TV review: The Killing

From the March 29, 2012 edition

Those of you who stuck it out through Season 1 of “The Killing” only because you wanted to find out who killed Rosie Larsen were probably pretty frustrated by the last-minute switcheroo in the finale. You were probably more frustrated (possibly seething with anger) by what happened before that.

“The Killing” started out as a murder mystery that was supposedly focused on the characters and how this murder affected them. What was a promising concept quickly devolved into a series of fake-outs, red herrings and meaningless (repetitive) cliffhangers. Bad writing makes TV critics mad.

A character study about the detectives, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), investigating the case and how the Larsen family dealt with tragedy would have been excellent, but I now think showrunner Veena Sud lacks the nuance to make such a story.

As much as I hated most of Season 1, Season 2 actually makes me angrier because it’s simultaneously better — Kinnaman is amazing and Enos is quite strong in the season premiere, and this is one of the best-looking shows on television — and worse. The two-hour premiere bests almost everything from last season and makes a nice attempt at exploring Holder and Linden’s now fractured relationship.

The problem is the overall plot and the Rosie Larsen murder mystery — which will finally be resolved at the end of this season. Instead of rolling out more red herrings and tepid twists, “The Killing” looks like it’s now going the conspiracy route. I wish I was kidding.