Tuesday, September 13, 2011

'The Killing' Ends Soon on BBC4 - More Scandinavian Crime, Please ...

The Killing - Brilliant Drama
As a lover of both a) European culture and, b) detective novels, it's not hard for you to understand that the coming end of the BBC4 re-run of the original "Forbrydelsen" - The Killing - is going to be painful for me. Just 3 episodes left of 20.

I know I've seen it before. I know how it ends. Doesn't matter. Good drama, like good music, bears repeating.

Some of the best TV in Britain this year, in my book, has been Zen, Spiral, Wallander and The Killing - and the common link? Wonderful European locations, great plotting, excellent performances, and the inner warmth that tells you you're watching something rare and wonderful.

Fortunately 'The Killing's series, II and III, have been bought by the BBC, and they still have some Wallander's to show.

The US Version
In the meantime, don't even THINK about suggesting I watch the American 'remake' of The Killing - it's dreadful. Really dreadful.

Why? Because the 20 episodes of the Danish original gave the series and the characters time to grow. The US version squeezes this into 12 ad-breaked episodes and constantly loses the flow.

But the real difference, frankly, is the acting. Sorry, but the Europeans just beat the pants off the Yanks when it comes to drama and the actors in the Danish version - all theatrically trained - show up their American cousins.

Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if the US version actually tried to do their own thing - but the script and plot are straight lifted from the Danish original, the names are barely changed and the whole cast are almost look-a-likes of the original characters.

Mireille Enos as 'Linden' (US)

Sofie Gråbøl as 'Lund' (Denmark)

Joel Kinnaman as 'Holder' (US)

Søren Malling as 'Meyer' (Denmark)
Brent Sexton as 'Larsen' (US)

Bjarne Henriksen as 'Larsen' (Denmark)

Perhaps American TV Networks should stick to comedy or action adventure tales and leave decent crime drama to us on this side of the pond.

The Killing, and those Faroes jumpers - be honest, you'll miss it too.
This Danish series is just perfect - and there hasn’t been an episode, a scene, even a line, that hasn’t been brilliantly done. The US version asks 'Who Killed Rosie Larsen?' I didn't give a toss. But Nanna Birk Larsen is another matter.