Hatred for The Killing

 Posted by on June 21, 2011 at 6:24 am  The Killing
Jun 212011
 

As you know, I didn’t experience intense vitriol against the season finale of The Killing. I found it middling, and disappointing, and I thought it had good moments.

I am not the only person on the Internet who didn’t hate it, but it kind of feels like that.

So, here’s a collection of hated-it links:
New York Magazine
Mo Ryan
Salon
Sepinwall
TLo

By the way, I don’t understand why I appear to have missed a scene. Mitch visiting Rosie’s grave? Never saw it. I watched first run. WTF?

Oh, and Myles McNutt thinks that The Killing may have killed AMC’s brand.

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  19 Responses to “Hatred for The Killing”

  1. Thanks for reminding me about Myles McNutt, that post of his is spot on.

    Maybe AMC isn’t watching it’s proven product close enough. Let’s say you’re an AMC suit. The Killing is taking The Beating in the press as the season ends. Your brand is decaying rapidly, much like a walking dead person should, before your beady little executive eyes. What do you do?

    Perhaps watch Mad Men, “Blowing Smoke”.

    Peggy: You always say if you don’t like what they’re saying about you, change the conversation.
    Don: To what? What they’re saying about us is true.
    (Then Don runs his ad, changes the conversation anyway and saves the agency. Hooray!)

    Yet despite this fine example dramatized right there on very your own network somehow something like the following happens:

    AMC exec: So let’s just pretend they haven’t said anything about us at all since the premiere.
    Veena Sud (with both index fingers in her ears): My show is edgy and creative because it’s on AMC and we all know AMC selects shows that are edgy and creative. It is thus so. And it will all make sense sometime in Season Two because . . . it will.

    ______

    On a personal note, just wanted to say, outstanding job of sticking with the show all season. I didn’t watch an episode but I felt compelled to read your write-ups each week just the same. Vicarious television viewing at its finest. (Maybe we can debate prestige later this summer.)

  2. Tim Goodman also hated it, after defending the show all season.

    I didn’t hate it (I watched it last night, already aware that a lot of critics hated it, so my expectations were set pretty low)–there was a lot of good stuff in the episode, including the gas station sequence–but I did think the ending was a serious gyp.

    One thing Tim Goodman complained about on Twitter: making Holder bent and incredibly stupid (like nobody’s going to figure out the photo is forged?).

    Also: coma guy’s wife isn’t going to recognize the guy who beat the living shit out of him? Huh?

  3. Veena Sud is from Cold Case? ‘splains a lot.

  4. Unless AMC fires Veena Sud and installs a competent showrunner who respects viewers (i.e. someone who hasn`t spent their entire career working on CBS procedurals), I won`t be tuning in for season 2. And this is from someone who loves AMC and is always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. (Hell, I`ll even be trying out Walking Dead`s second season in spite of all the problems its first season had.)

  5. As I wrote belatedly a few posts back, not realizing yet that there was another on just this topic (please excuse the repeat if you’ve just caught up too):

    What might be fitting for this series is for AMC to wait until the Rosie story line is finally resolved in episode 2 or 3 next season and then cut the show from the channel. That’s more how big networks operate , though, not cable channels, who usually let the full season play out even after deciding not to renew for a following season. (E.g. Rubicon, alas.)

  6. Tom, I think it’s very possible that Holder’s handler wants to scuttle Richmond’s campaign and doesn’t care if he’s convicted.

  7. I didn’t hate it either. My reaction was more of a disappointed eye-roll than outright anger, a la Sepinwall, Ryan, etc. Rubicon was another show that had a clunker of a finale — albeit with what I thought was an excellent penultimate episode that really served as a much better finale than the actual one. In any case, Mr. Weiner and can’t start filming soon enough!

  8. You missed this one from The AV Club:
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/orpheus-descending,57743/

    The author compiled a list of all the implausible coincidences that happened throughout the season:

    “•Rosie’s best friend borrows her wig, then has sex with her boyfriend in the school’s dank basement, while bleeding profusely from her nose, while another guy wearing a devil mask records it on his phone.

    •Also, a pervy janitor named after the late Lyndon Johnson is watching the whole thing happen.

    •Said janitor turns out to be pedophile, jumps out of window, ends up in hospital.

    •Rosie’s parents don’t call their daughter all weekend, detectives never find out why.

    •Other seemingly basic things Holder and Linden don’t do until well after Bennet is cleared: scour Rosie’s computer (as in, not just take a quick look at her internet history); check the fuel levels and mileage of the car in which her dead body was found; call cab companies to see if anyone picked up a girl fitting Rosie’s description.

    •Stan buys house without telling his wife.

    •A teacher with a track record of dating his students also has an unusually close relationship with Rosie, but there’s nothing untoward going on between them.

    •Bennet helps a young Somali girl procure a fake passport so she can flee to Canada to avoid ritual circumcision.

    •Somali girl hides out in a meat locker that has been converted into a bedroom, which Linden and Holder happen to discover at the exact same moment as an FBI raid.

    •Somali girl also just so happens to have the exact same T-shirt as Rosie.
    Mitch waits a week to do laundry, so doesn’t find Rosie’s T-shirt until after Stan has beat the shit out of Bennet.

    •FBI agent leaves truck containing evidence unattended, door wide open.

    •Despite the fact that he’s facing murder charges, Bennet is unwilling to tell police what he was really doing the night of Rosie’s murder.

    •Mitch leaves her two surviving children in garage while car is running, forgets about them.

    •Between the school dance and her shift at the casino, Rosie felt the need to schlep out to Bennet’s house to return a book, even though she would have seen him Monday morning at school.

    •Bennet’s wife does not recognize the man who has already confessed to beating her husband into a coma, a man who is also the father of the girl Bennet was accused of killing.

    •Everything Holder has been doing all along has been part of an elaborate effort to frame Richmond.

    •Not 1 but 2 suspects in Rosie’s killing fall victim to acts of vigilante justice.

    •Creepy stalker Belko basically lives with Larsens and is infatuated with Rosie, but has nothing to do with her’s murder.

    •Neither does her sadistic ex-boyfriend.

    •Neither does Richmond, who is hung up on his dead wife, fixated with brunettes, and often says creepy, threatening things to escorts.”

    • It’s a good list, but several of them don’t belong:
      •Rosie’s parents don’t call their daughter all weekend, detectives never find out why.

      People said that many times, but it was said in the first episode, more than once, that the Larsens were camping outside of cell range. As a frequent camper myself, I don’t find that at all implausible.

      •Stan buys house without telling his wife.

      So what? It has nothing to do with anything, as it turns out, except the money upsets Mitch. In fact, Stan’s visit to the mobster also has nothing to do with anything. These things gave me hope that there was more to this show than just the mystery, that our characters would have full lives. Alas.

      •A teacher with a track record of dating his students also has an unusually close relationship with Rosie, but there’s nothing untoward going on between them.

      I’ve posted about this. There’s no reason to believe there was “nothing untoward.” Creepy pedo teachers aren’t necessarily murderers.

      •Mitch waits a week to do laundry, so doesn’t find Rosie’s T-shirt until after Stan has beat the shit out of Bennet.

      Several of these are “Mitch doesn’t function well,” which is not only plausible, it’s one of the things that the show did right.

      •Despite the fact that he’s facing murder charges, Bennet is unwilling to tell police what he was really doing the night of Rosie’s murder.

      Bennet, who is arrogant and narcissistic (typical for someone like him) doesn’t believe he’s facing murder charges. He’s convinced of his own righteousness. It makes absolute sense that someone like him, pathologically self-congratulatory, would believe that he’s not a suspect and over-estimate his own safety. In fact, the Somali girl thing makes perfect sense too. He sees himself as heroic, as Saving Young Girls, which is how he saw his relationship with Rosie (giving her books & poetry etc), and probably Amber as well. That his heroic self-image involves him with the genitalia of adolescent girls is perfectly consistent.

      •Everything Holder has been doing all along has been part of an elaborate effort to frame Richmond.

      Not sure about that yet.

      •Neither does Richmond, who is hung up on his dead wife, fixated with brunettes, and often says creepy, threatening things to escorts.”

      Evidence planted by the police to push you into jail faster doesn’t mean you’re innocent. Anyone remember OJ Simpson?

  9. Deb, it was your review of “Cigarette Break” that brought me back to the series. I had checked out somewhere around episode 4, and then gone back to catch up, on the strength of your recaps. Now, of course, I wish I hadn’t. It’s an empty shell of a series, all style and no substance.

    @lom, you crack me up. (As usual.) I think that there are a lot of ways a showrunner can address audience outrage. Silence is the one wrong way to go. But if anyone would employ that way, it’s the aloof, self-assured, pompous, wrongheaded Veena Sud.

    Adding to the list of hate-it links: Grantland. Please visit the Grantland website to learn more; I apologize for including the link earlier. Sorry, all. :(

    • WARNING ON ANNE B.’S LINK: The reviewer reveals the killer from the Danish version. Damn.

  10. Sure there are details that don’t make sense and possibly in conflict with each other on the surface. Those don’t bother me, because that’s how life works. The fact that we aren’t invited to emotionally invest in any of the false leads just makes for an uncompelling story arc.

    What does bother me is this:

    How can this murder investigation — of a white teenage female victim, hidden in a lake in the trunk of a campaign car, of a mayoral candidate in a tight race — be handled by a detective on her way out, paired with an ex-vice dick (with issues) new to homicide?

    If there was a conspiracy to frame Richmond, it would have come down on him like a ton of bricks from day one, not be built gradually over time while the candidates battle each other with implausible last-minute smear campaigns. The whole premise of the campaign drama is bogus, and no way the media lets go of a story about a dead girl in a car.

  11. does that make the post deletable? any way to get a better warning up?

    thanks

  12. [...] Ladin was “in awe” of The Killing finale, which seems to have been a bit controversial, although E!’s Kristin dos Santos knows you love the [...]

  13. does anyone know where to get the danish version on region 1 dvd? or have a working download link?
    I’m still holding out hope that it’s better than the Killing.

  14. I just read the article about the AMC president backing Sud and not anticipating the backlash (about the finale). Frankly, the ending as it stands wouldn’t bother me if the story told had been GOOD. Most of us agree the show had very weak plotlines or episodes and it was hit and miss.

    I also loved that article where Sud was inspired by The Suitcase episode because I never caught on to that. I think it just shows Matt is very talented and great writing makes a world of difference.

  15. [...] Wait, wait, let me finish with my history lesson. So, The Killing had a great cast, great cinematography, good characters, and a premise rich for storytelling. But it focused on the murder mystery to the exclusion of character development, and structured itself around The Red Herring of the Week. Characters, even fascinating ones, disappeared as soon as they were no longer suspects. It was impossible to maintain interest in even the most interesting situations when you knew it would be uncovered as another red herring by the opening sequence of next week’s episode. Finally, we were all just holding out for the reveal of Rosie Larsen’s killer which, as you know if you have read any entertainment column anywhere, was not revealed. [...]

  16. [...] Wait, wait, let me finish with my history lesson. so, The Killing had a great cast, great cinematography, good characters, and a premise rich for storytelling. But it focused on the murder mystery to the exclusion of character development, and structured itself around The Red Herring of the Week. Characters, even fascinating ones, disappeared as soon as they were no longer suspects. It was impossible to maintain interest in even the most interesting situations when you knew it would be uncovered as another red herring by the opening sequence of next week’s episode. Finally, we were all just holding out for the reveal of Rosie Larsen’s killer which, as you know if you have read any entertainment column anywhere, was not revealed. [...]

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