Better late than never. I hope.

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

OK, I’m busy. Real busy. So sue me. Regardless, I feel the need to catch up and post some of my thoughts on the pop world around me so here goes.

I finally got caught up on The Killing and i admit, I was scared to. When the season finale happened I still had 5 episodes to watch but my twitter feed went crazy with people bemoaning the ending. I avoided the actual spoilers for a few weeks while I struggled to catch up. That BTW is my biggest problem with my cultural consumption right now. Time to participate. I find more and more shows that I really like, both the damned good (for example Bored to Death on HBO), the used to be good (my current view on Sons of Anarchy season 3 which I “think” I’ve abandoned) and the bad good (Master Chef or Big Brother) are sitting longer and longer on my PVR. I have entire seasons of some shows sitting unwatched, I want to but…hey, life right? All I can say is I’m glad that PVRs allow for external storage. But I digress (I do that a lot). Ah yes, the Killing. So, I avoided knowing why people were hating so hard. I think I’m paraphrasing here but one tweet ont he finale night simply said “Killing, fuck you”! So with trepidation, i continued watching and even more importantly, continued enjoying. As I started the final episode of the season I literally prepped myself for disappointment and/or disgust. The show ended and you know what, I LIKED IT!!!!

I don’t know how I can truly dissect this without spoilers but I reckon that if you’re still reading you’ve seen it already or the show just isn’t on your radar and you’re here for the witty banter and promises of canapes. They are in the oven. So spoil I will.

Is Darren Richmond actually Rosie’s killer? Is he Orpheus? You see, in recent years I think we’ve become accustomed to having our serial dramas wrapped up by season’s end with at best a new thread appearing, but always as long as the season’s primary narrative is wrapped. Think Dexter and the Ice Truck Killer (or any Dexter season for that matter) or Breaking Bad or …you get the picture. I’m not sure if this is due to the tenuous nature of most cable TV contracts and never really knowing when a cancellation is coming and thus unable to plan too far ahead but we used to operate on this model all the time. Season enders were cliffhangers used to draw you back next season, or at their best to talk about the show ALL summer and drive September viewership through the roof. Perhaps no better example exists for this than Dallas and the Who Shot JR arc. The downside to that is that the payoff often falls below our built up expectations, like the other Dallas season that was apparently a dream as Bobby showered and returned or the similar use to explain in Roseanne’s final episode to retract the entire season of lottery wealth (albeit with a twist) but then return to blue-collar fictional roots. The bottom line is new TV operates different from old TV and maybe that is why I like the Killing, it hearkens back to past genres and techniques.

I can get why some felt betrayed and frustrated by the twist. Richmond was served up on a silver platter for our consumption as the killer but seemingly snatched away in the final moments but honestly, I’m not so sure. Sure he could have been framed. If so, by whom? his opponent? Someone else? I have no idea how they will explain the emails if he’s not the Killer and frankly, I think he still is the one. There are excellent characters on this show and an interestingly paced narrative that keeps me captivated each week, or when I finally get to sit down and catch up, and I have become invested in certain outcomes or at least the journeys to them.  But at the end of the day, I really just can’t wait to watch and see what is going to happen next and isn’t that really the point?

Now if you’ll forgive me I’ve got to see who was eliminated on Big Brother and whether the veterans can win another HoH.

  1. Shannon Skanes says:

    I haven’t seen The Killing, but I know I was one of the few who thought Sopranos had the perfect ending. Lights out, write your own ending.

    It’s not unusual for shows that try to be different to end up on the chopping block. I went through that when Twin Peaks was cancelled. There was no happy ending there either. It just ended with a cliffhanger that was never resolved. I tend to wonder what’s next rather than seeing how something ends.

    Mystery is usually for the best anyway. We all wanted to know how Darth Vader became Darth Vader and then we were shown how it happened and realized we REALLY didn’t want to know. They made James Earl Jones actually saw Padme? It really helps me appreciate mystery where I can find it.

  2. I know what you mean Shannon. Arguably the greatest TV show eve, Deadwood, never ended properly. There is always talk about a “wrap up” movie or something but it needs more than that and frankly, is probably best left to rest at this point. I also like the Sopranos finale. It made perfect ambiguous sense.

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