Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Killing Premieres, Absorbs and Mesmerizes

While there are many landmark American tv series, a lot of television seems to be concerned with enforced stereotypes, bland storylines and gratuitous violence. It's at such times that an European 'kick' is needed to propel the overseas into exploring new and utterly absorbing characters and stories. It's a delight to see that while fiercely loyal to its predecessor (Forbrydelsen), The Killing appropriates the essence of the show for American audiences.

The series centres around an investigation into a girl's murder, and the impact of this act of violence on those close to her and the community. It's very rare for a series to engage the consequences of violence. Moreover, the excitement of a murder mystery (investigated for a dozen of episodes) is perfectly married with the humanity of the characters. They appear so ordinary and real, and could well be your next door neighbours. There's nothing artificial about them. Sarah's (Mireille Enos) smooth features belie the matter-of-factness required by her profession. Her soon-to-be-husband understands that her work comes first. The street-smart Stephen (Joel Kinnaman) joins the police force, stirring up some tension with peculiar methods of investigation. Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton are incredible and affecting as Rosie's parents. Their scenes range from happy times,not knowing where their daughter is, to having to tell their sons about her death. The camerawork is languid and precise, the shots - beautifully composed, the frames could as well be pictures by themselves.

The premiere and repeats were watched by 4.6 million viewers! Here's hoping that the rest of the series is even more engrossing and that the suspense will barely be contained.

What others thought:

The series is excellent, absorbing and addictive. When each episode ends, you long for the next -- a hallmark of great dramas...Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton are exceptional as the parents of the murdered girl.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

There's always an appetite for murder mysteries, and the raw performances by Sexton and Forbes give the show more upfront humanity.
Source: Hit Fix

The Killing is the sort of show that is not served well by its description. Truly great art of any medium cannot be broken down into a synopsis that fully captures the power of the finished product. It is so rare to find television programming that fits that description these days that I often forget it is even true. The Killing is one of those rare instances....The Killing will absorb you as readily as you absorb it.
Source: TV Overmind

...it's true that the first episode is compelling, clever television with...a particularly powerful turn from Michelle Forbes as the missing girl's mother.
Source: The Guardian

Check out AMC's latest masterpiece "The Killing". Quality TV show,worthy of cinema even
Michelle Forbes...is amazing in The Killing! Killer performance!
Couldn't believe Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton could to kill me every time they were on screen. Actual tears were happening.
I shed tears. Michelle Forbes is brilliant. That is all

Source: Twitter

Michelle to TV LINE on choosing the project and her approach to the role:

I’ve always wanted to play the regular, working-class mom, and I’ve never really had the chance to do that. So as I was reading through the scripts when this came across, and I said yes.

...with this [show], I really didn’t want to know any more than [my character] would know. I wasn’t interested in what was happening with the political storyline as an actor because Mitch wouldn’t know any of that, so at the table reads, I tried to make myself go a bit deaf.

What did you think of last night's premiere? Have you seen the original? How did they compare?

More unfiltered twitter shouts: (added by Chris)

* @kevinsharkey: Can we just give Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton Emmy's now for their roles as the parents in The Killing? Holy crap were they great.
* @marleneb4 "The Killing" is definitely living up to it's hype. Michelle Forbes is heartbreakingly good.
* DayDiMaggio: Whether she's a Maenad or a grieving mother, Michelle Forbes' onscreen presence is utterly captivating
* pineapplecakes: Can Michelle Forbes just be my mom?
* marcmason: Damn. THE KILLING was incredibly intense television. Hats off to Michelle Forbes, who broke my heart into pieces with her performance.
* sicrowe: Can Michelle Forbes get a TV marriage where something doesn't go wrong?
* alexqsmith: weeping through the final minutes of 'the killing.' bravo, AMC, you've done it again. so beyond glad michelle forbes is back on television.
* the_mcgone: In #TheKilling, Michelle Forbes has a fictional daughter headed to college. That makes me feel non-fictionally old.
* lula34: There's also a former battleship admiral/Maened on The Killing.
* NerdAlert19: AMC completely sucked me in with #TheKilling tonight. Can't take my eyes off Mireille Enos and Michelle Forbes.
* DomSalvaggio: AMC's #TheKilling is cinematic, well-acted & utterly heartbreaking. As a new Dad this show has me.
* @stamos I've watched the pilot for #TheKilling so many times but still now, I get goosebumps & heart pains watching Forbes react.
* xiratania: @ash0283 #MichelleForbes made the show tonight her performance was just.....(no words that do justice) Please watch!
* @soniafaleiro: What kind of idiot goes running in the woods alone? Murderers hide in woods! #thekilling #amc
* jaredshelby: I really hope I can successfully make it through life without having to identify a body. #TheKilling
* max_bell: #TheKilling is excellent thus far; pleased with the attention to detail in getting Seattle to look right. And Forbes is teh awesome.
* thebobkessler: WOW, that ending scene of hour one, WOW. #TheKilling
* theres a cylon on this show!!! watch out!! #thekilling
* laynemorgan: oh my goood Lord. Rosie's parents in #thekilling . heart is broken.
* kasmithphoto: Cried like a little girl watching the series premiere of #TheKilling tonight. What on earth is AMC trying to do to us?! So good, but SO sad!
* Brettne: It rains a lot on #TheKilling. It's great but I feel like I need to watch it under an umbrella.
* stylson: Yeah, AMC has earned my complete faith at this point. #thekilling is excellence. No one else produces shows with characters this deep.
* SeanPatriKernan: #TheKilling is Murky, Mysterious and Fascinating
* nicransome: #TheKilling hashtag nightmare! BBC4's Eng Lang subtitle version #TheKilling. AMC's version #TheKillingAMC and the Danes keep #Forbrydelsen?
* Mireille Enos is great, but I’d say Michelle Forbes stole the show with her heart-wrenching performance.
* AMC made a killing with "The Killing."
* latxcvi: The supporting cast is terrific, with Michelle Forbes (the mom), Brent Sexton (the dad) & Joel Kinnaman (the lead's partner) the stand-outs.
* BenjaminBirdie: How the hell is something this quiet this fucking tense?!?!?!?! #TheKilling
* ThomDownie: This show is brilliant stuff. I rarely connect with a show and its characters so quickly. #thekilling