Borders Line: AMC’s THE KILLING Gives Us A New Laura Palmer

AMC has a new murder mystery series premiering April 3rd, and it looks all kinds of badass—and a little bit TWIN PEAKS.

AMC has a new murder mystery series premiering April 3rd, and it looks all kinds of badass.

The Killing is set in Seattle but films in the stunning city of Vancouver, from where I happen to have recently returned after five glorious days.  The show is based on the Danish production Forbrydelsen (meaning The Crime), but showrunner Veena Cabreros Sud assures that the American production will still have the capacity to surprise fans of the original series.  She calls the show a “slow burn,” a thirteen episode season that isn’t “necessarily easy to digest.”  Like the original series, each episode will be devoted to one day in the investigation, hopefully ending the series with a damned resolution to the mystery.

I love the sound of all of that, and the trailer (while, beware, seems to reveal too much) is riveting and ominous, but in a restrained way. If this show were on another network, I’d probably dismiss it as another procedural blah-ma, particularly with that “From the Executive Producer of Cold Case” title card. But this is AMC, my friends! Home to some of the best shows on television! Mad Men and Breaking Bad—and to a lesser extent, The Walking Dead—stand testament to AMC’s dedication to pushing boundaries in the name of quality television. Now clearly, I endorse watching the original Danish show first. I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to do so before the premiere of the American version. I know it’s frustrating that TPTB assume Americans hate subtitles, and by all accounts, the Danish program is fantastic. But after I check that out, I’m very interested to see what Sud and AMC bring to this captivating premise.

Granted, my specific interest is peculiarly linked to the “WHO KILLED ROSIE LARSEN?” conceit. I have seen the first season of Twin Peaks around a dozen times. I’ve seen the first season of Veronica Mars about a half dozen times. Naturally I can’t be bothered to re-watch the second season of either show, or god forbid the third season of Mars, but to me, those first seasons represent two of the most abiding, intriguing mysteries in fiction. The stories are abundant with relatable characters and piercing dialogue that have kept my interest long after I learned who killed Laura Palmer and Lilly Kane. But between Laura, Lilly and Rosie, the question is raised: why are the most enduring fictional murder victims all hot, teenaged girls? There’s certainly some gross victim fetishizing going on, but at least on Veronica Mars and, it seems, The Killing, the person toiling away to solve these mysteries is also a woman. Don’t get me wrong—if I start talking about how much I adore Special Agent Dale Cooper, this post will take a lengthy and disturbing turn toward fan fiction, but it’s nice to note that if all the victims of these shows are going to be women, at least their posthumous saviors can be female, as well. But just to put it out there, Hollywood: I would totally watch a well-made serialized murder mystery with a male victim just as eagerly.

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