Other people have commented on the resemblance between AMC’s The Killing and Twin Peaks, so I won’t bore you with another ponderous comparison. Suffice to say that The Killing is pretty much a re-warmed Twin Peaks, although the dead female body (yes, that again) that drives the narrative isn’t wrapped like a birthday present in plastic, but curled up fetal-like in the trunk of a car.
Of course, this is 2011, so instead of male investigators, we have a woman at the center of the investigation: Sarah Linden (played by Mireille Enos). The Killing really is like a David-Lynch-meets-David-Simon, its pace as evocative of Homicide and The Wire as it is of Twin Peaks; Enos’ Sarah Linden reminiscent of Melissa Leo’s Kay Howard (plus Michelle Forbes’ presence). But that’s where the resemblance stops because the series has none of the intelligence or chutzpah of a David Simon drama, instead relying on an extraordinarily predictable representation of its main female character, who devotes her considerable maternal passion to solving this crime, but in so doing proves herself to be a failure as a lover, potential wife, and mother.
I’m so tired of this formula, which the much-vaunted dramas of AMC and cable in general reproduce ad nauseam. While I like The Walking Dead, I do so despite the fact that like any road trip, it’s a trip in search of lost masculinity. Mad Men? Well, it is men in the title so you can’t accuse it of false advertising.
But seriously, isn’t it time that television (or whatever it will become in the next decade) stop punishing women for being the protagonists of dramas?