last June of the first season of AMC’s mystery drama The Killing, based on Søren Sveistrup’s landmark Danish show Forbrydelsen, which follows the murder of a schoolgirl and its impact on the people whose lives the investigation touches upon. What followed were irate reviews, burnished with the “burning intensity of 10,000 white-hot suns

The Daily Beast: "Spring TV Preview: 9 Shows to Watch, 4 Shows to Skip"

With the return of Mad Men and Game of Thrones , spring is officially here. Over at The Daily Beast, I offer a rundown of what’s worth watching over the next few months, and what you can skip altogether. You can read my Spring TV Preview intro here , which puts the next few months into perspective, and then head over to the gallery feature to read "9 Shows to Watch, 4 Shows to Skip," which includes such notables as Mad Men, Community, Game of Thrones, VEEP, Girls, Bent , and others... and those you should just skip, like Magic City, Missing , etc. What shows are you most looking forward to this spring? And which ones are you pretending don't exist at all? Head to the comments section to discuss...

Underworld: Orpheus Descending on the Season Finale of The Killing

I'll admit that I was completely unprepared for the level of vitriol directed at last night's season finale of The Killing ("Orpheus Descending"), written by Veena Sud and Nic Pizzolatto and directed by Brad Anderson. It wasn't a perfect season finale (it was woefully clunky and odd at times), but I also don't think that the series ender--or the first season itself--are worthy of the amount of gasoline that is being poured on it. For some, it's one match away from becoming an incendiary, because it failed to answer the series' central question: Who killed Rosie Larsen? Which is where I feel as though I have been watching a completely different series than other viewers. I'm not going to try to convince anybody that they were wrong to hate the finale, because this level of anger doesn't vanish thanks to some talking points. Television is a hugely subjective medium and our personal experiences with shows are just that: personal. What I will

Poster Boy/Poster Girl: Orpheus Rises on The Killing

Sometimes, the answer is staring at you right in the face. Other times, the truth lies far deeper beneath the surface, submerged inside the trunk of a mayoral campaign car. On this week's stunning episode of AMC's The Killing ("Beau Soleil"), written by Jeremy Doner and Soo Hugh and directed by Keith Gordon, the truth about Rosie Larsen's killer finally seemed within the grasp of Detectives Linden and Holder, or at the very least the initial prime suspect in the slaying of the teenage girl came back into the frame once more. Given that there is still one more episode left--likely one overflowing with further twists and turns--it's possible (but not all that probable) that there's still more to the story than we're seeing, another layer that's again deeper down in the murky water. But for now it seems as though the killer may have been unmasked. So what do I think about the latest twist to hit the rain-soaked drama series? Read on... It'

The Daily Beast: "Michelle Forbes' Good Grief" (The Killing)

Michelle Forbes has been a TV mainstay since the mid-'90s when she was on Homicide: Life on the Street —she's appeared on 24, Prison Break, Battlestar Galactica, In Treatment , and True Blood . But her role on the AMC mystery The Killing as the destroyed-by-grief mother of the dead girl at the center of the story has gotten her more attention than ever. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Michelle Forbes' Good Grief," in which I sit down with Forbes (for a nearly four-hour-long lunch, in fact) and talk to her about her career, playing the anguished Mitch Larsen, and why committing to a TV show is like an arranged marriage. The Killing airs Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT on AMC.

Six Feet Under: What You Have Left on The Killing

"Who you are is five words: 'dead girl in a trunk.'" - Jamie While The Killing is largely about the investigation into the death of Rosie Larsen, it's as much an investigation into the lives of those left behind, an existential discussion of the way in which death invades our lives and how grief, often the only thing you have left after a loved one dies, can transform into rage. That a loving couple can become squabbling rivals in an argument that no one wins, or how a father's love can become misguided vengeance. This week's episode of The Killing ("What You Have Left"), written by Nic Pizzolatto and directed by Agnieszka Holland, traces both ends of the spectrum, following Linden and Holder as they attempt to ensnare Bennet Ahmed, Rosie's teacher and currently the prime suspect in her murder, and the Larsen family as they bury Rosie and attempt to make their peace with her passing. Bennet's alibi is rapidly unraveling this week as Lin

Super 8: Flock of Butterflies on The Killing

"The girl who made that wasn't the pink-bedroom type." - Sarah Linden How well do we know anyone? Can we ever truly know our spouses, our children? The Rosie Larsen that we seen illuminated in her bedroom--the pink walls, that butterfly motif--is dramatically at odds with the Rosie who shot the Super 8 video that Bennet Ahmed shares with Linden and Holder: it's a much darker Rosie, a truer Rosie. This isn't a little girl capturing the easiness of carefree youth. She sees the skull beneath the skin, even as we see a flock of butterflies connect with Rosie as one of their own. In this week's episode of The Killing ("Super 8"), written by Jeremy Doner and directed by Phil Abraham, we begin to see that Rosie may not have been as innocent and wholesome as her parents believe her to be. While her teacher Bennet maintains that their relationship wasn't sexual, that the letters were an "intellectual discourse," the possibility that Rosie may h

End of the Line: A Soundless Echo on The Killing

"You said she didn't suffer." Rule Number One among homicide detectives: don't make promises you can't keep. Sarah Linden knows this, which is why she doesn't offer the Larsens the false hope that they'll catch whoever slayed their beloved teenage daughter Rosie. (In fact, it's Holder who makes that promise.) But Linden's seemingly innocuous white lie--telling Mitch and Stan that Rosie didn't suffer--was itself intended to assuage the consciences of the grieving parents. When they come face to face with proof to the opposite, it's as much a shock to the system, a jolt of brutal realization, as the news that their daughter was dead. In this week's episode of The Killing ("A Soundless Echo"), written by Soo Hugh and directed by Jennifer Getzinger, Mitch and Stan grapple with funeral arrangements for Rosie--the minutiae of grief and loss--as the investigators make some shocking new discoveries about Rosie's secret life and t

The Devil's Due: A Hole in the Wall on The Killing

"Assumptions are your enemy, detective." - Sarah Linden What were Rosie Larsen's final minutes on earth like? As the trunk of the car filled with water and the darkness closed in around her, Rosie fought for life, attempting to claw her way out of her watery grave. Her mother Mitch (Michelle Forbes, whose performance just becomes more and more emotionally wrenching each week) attempts to experience those final moments, slipping underneath the surface of the water in her bathtub, her eyes open, her heart pounding. It's a moment of attempted rapport between mother and dead child, a heartbreaking effort to know, to understand, to vicariously put herself into Rosie's end in those murky waters. Continuing last week's strong start for The Killing , this week's episode ("El Diablo"), written by Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton, found Linden and Holder attempting to unravel the mystery of The Cage, the Larsens grappl

Butterfly Effect: The Series Premiere of The Killing

In my review of AMC's addictive new mystery drama The Killing , I compared the new series, which premiered last night with a two-hour episode, both to Twin Peaks in some of its underpinnings (save the presence of the supernatural) and to the work of mystery novelist Ruth Rendell. The comparison to Rendell--whose family, like Forbrydelsen , the series on which The Killing is based, hails from Denmark--is quite apt in certain respects. While some of Rendell's novels--particularly her Inspector Wexford installments--deal with crime investigation, the majority of them either delve into the pathology of the killer, exploring just what makes a person kill, or the way in which crime, particularly murder, affects everyone both before and after the perpetration of the crime. Of all crimes, murder is the one with the largest emotional fallout: not just to the victims but everyone the victim leaves behind; their secrets and those of the dead are forcibly brought out into the light. Ther

The Skull Beneath the Skin: An Advance Review of the First Three Episodes of AMC's The Killing

Of John Webster (who wrote "The Duchess of Malta"), poet T.S. Eliot said that he was "much possessed by death" and "saw the skull beneath the skin." Eliot's quotation would equally apply to the writing team--overseen by executive producer Veena Sud ( Cold Case )--of AMC's newest drama, taut and suspenseful murder mystery The Killing (based on hit Danish drama Forbrydelsen , or "The Crime"), which launches this Sunday. In exploring the disappearance (and, yes, death) of a Seattle teenager, the detectives in this slow-burn but addictive series are themselves seeing what lies beneath the surface of the seemingly placid individuals they encounter in the course of their investigation. "Who Killed Rosie Larsen?" is the question hovering over the action here, but it's matters of mortality that link each of the characters in this whip-smart and absorbing drama. While this is first and foremost a whodunit, what's being dramatize

The Daily Beast: AMC's New Killer Drama, The Killing

Every now and then comes along a supremely smart, compulsively addictive serialized drama series that hooks you from the very first moments. Welcome to The Killing , AMC's newest drama offering, which begins on Sunday evening (look for a review of the first three episodes before then) and is based on the hit Danish series Forbrydelsen . Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature , in which I talk to executive producer Veena Sud and cast members Mireille Enos ( Big Love ) and Billy Campbell ( The 4400 ) and explore the show's thematic similarities to another addictive mystery, Twin Peaks , and compare it to the disturbing trend of "murder porn" in most American television crime procedurals. The Killing premieres with a special two-hour launch on Sunday at 9 pm ET/PT on AMC. You do not want to miss out on this remarkable new series!