Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

The Killing 2

No spoilers, but thanks to a friend with connections I’ve been getting a sneak preview of Forbrydelsen II and it (probably wisely) doesn’t attempt to replicate the first season’s slow-burning emotional drive. It’s more of a mystery thriller, revolving around a deeply-buried secret in the recent past of a Danish military unit. Imagine if Michael Mann had directed an episode of NCIS in the style of Manhunter. The counterpointing of procedural and politics is there as before, and the Lund/Meyer relationship is roughly paralleled, though not recreated, in her pairing with a new partner.

And more than that I will not say.

Thanks to the same source, along with the release of the first Krister Henrikssen Wallander season on DVD, the last few weeks have seen something of a Scandinavian TV fest chez Brooligan. I don’t know whether it’s just a case of distance lending enchantment to the view, but digital-era cinematic visual style and American story pacing seem to have blended with the home culture without the inauthentic feel I get from some of our own crime shows.

Den Som Draeber (aka Those Who Kill – see a trailer here) is a more conventionally glamorous murderer-hunting show than The Killing, but it scratches an equally legitimate itch. Rejseholdet (Unit One, clip here), is a team-of-cops show with another strong female lead, and featuring a pre-Bond Mads Mikkelson in the lineup. I’m midway through season one, where a retro-feeling credits sequence gives the show an almost ’70s air; YouTube clips like this one from a later season indicate a slicker visual style.

I’ll watch more stuff and keep you posted.

A word of warning; if chasing down DVDs, check for English subtitles before you buy. And when it comes to Eurocrime, Engrenages (Spiral) still rules them all.

Oh, and you can buy your own Forbrydelsen season 2 Sarah Lund sweater here.

4 responses to “The Killing 2”

  1. I am midway through season three of ENGRENAGES and am loving it. Still haven't caught up with KILLING 1 and KILLING 2, both of which are waiting for me here on my desk…

  2. From what I can gather without actually seeing it, AMC's remake of THE KILLING starts with very much the same tone as its original but then gradually diverges, to its disadvantage. Denmark's has a proper and well-tuned ending, and paces its final two episodes so that not everything hangs on a single moment of unwrapping.

    After seeing them mentioned a couple of times on your blog I've been catching up with the JESSE STONE series of TV movies, and in atmosphere and execution I'd say they seem to be a creditable US parallel to THE KILLING. Though I think you said the very latest isn't so great?

  3. The last two JESSE STONES have been lousy…but the first four or five were terrific.

    What do you think of LUTHOR? I thought the first season was ridiculously and ludicrously over-the-top…with all the bad guys from the Ernst Starvos Blofeld School of Acting. The first episode of season 2 was more grounded, but haven't been able to bring myself to watch ep 2 yet.

  4. Saw part of the first season and wasn't keen, though my Twitter feed suggests that season 2 may have raised the game.

    Maybe I'll stop at five JESSE STONEs. That one last bad mouthful can ruin a whole meal.