In news that will shock no-one but its most hopeful fans, AMC has announced the cancellation of The Killing.
The drama serial which was based on a Danish format drew initial comparison with Twin Peeks, in terms of premise/central mystery. Unlike the iconic David Lynch serial, The Killing chose not to reveal the answer to its central mystery until the very end – an approach that had some viewers up in arms after the first season, but one that was probably for the ‘best’ if you look at back at serial history. (of course, there are ways to provide certain resolution while ‘reinventing’ the following chapter, while perhaps expectations could have been better managed).
Ultimately, the slow-burning drama concluded its second (and seemingly final) season with plenty of resolution: Rosie Larsen’s murderer revealed. A third season would have had to have seen something of a reboot, but whether there are really any more mysteries for Detectives Linden and Holder to solve would have taken some convincing.
All being said, AMC has decided not to pick up the show for a third season, so they must believe there’s not much more story left to unspool. The lower Season 2 ratings no doubt had a say in that decision, even though cable operates under different ratings pressures than broadcast. Still, with Breaking Bad dragging Walter White and his Heisenberg to hell next year and Mad Men likely closing shop in 2 seasons, the decision to drown The Killing perhaps wasn’t as forgone as it seems.
Here’s what AMC had to say on the cancellation:
“After much deliberation, we’ve come to the difficult decision not to renew ‘The Killing’ for a third season. AMC is incredibly proud of the show and is fortunate to have worked with such a talented team on this project, from showrunner Veena Sud and our terrific partners at Fox Television Studios to the talented, dedicated crew and exceptional cast.”
However, Fox TV Studios, producers of The Killing, haven’t given up and plan to take the show elsewhere:
“Fox Television Studios is extremely proud of ‘The Killing,’ the extraordinary writing staff and crew, and what we believe is one of the best casts on television. We will proceed to try to find another home for the show.”
While The Killing never quite lit my fire, it was a very specific story that brought out some very fine performances from Mirielle Enos and Joel Kinnaman (amongst others), while also telling a heartfelt story of loss and corruption on a societal and personal level. While I had issues with elements of The Killing, I’m pleased that it got to tell its story because it means that another serial was not left hanging in limbo, and perhaps more serials of a certain narrative pace will break through. Slow-burn might not work for The Walking Dead, for example, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work.
There’s always the possibility that another cabler might continue the story, perhaps streaming giant Netflix might fancy a go (actually, that might be the best fit), but you know how these things go — sometimes you never hear a peep, which means it didn’t happen. So, while we’ll keep you posted on any developments, and The Killing will certainly live on here at Seriable.com, for now its:
RIP The Killing. May you rain in Seriable heaven where story continues..