Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Killing: Boom or Bust?

The Killing's developer, Veena Sud, knows that her new AMC show exists within the conversation about Twin Peaks. She can't ignore Twin Peaks's legacy or the guideposts Lynch and Frost set up twenty years ago. I wonder why writers would even try a murder-mystery television drama given that it was done nearly perfectly then. Nevertheless, Sud tries, and she invites the comparisons with taglines like "Who killed Rosie Larsen?" and by setting the show in Seattle. Fortunately, The Killing is its own show, not just bait for Twin Peaks's fanboys and girls, and I'm caught up/ addicted. 

Relative newcomer Mireille Enos is the main character. As detective Linden, she follows leads which take her all over Seattle in pursuit of Rosie's killer. These assignments are ruining her social life, and though her engagement to Rick (Callum Keith Rennie) provides the show with a clock or countdown, meaning, she better get back to him before he leaves her, that aspect of the show is not well-developed or necessary. I groan each time he calls or they fight. 

Holder (Joel Kinnaman) is Linden's sidekick. He challenges the rules of police behavior every couple of minutes and is wonderfully rough around the edges. Might have a drug problem too. Hope so. Politician and Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) can't decide on the type of campaign he wants to run, whether he's a good guy or scumbag politician as winning politicians tend to be, or if he's capable of distancing himself from the Rosie Larsen murder case in which he is tangled. 

Twin Peaks gave us all the suspects in the pilot. I can't remember who Rosie Larsen's suspects were in episode two, but they are memory now, and I feel like the current suspects will be memory soon, too. In other words, the plot thickens, the world spins, and The Killing becomes more engaging. 

Seattle's gloom naturally influences the way the show looks, and the gloomy grays, greens, and blues, coupled with the slow pace of the show, makes The Killing a heavy but visually sound hour of television. The soundtrack is twinkly and a little too CBS for my tastes, but that's fine. Neko Case's song "Hold On, Hold On" finds its way onto episode 5, and I had never heard her before. Opened my laptop, typed furiously, and was like whoa, another New Pornographers member who does it better on their own.  

Eventually, and Twin Peaks had this problem too, Rosie's killer needs to be caught. And then what happens to The Killing? The Twin Peaks people had some options because of the surrealism they'd established, but still, look what happened: chess games, inter-dimensional buildings, grown women thinking they're cheerleaders, and this. Am I signing up for another soap opera by way of murder? Hopefully not, and when the time comes to reveal Rosie's killer, here's hoping AMC gives the show a couple of episodes denouement and pulls the plug. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My week in media: Apr. 24-30

Been thinking about heavy stuff lately: heavy beers via Dark Lord Day 2011 and heavy breakdowns via Hum's "Dreamboat." When we made it through the Three Floyds gates ~10:30, the crowd was already thick. We got into the guest taps line and bought two beers apiece. Ferrari and I traded often because that's what friends do.  I drank Pizza Port Doheny double IPA and he had Bruery Saison De Lente. U probably haven't even heard of those; suck it. We made it through the guest taps line twice more. Highlights included Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale, Stone Double Bastard w/Chipotle, and Southern Tier Mokah. Zombie Dust was snorted too, of course.

While we were in line for the guest taps, a familiar tune came on. It was "Angel of Death" by Slayer. You know and love this song for it is the opening track on Reign In Blood. Everyone's ears perked when the big mosh part came in at 1:30. The clever disc jockey reminded us that beer is best paired with mosh parts. 

The Dark Lord bottle line took less than an hour to get through, and though we didn't win limited edition bottles, i.e., el Muerte, we bought our limits of 4 bottles, left happy (except for Ferrari, who will never be happy unless he finds el muerte, you can be his hero, baby, here), and even got to sample some 2010 stock when a generous bro cracked one and shared the wealth. Dude seriously topped us off 4 times. One of the noblest lords.

The grandest achievement in modern music is the perfectly executed breakdown or mosh part or sludge part or overall heavy part within the alternative/ non-hc/metal song. "Dreamboat" is a fine example and so is "Geek USA." Please recommend me more moments like these. They are the black truffles in my sonic universe. They are the tulip glass to my stout brew, my passion.

Drinking: Three Floyds Dark Lord 2011