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The Lady's low down on what's hot on the box. Our TV expert Michael gives thoughtful analysis and freewheeling nonsense in equal measure, letting you know what you should be tuning in to

TONIGHT'S TV: The Killing (Channel 4 10pm)

Posted by Michael Moran
Michael Moran
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on Wednesday, 02 May 2012

The original Danish series launched a thousand cosy jumpers and started a veritable gold-rush of TV executives hunting for the next for brainy Scandinavian thriller.

But the ugly truth about the show we hipsters call Forbrydelsen, is that it’s a bit hard to watch while you’re eating, reading a magazine or pottering around on the Internet. We may not like to admit that we do those things in front of the television, but there it is.

And a subtitled mystery where clues may be concealed in the most innocuous conversations does not ideal TV dinner fare make.

 

 

It would seem, then, that an English-language adaptation would be the best thing in the world. And certainly it started well enough. It's made by AMC, the outfit who brought us Mad Men.  

Cleverly, the US adaptation is a very loose one. There would be few takers for a remake if we all knew exactly what the end was going to be.

Although Forbrydelsen ambled around in some curious circles in the middle of its first run, it did to its credit reach a logical conclusion. Unfortunately the producers of the US Killing elected to veer a little too away from the Danish template and end series one on a cliffhanger.

One that is by no means resolved as we begin series two. There are two problems there.

Firstly, a great many fans of the original show feel a bit cheated and secondly, the show is now virtually impenetrable to newcomers.

 


 

AMC's Killing is well-made, the actors are all convincing and it’s impressively gritty-looking for a mainstream American TV drama. I can’t help thinking though that the series one cliffhanger gambit will prove in retrospect to have been an unwise ploy.

Fans in the US are already melting away like spring snow. It's a shame. With a more faithful take on the brooding Scandinavian original AMC could have made a killing.

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