Now I know I am late to this party, not thinking a foreign language television series could hold my attention, what with all the words on the screen distracting me from the action. I mean, if I had wanted to read for an hour I’d have picked up a book. But after watching the first 4 episodes, I am completely hooked.
The intense and controlled feel of the show, with a gripping story line really draws you in. Not to mention the wonderful acting by all involved.
I had heard of the earlier two series of The Killing before, and a few of my friends really raved about Sarah Lund and the compelling story-lines for each series. But I had always been a bit wary, feeling it would just be another detective series like Morse or Colombo and though they were great detective series, I just wasn’t feeling in the mood to watch another generic take on the genre, albeit with a woman in the lead role, but also in a foreign language. It just didn’t tickle my fancy.
Then I happened to see a couple of episodes of the US remake on the series.
I was quite impressed with the story of the US show, of how intricate and intense the many threads of the murder investigation developed. There was a sense of realism to the show, and the gritty setting in Seattle with the non stop rain helped give the story more depth. Though I did not get to the end of the series to find out who committed the murder of the little girl, I knew that if I was got the opportunity I should watch the original Danish series. I mean, the American are not known for making good remakes of other countries shows, I reference Skins, Life on Mars, The Inbetweeners and many others that have failed in the translations to the American market. But if they made a good go of this small Danish show, what must the original be like?
Well, to cut a long story short, I have not managed to see the first two series of The Killing in the proper Danish version, but thankfully to BBC FOUR, they have just started showing the third series.
Settling down two Saturday nights ago, not sure what to expect, I was gobsmacked by the end of the double episode they showed that night. I was taken aback by, what I am assuming as I have not been to Denmark, on the gritty realism and excellent production values of the show. I felt like I was watching a documentary, without the documentary feel to it; as though this was a real kidnapping and I was after the investigation as it actually happened. And as for the characters. I realize there is a bit of a back story happening with Sarah Lund, that has spilled over from the two earlier series, but I am enjoying speculating on what the history of her character could be, and seeing if it fits with what I’m seeing as the episode develops.
I am also thoroughly loving the in-site into Danish politics. I’m hoping that it is as real to the politics of Denmark, the intrigue and maneuvering of the party leaders is so interesting and more believable as real politicians than the current bunch we have sitting in Westminster now.
With this being the last series the Danish are making, I am hoping that the BBC continues on importing other Danish shows as I feel they have some great television writers and producers working there and I expect to see more great shows coming from the Nordic area.
- Danish drama kills off female-led formula to put men in spotlight (guardian.co.uk)
- Sofie Grabol, aka The Killing’s Sarah Lund: ‘I took off my, jumper and my gun, and cried all, the way home’ (independent.co.uk)
- Forbrydelsen: It’s not easy being Lund! (lizbettaylor.wordpress.com)
- Heels up, hair down, fluffy jumper. Sarah Lund’s not going soft in the final Killing, is she? (guardian.co.uk)
- The Killing series three: Killing me softly (telegraph.co.uk)