Monday, April 2, 2012

"The Killing" Season 2 Two Part Premiere


Is AMC short for Awful Mother's Corporation? From Dick Whitman's Mom and Betty Francis in "Mad Men" to Mitch Larsen and Sarah Linden in "The Killing". Finally she who may be the mother of all bad mothers, Lori Grimes. Grimes is perhaps one of the dumbest characters ever to grace television. Lori is the mother of Carl on "The Walking Dead". What would Freud say about all these AMC creative people populating their own shows with all their Mommy issues?

Last night was the two part Season 2 premiere of "The Killing". The episodes are "Reflections" (Day 14) and "My Lucky Day" (Day 15). I hadn't expected much from either episode things were about as I had expected. I hate stories that involve really dumb characters or a conspiracy theories and this show has both! That's really lazy and boring storytelling. Our two lead detectives, Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, represent these two different story lines. Obviously Holder is the dirty cop, he who cares more about a promotion than justice. Linden cares more about justice than pretty much anything else. That means that neither one of them are a particularly good detective.

There are many weaknesses to this simplistic type of story telling. With Holder crooked and Linden inept how many people will they accuse of the killing before they find the real killer? I give these two detectives the same chance of finding the real killers as I do for OJ Simpson to find the real killers of his ex-wife on the golf courses of America. I'm not sure I'd trust either detective to help me find a fast food joint. In fact, isn't Linden the worst kind of fictional detective? She's tenacious too easily follows the red herring clues. I actually blame that on the stupidity of the show runner Veena Sud.

The Seattle police, as shown in "The Killing", has to be the most inept police force in the world. Also is it just me or is almost every cop is involved in this conspiracy except Linden? It seems the main thrust of the conspiracy is to prevent Darren Richmond from being elected mayor of Seattle. In case we aren't smart enough to figure that for ourselves we see this conspiracy in many ways. But why? And no I don't think this will be resolved or ever clearly explained, so few things are in this show.

This blog entry isn't attempting to be a point for point plot analysis. What this entry intends to do is be a categorization of all the stupid things totaled together that makes this show so dumb and infuriating. (I literally get angry when I think about all the dumb things about this show.) From the start of the Season 2's first episode we are immediately thrown into this show's mess. We see Linden and her nameless son in the Seattle airport. A sign of a bad show is when one can't remember the name of a show's main character. Later in the episode we were reminded Sarah's sons name is Jack.

Then Jack's father, after not appearing until late in Season One, wants to spend time with his son. Why is this character even involved in the show? Is AMC intent on giving as many people work as possible? From watching a lot of movies and television shows over the years I've learned that when creators can't make an idea good, they get desperate. They usually resort to introducing a new character or another story line. While it may infuse a show with a quick shot of energy, ultimately it clogs up the show even more. (This concept was taken to ridiculous lengths in "Spiderman 3".) Again I don't say this is a defect of a character, but yet more bad storytelling by Sud et al. Just one more boring storyline to add to an already cluttered show.

Of course, the possible reason Sarah keeps on hearing from her ex is maybe he's Rosie's killer. Maybe killing Rosie is Linden's ex's way to keep Linden and son in Seattle. He knows how tenacious she is and he's counting on that to keep her in Seattle. This may be his way that he can eventually have a relationship with her again. I'm only making this suggestion tongue in cheek and don't think this is the case. This whole idea makes no sense but either did the Season 1 finale. If that is the case, it would be incredibly stupid. However I wouldn't put anything past Sud et. al at this point.

Why do we even have the whole Darren Richmond story line at all. Neither the character of Richmond, or his campaign staff, adds nothing to the show. The two main people in charge of Richmond's campaign, Gwen and Jamie, slow down the show every time they appear on screen. In yet another new plot point Richmond is shot by Belko. The incompetent Belko seems to be a great marksman, as long as he's very close to his target. I wasn't heartbroken when Belko killed himself. However if all the dumb characters in this show committed suicide, then who would be left? (Richmond killed herself and maybe Rosie did too.)

Later at the police station Belko is being taken by two policemen to a cell. One of the policemen is summoned away and is needed right at that moment. He's not allowed to wait until they get Belko in a cell or wherever he's going. That kind of storytelling is only available in really bad TV shows. Belko must have overpowered the other cop, grabbed his gun and after a brief stand off shot himself. Was Belko able to get this gun because the police department is so inept or is it because he's also part of the conspiracy? Belko also killed his Mom. Or maybe not, maybe Belko's Mom is the real killer of Rosie Larson. She felt guilty and so acted out by wearing sexually inappropriate clothing. But the guilt just got to much to her so she committed suicide.

I know the drama about whether Richmond will live or die is suppose to be very high. I realize we are suppose to be on the edge of our seats. But will Richmond live or die is just a storyline I could care less about. Again from the too many story lines, there is too much story fatigue. In "The Killing" every story line starts out like a crack across your front wind shield. It eventually turns into a bunch more cracks. Same with any story line in this show. Richmond gets shot. Then he have his annoying staff argue. We find out that on the same night Rosie was killed and went missing that Richmond had tried to kill himself. The chances of these two things happening on the exact same day about the exact same time are minimal. That is incredible timing and also more lazy storytelling. Also there is the storyline of Jamie trying to track down Richmond's sister. Of course she's on the other side of the country and not answering her phone. Her name is Elise and hey maybe she's the real killer of Rosie? Is that why she won't pick up the phone? Literarally no story line is so stupid that it wouldn't be added to this show.

Also the whole Richmond for mayor storyline never was strong, but now it's even getting worse. By this point I barely care who killed Rosie. And hasn't who killed Rosie become almost beside the point by this time?  But I care even less who the next mayor of Seattle is. Again it's "The Killing's" favorite dichotomy. One candidate is crooked and the other candidate is inept. Richmond threatens to sue Linden if news comes out that he's suicidal. That's just the latest dumb idea by Sud et. al for this beleaguered character.

Another story line that I don't care about is Mitch Larson leaving her family. (Come up with your own theory why potentially Mitch is Rosie's real killer here. Remember no idea is too stupid.) It's only a matter of time before Stan and Terri get together. Stan had two of the best and most revealing lines of the night. His first great line was "The cops don't know what they are doing?" Isn't that the truth? He knows this from first hand experience as Bennet Ahmed was charged with killing Rosie. Stan and Belko beat the crap out of Ahmed. Now Stan is out on bail for that crime. The Seattle Police Department seems to have no idea what they are doing, heck they can't even get the conspiracy right. Stan's sentence also works well for the whole show. Just substitute "creative team" for cops.

Later he says "nothing is suppose to be like this". To me that seems to be his admitting to guilt of killing Rosie.

The Super 8 film finally comes back, only in really slow moving shows like this does film processing take so long. I realize this storyline is suppose to be suspenseful, but I can't even say it's boring. I had completely forgotten all about the Super 8 film.

Thankfully the rain has been toned down quite a bit, but this show is still so relentlessly dreary. I know that's suppose to be part of the ambience. However for me I've got so weary of the constant dreariness.

At this point I will probably continue to watch this show, but I don't know how long I can stick with it. It seems I'm probably not the only one as the ratings are down 33% from the Season 1 premiere. ( Next week the episode apparantally will be about Sarah's looking for Rosie's lost backpack. The one that was dropped off in front of Rosie's house. Holder took it into evidence and Oaks had him take to someone else the usual person he takes evidence to. He switched backpacks and no one, but maybe Holder, now knows where the backpack is.

Rosie's backpack highlights a lot of why it seems like a lot of things happen in this show when actually very little happens. Rosie's backpack has received more screen time than some of the actors in this show. After finding the backpack one of the corrupt cops got rid of it and now one of the inept cops will be looking for it. I'm sure there will be many tantalizing clues that come from the backpack, but it will take several episodes before we know their relevance.

Comments I'd love to hear them.


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