Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Killing

I wrote this post on June 21 and for some reason never posted it. Just found it in "drafts" so here it is, late-- but I stand by it!

My creative writing students know that I have a few rules about storytelling: no sexual violence against women (trust me, you can't do it well and so just don't do it); no Scooby Do endings and no Wizard of Oz endings. I don't want anyone waking up at the end and discovering it was all a dream, and the monster had better not be Farmer McGregor in a mask. In other words, I expect you to stick by the rules of your genre, no matter what it is, and don't cheat the reader.

So you can imagine how I feel about the season finale of The Killing. Not since Twin Peaks have I so resented watching a show week after week. Yes, it's stylish. Yes, the acting is compelling. But I want some relief-- and that means releasing the main character from her obsession and telling me who the killer is. It's only fair. I've been watching television for over 40 years, and I've come to expect resolution from my series. Especially a series that purports to be a whodunnit. What's the point of having a "suspect tracker" on the Web site, a clue finder, etc?

The thing is, I'm not sure even of what I saw-- is it a Scooby Do ending? Holder's role has been to frame and bring down Darren Richmond? Then why did he participate so heavily in the false track the show was on for six or seven episodes, incriminating the teacher Bennet Ahmed? Why did he seem to be so half-cocked in his anger and reactions to everyone, including Mr. Larsen? Oh, that Farmer McGregor.

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radhe said...
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