The Killing: Season 4 (TV Review)

The Killing: Season 4 (TV Review)

I have to admit that the shine wore off of The Killing once the killer of Rosie Larsen was revealed. Season 3 provided some thrills, and then Netflix decided to release the final, concluding season, in an abbreviated run of episodes that would bring the show to a close. As incredible as the first couple of years were, something was lost along the way, to the point where the fourth season of the show sat in my Netflix queue for a very long time.

kill2The basic gist of Season 4 is that there is a new killing, this one of an entire family of a kid who attends the local military academy. Our two intrepid detectives, Linden and Holder, are on the case, determined to crash through the walls created by the school, and the crusty colonel in charge, played very well by Joan Allen.

As far as the murder goes, it was pretty interesting. In no way was it as all-encompassing as the Rosie Larsen killing and subsequent chase for the killer, but it is still pretty good as far as murder mysteries go. It never seemed as though it was able to keep us guessing like the first murder on the show did, but it was still entertaining, and stuck with the traditions of The Killing, in that it is quiet and violent, haunting and morbid.

The main issue that I had with the season was Detective Linden, who had been brilliantly portrayed on the screen over the course of the show by Mireille Enos. She became annoying. As her life is constantly unraveling, and she fails to deal with the issues in her real life, I felt that while she had always come across as a strong, determined woman, she degraded into a whiny nuisance. I felt far less sympathy for her, as we begin to see that all of the things that befall her life are her own poor choices and decisions. A secondary plot of Season 4 centers around the murder that Linden perpetrated on her boss at the end of Season 3, and the cover-up that she engages in with Holder to protect herself. Her new boss is on her tail, trying to uncover facts about the disappearance, and it was unfortunate the way she had fallen from grace from the way her character was initially written. Not that there was a massive difference in her character, just that we just stopped feeling bad for her.

kill3While The Killing was still a great source of entertainment, it definitely was starting to show its cracks by the end of its run, in my opinion. I understand that many will disagree, and argue that Season 4 created a fitting ending for the series, but I didn’t see it. The very ending of the show, once the murder was wrapped up, was odd, and out of place for the way that the entire series had been created and run. It came across as cheesy, and something that was not fitting of either Linden, or Holder.

Perhaps I didn’t love the final year of the show. This does not mean that it is bad television, not by any stretch. The Killing is still a compelling drama that leads us through some interesting twists and turns. Perhaps it was a victim of its own success, not being able to live up to the first couple of years of the show. Still worth watching, as there are plenty of shows that were worse than this finale. It would still rank quite highly on my list of murder dramas that are out there. I just wanted more, and I didn’t want to start disliking a character that we had rooted for over the course of a few years.

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Broadchurch (TV Review)

Broadchurch (TV Review)

Simply put, Broadchurch is one of the best crime dramas I have ever seen. From the beginning, the British thriller is engrossing, taking us in to the small town lives of the people of Broadchurch, who are reeling over the discovery of the murdered body of an 11-year-old boy. Like a good crime drama, this is a town that has secrets…and everybody has something to hide.

Typically, a show of this nature is able to successfully point the suspicion on a couple of characters that we legitimately believe have a chance of being the killer. Broadchurch manages to blow this up, as at certain points, we suspect nearly every character of being a murdered, due to the incredibly intelligent writing on the series. The mystery builds up from the moment we hear of Danny’s death, and people come out of the woodwork to become suspects with every new episode.

broadThis provides us with a constant state of excitement in watching, wondering who could have committed the terrible crime that is in danger of ripping the town apart.

There are people with mysterious pasts, questionable actions around the time of the murder, and tremendous back stories that are haunting and horrifying.

And watching the whole thing unfold is absolutely incredible.

There can be comparisons made to the great crime thriller The Killing, a show that was adored by many in its first seasons of trying to determine who killed Rosie Larsen. As exciting and twisting as The Killing was, Broadchurch is just better. Starting with a fantastic filming location, on the cliffs of England, to the spectacular writing and phenomenal writing, Broadchurch is as close to perfect as a series could be.

broad2The actors excel in their roles in this show. Starting with Jodie Whittaker, tasked with the role of the young, grieving mother, she makes us feel for her plight. She owns the pain the character feels, and it never comes across as hammy or over-acted. The detectives, played so well by David Tennant and Olivia Colman (who is more traditionally seen in comedic roles like Peep Show and Twenty Twelve), bring more depth to the show, as we care about their lives as well. Tennant is the outsider, new to the town, and Colman is the detective who has strong roots in the community, and their clashes while trying to solve the murder are clever and important to the development of the story.

There are many layers to the story here, so it is not simply a story of trying to resolve the murder of a young kid. There are stories of friendship, abuse, professional drama, personal drama, marital issues, questions of the role of the church, the role of media, the importance of our past following us, and more. All of it is wrapped up beautifully in the dark series.

Be warned, Broadchurch offers very little in the way of levity, or comedic relief. It is a hard, edgy, dark show, and this helps us cope with the brutality of the situation that the people of the town are going through.

Don’t hesitate on Broadchurch. It is so incredibly well done, it is pretty much guaranteed to be worth your while. It will keep you guessing until the very end, and there are a ton of plausible candidates to be the murderer. It is dark, and constantly mysterious, and an absolute thrill.

The best news just might be that there is going to be a second season of the show that begins in January.