Review: AMC’s ‘The Killing’ is compelling, well worth your time

><EM>Review: The Killing – Viewed: Pilot, "The Cage,"  Airs Sunday, April 3 at 9 p.m. (AMC) Executive Producer is Veena Sud.</EM> <P></P> <P>"The Killing" is scheduled for 13 episodes for Season 1 on AMC.</P> <P>Noir and languid in pace, the latest from AMC, "The Killing," is a compelling and addictive new drama that transcends the genre, and is decidedly female in energy and perspective. </P> <P>This adaptation of a popular Danish series called "Forbrydelsen" brings us the capable and perfectly cast Mireille Enos, a homicide detective who was suppose to be relocating to the Bay area along with her son to wed her fiance.  </P> <P>Her last case in Seattle (actual production locale is Vancouver) proves to be a Pandora’s box of intrigue and demands her full attention, as she is tasked to solve the complicated murder of a teenage girl, Rosie Larsen. The wedding is put on hold.</P> <P>The quality of the writing, and the scrubbed face, no-nonsense knitted brow and quiet intelligence that Enos gives her character, Sarah Linden, is a gift rarely seen for serious female leads.  A natural beauty and a true minimalist in every way-speech, presentation, wardrobe-Enos is unlike anyone you have seen on TV.  </P> <P>Of course, AMC’s "Rubicon," another atmospheric and moody drama that was glacial in pace and often times confusing, didn’t do so well. However the plot points for "The Killing" are much more straightforward.  But the mystery of who killed the girl intensifies with each episode, as does the resultant effects of her death on several people surrounding her. You will be hooked by the pilot. The second episode will reel you in.</P> <P>The crafts excel, the art department, cinematography, editing and casting all have dovetailed beautifully to make the physical space Enos inhabits, outside and inside, a stylish part of the voyeuristic yarn.  This series would not elicit the same feeling or be as good if it was set in the bright Albuquerque sunlight of "In Plain Sight" or "Breaking Bad."</P> <P>Other than Enos, actors of note for me include Lee Garlington, one of my favorites as a tough-as-nails local politician who plays hardball. </P> <P>Allow me to digress for a moment. The last two years has been a bonanza for me with the stellar performances of 50+ actors. Garlington is also one of those elite actors like Margo Martindale, Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Anna Deavere Smith, Nick Searcy, Mitch Pileggi, Dayton Callie, Katey Sagal, William Lucking and Adam Arkin who bring it to anything they are cast in. Props to casting directors who mine the wealth of the middle-aged acting pool, it’s so damn good.</P> <P>***image3:center***</P> <P> </P> <P>Michelle Forbes as Mitch Larsen is Rosie’s mother, and is perfect in scene with her husband Brent Larsen (Brent Sexton). Their grief is managed and sublimated realistically so the other children in their family are looked after. They pull it off without it feeling too melodramatic.</P> <P>***image4:center***</P> <P> </P> <P>Joel Kinnaman is cryptic and unsettling (in a good way) as Stephen Holder, a user, and a former undercover narcotics cop slated to replace Linden for homicide duty. He is both repellent and siren-like in a role that reminds me of Michael Raymond-James character Britt in FX’s one-season drama, "Terriers."</P> <P>Billy Campbell plays the climber pol, Darren Richmond, Seattleā€™s city council president running for mayor who needs Lee Garlington’s character Ruth Yitanes’ vote of confidence to gain office. </P> <P>This is a layer cake of twists, turns and reflection, and not too slow that you will lose interest, but just right, allowing for character development and for you to savor what is happening and to look forward to the next scene, the next episode. </P> <P>That is how scripted TV should be, always.</P> <P><IFRAME title="YouTube video player" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/t2podjmVdug" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=349 allowfullscreen></IFRAME></P> <P><SPAN id=intelliTxt><SPAN id=intelliTxt></P> <P><SPAN><SPAN><EM><STRONG>April MacIntyre is Monsters and Critics’ smallscreen and people/celebrity editor. You can contact her on </STRONG></EM><A href="http://twitter.com/AprilMac"><EM><STRONG><FONT color=#0066cc>Twitter</FONT></STRONG></EM></A></SPAN></SPAN></P></SPAN></SPAN>Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.