There's nothing original about the story, per se. Its running theme is so prevalent among many crime procedurals we're watching these days (such as Cold Case).
And the show itself is an adaptation of a Danish series.
But several thing stood out for me:
- The ACTORS, particularly the lead character. This is the first time I'm watching Mireille Eros because I haven't seen Big Love beyond five episodes, where she's apparently a constant guest star. Eros, as the police investigator, is very engaging, despite not having the extraordinary pretty face that many lead stars usually posses. She acts subtly but you can sense the intensity in it, if that's possible to do. I can't help but fall behind her and support her as the show's central point.
The rest of the actors are familiar to me, because I've seen them play second fiddle to the leads in shows like Life, Battlestar Galactica, 24 or Prison Break. It's wonderful to see them stepping up and giving their best performance. The last scene in the pilot episode, for instance, demonstrates just how capable the actors are.
- THE WRITING. While it's not flawless and there are a few fake-out scenes, the show's pacing has been carefully laid out. Like I said, I was impressed by the storytelling. The narrative held my interest solidly and I liked how they made use of the location in the story.
The characters are believable, relatable and well-presented. I knew that The Killing hit its stride immediately when I turned to the husband and saw that his eyes were red and teary. He, too, had been crying on some scenes!
It's interesting to see how the political angle is going to work its way into the story.
- THE SETTING. The show couldn't have picked a better location in Seattle, perhaps to come close to its original Danish series. The Killing's mood felt a lot like Robin William's Insomnia, which was an adaptation of a Norwegian/Danish movie, as well (if I'm not mistaken).
This series, a beautiful but woeful tale involving loss and seeking justice, is going to be on my list to watch every week.
The show comes in 13 episodes and is aired on the AMC.