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4.7 out of 5 stars450
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 February 2011
Not going to blather on, just want to get it up to 10 five star reviews.
Im a big fan of Breaking Bad and Mad Men,but this is even better.
Everthing is perfect.
Acting,script and direction.
I will buy this ,and put it next Our Friends in the North,Sopranos and Brideshead.
As a fat grocer might say "Drama doesnt get better than this"
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on 24 April 2012
The Killing charts a painstaking investigation into the murder of a young girl in Copenhagen. The lead investigator, Sarah Lund, is on the verge of leaving the Danish police force to move to Sweden with her boyfriend. However she finds herself becoming, almost against her will, more and more obsessed with the investigation, increasing her personal and professional isolation as she hunts for the murderer. In parallel with the search for the killer an idealistic city politician makes a powerplay to become mayor. However this is threatened by evidence that indicates that his campaign is somehow implicated in the murder.

As well as conveying something of the painstaking nature of an investigation, with false leads and red herrings by the truck load, and the machinations of politics, as fine as any depiction in The Wire or The West Wing, the thing that truly sets The Killing apart is its acknowledgement of grief: as important as the investigation in the series is its exploration of how the family of the victim tries to come to terms with the devastation visited upon them. It is truly painful to watch, something most police procedurals skirt around.

The Killing has rightly become a phenomenon. It is a rare depiction of an investigation, as startlingly original in its own way as was The Wire. Brilliant.
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on 31 March 2011
The Wire: Complete HBO Season 1-5 [DVD] [2002] was credited for breathing fresh life in TV crime drama. Thats true. Although it was preceded by Homicide: Life On The Streets, The Wire has heaps more style; both in its characters, setting, and story telling. It told stories at a heart-slowing pace. Stories that needed to be told at such a pace, due to the stories linking and twisting in and out of each other. Characters would build slowly in a setting that got denser with each hour long episode. Watching The Wire felt like reading a novel - not just because of the richness of its story telling, but its pace let you take things in, helping you sink into it.

The Killing is being refereed to as the Danish Wire, and rightly so. Firstly, if your a fan of The Wire - The Killing is a no-brainer. Buy it right away. However, don't expect a repeat of The Wire, but it will - for 20 episodes - fill the hole the final scene of The Wire left. I must point out now too, The Killing, is not a rip of The Wire. Far from it.

The Killing both gets of on the wrong and right footing in the first 10 minutes. The first scene is a staple of TV/film crime drama. A woman, bloodied and panicking runs for her life through some woods. The flicker of a flash light cuts in and out behind trees. Thats where following the formula ends for The Killing, as the next scene finds a police officer creeping through an abandoned warehouse investigating an apparent crime scene, only to find it a hoax set up by colleagues. Just when you expect the murder case to start developing (due to the obvious way they opened) everything stops, and a totally new story is told for almost an hour. Its this clear defiance of following formula with this two hit combo that sets the tone for The Killing. Characters find their way to the screen only for the writers to push and pull the misconceptions your already building about them around like putty - then to re-mould them into something else. That kind of invigorating story telling is only really used to dress the real core of The Killing - essentially a who-done-it.

A who-done-it of the highest order. 20 hours, and every hour is another guessing game. How they manage to keep not only the pace, but the suspense up it mind blowing. First rate story telling.

The Killing is known as Forbrydelsen in Denmark, where it is set and made. The translation of Forbrydelsen is actually 'The Crime', I assume 'The Killing' was used to make it slightly more sell-able to UK audiences. 'The Crime' however, is a much more accurate way to describe this show. Calling it 'The Crime' says much more about what the makers are trying to say, than The Killing. The shows key is to showing how the murder has affected everyone involved. How it spreads from the murder scene to friends, family, to suspects and to those trying to solve the crime. The most important group effected by the crime is the family, and its the families story - or how the families story is told - that really gives The Killing its chill, and more importantly its drive.

The family are a big focus in the first few episode of The Killing, especially in the very first episode. The families discovery, and eventual bereavement is almost told in real time. You have no choice but to watch this family get torn apart in every dark, horrifying detail. From the mothers helpless panic to the father blind defiance and eventually how they heart-wrenchingly tell their other children. The way this part of the story is told in the first few episodes and throughout is the how, along with the guessing game, is how the show is driven.

Its a show which is brilliantly rewarding. Not a second is wasted, and paying attention it essential. Not so you don't miss a clue that might help you figure it out before the end, but so you can really engross yourself in a pitch black, riveting story.
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on 24 May 2012
this first volume of THE KILLING is superb. much better, much richer than our american version which copied some of the Danish version in an erratic fashion. No depth. Here we hav3e depth, characters who matter, and while the plot is intricate, it is definitely NOT confusing, merely an enticement to watch further episodes. this is most rewarding, just as satisfying as our experience with the entire series thus far of DETECTIVE MONTALBANO.

BUT, if I hadn't seen the american first season of THE KILLING, I never would have been aware of the great discrepancy between our version and the Danes, as written about by a reviewer in the NEW YORK TIMES. My spouse is stage IV cancer, and television, quality television keeps him alive, and myself as caregiver, most thrilled.

I only pray that in heaven I will still be able to watch foreign films like these and read quality mystery novels. I appreciate getting these from Amazon, even though the cost is steep (but worthwhile).

It takes my mind off the RepuGlican party which is trying to decimate our country. My husband should have listened to me when I begged him to move us to Canada in 2001. Canadian films and television are good quality, as well.
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on 16 May 2011
This was recommended to me by my Danish friend. It is the best thing I have ever seen in terms of this genre. The story unfolds over 20 episodes but it's so thrilling I could have watched 20 episodes all at once had it been on DVD. The characters are sympathetic and realistic, for example Lund wears chunky jumpers, scruffy jeans, low heels & a scraped back ponytail, unlike many crime dramas where the female detective looks like a clothes horse! The plot is both complex and clear, following the crime, the world of politics and love and loss within families. The acting is superb. I'm certainly looking forward to the next series, which I understand is in production.
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on 7 July 2011
This is one of the most gripping and interesting detective stories I have ever seen. It draws you in and the characters become important, to the point where I would get really upset when something went wrong for them. It kept me guessing right to the end.
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on 21 February 2011
Up all night catching up with this drama; just couldn't leave it alone; waiting until Saturday is now almost unbearable; is it better than the first Prime Suspect... in my view YES !! the drama grips you like an addiction and doesn't let go leaving you to want more.

Like Helen Mirren, Lund is the female detective lead who doesn't say much but has the tenacity to analyse the evidence and make her own judgements. She has that 'aura' that you just know always makes sense and doesn't trivialise the emotions experienced by the central characters in the drama. Nothing is as it seems and every week there is a further twist. At times just when it looks like the Police are 'there' and another piece of the jigsaw is about to fall into place, the piece doesn't quite fit.

Twenty episodes is an ambitious drama and perhaps it could be shorter...but then there is no substitute for quality.
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2011
Original and distinctive the Killing was a slow burner that gripped you from the start. This was as much down to the distinctive visual style of setting the whole thing virtually in the dark and also the quality of the acting and the script. A teenage girl headstong and full of bravado is killed violently by another hand. Was it a politician, a family member or a corrupt policeman? The series excelled at showing the grief felt by the mother as she dealt with the loss of her daughter. The slow painstaking procedure of investigation by two tired strung out cops who initally resent sharing authority. One of them Sara Lund will go down in history for her trend setting jumpers. The self important duplicity of the political process as the city council moves towards local elections. These threads slowly came together to create a tense highly watchable crime drama, which benefitted greatly from its Nordic origins and its double episode structure. It may not live up to the hype- as part of the appeal was the surprize but it is still worth your time.
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on 26 March 2011
Up untill now i have watched and loved all the crime series in this country..eg Prime Suspect, Trial and Retribution and many others....then i watched The Killing! What a masterpiece..has kept me glued for the whole 20 episodes which conclude tonight..cant wait..it has made me realise what dross we produce in this country and now when i watch our crime dramas they look like dated 70's Sweeney repeats!!! this is pure quality. Why oh why is this award winning series on BBC4? do the BBC think we cannot read? Im afraid the days of us making the best television in the world are truly over...and i for one will be bereft when The killing finishes.
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on 18 May 2011
Without doubt the most wonderful whodunnit I have seen in years. The acting is top notch and its so engrossing that you almost forget about the subtitles. In fact... by the end, I felt I could almost speak Danish! LOL. The joy of this production was how far removed the leading character of policewoman Sara Lund was from the formulaic hollywood cop that most of us are more used to. She must have single handedly revived the knitting industry with her trademark wooly jumper! I adored the characters of Pernilla and Theis Birk Larssen, it was heartbreaking to watch them unravel in their own very different ways at the murder of their only daughter Nanna. The parallel storyline of the mayoral election made for equally fascinating viewing with many a red herring unfolding in the search for Nanna's killer. If I could change one single thing about how it all unfolded in the end, it would be how the storyline concluded for Lund's partner Meyer. That disappointed me hugely! Otherwise... simply marvellous.
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