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DVD Review: The Killing – The Complete First Season

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In this day and age, police procedural television shows are a dime a dozen, and guest stars are only hired for the sole purpose of being the latest murder victims. Every week, there are at least fifty-gazillion different detectives, forensic specialists, doctors, athletes, Nobel Prize winners, and even a few members of the clergy seeking to unravel a murder. Surprisingly, 99% of them accomplish their tasks — sometimes even going so far as to solve several completely different and non-related slayings, just to keep the entertainment quota up. Of course, it gets downright silly at times — prompting your average viewer to pray for a series wherein the entire season is devoted to just one crime.

Hey, is that your ship I hear coming into the harbor?

AMC’s series The Killing is a gritty and gripping show that focuses on only one murder. And it’s a bigun, too, kids. The series begins with a seasoned Seattle detective, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos), ready to leave the dreary land of rain behind and head off to sunny California to start life anew via something called a “marriage.” Sadly, ’tis not to be for Sarah: a local teenager — Rosie Larsen — has been found murdered, and Det. Linden has been assigned the task of solving the crime. To make things even harder on the poor lass, she’s been paired up with an obstinate younger partner, Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), who is often about as useful as tits on a boar.

Throughout Season One, our detectives spend day after day investigating the heinous murder, as well as dealing with Rosie’s grieving (not to mention outraged) family. There’s even a political subplot tossed into the fray, just to keep viewers’ brains working. The Fox-produced show exhibits similarities to several other past programs, such as David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (only not as strange) — with there being only one killing to go on — and Fox’s own 24, as each episode of The Killing takes place over a twenty-four hour span. And if you think this is just a mixture of the two, think again: it’s actually a remake of a Danish television series, Forbrydelsen.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings all 13 episodes of The Killing: The Complete First Season to DVD (as well as Blu-ray) in a 4-Disc set complete with an extended finale (no, the killer’s identity is not revealed in this season), and several special features, including audio commentaries for the Pilot and “Orpheus Descending,” a gag reel, deleted scenes, and a behind-the-scenes featurette entitled “An Autopsy of The Killing.”

Those of you expecting a wild, rock’em sock’em ride are in for a disappointment. And for good reason, too: The Killing is definitely not “average” mindless series. It’s a series that takes a lot of patience, and delivers very little in terms of “just desserts” for the perpetrators of justice. What this series does offer, however — aside from a peek into the lives of detectives who are by no means infallible, that is (and that in itself is nice) — is the chance to try to solve the bloody mystery yourself.

I don’t know about you, but I love a good mystery.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
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