Its first season first intrigued, then infuriated fans. Its second season suffered a big dropoff in ratings, and the show wasn’t picked up. That can only mean one thing, of course: The Killing, reportedly, is close to a deal to be revived on Netflix.
Yes, according to a report at Deadline.com yesterday, the much-anticipated, then much-maligned serial mystery has been in revival talks with the streaming-video outlet and is approaching a deal that would also bring its third season back on AMC. The arrangement, if it transpires, would be a cost-sharing deal like the one between DirecTV and NBC that saved Friday Night Lights, one of the finest examples of the new TV mediasphere helping to support a show that would have simply died in the olden days.
But why The Killing? The show debuted with much anticipation as a remake of a critically praised Danish series, also involving politics and murder, but it alienated many fans with a teasing first-season finale that did not reveal the killer, after AMC promotion implied that it would. It then got a second chance, which seemed like too little, too late. Of all the brilliant-but-cancelled series of the past few years (Terriers! Awake!), this does not seem to be one that’s screaming for a third chance.
Still, if it’s going to happen anyway, there are a few things that give me a modicum of hope. The Killing always seemed to have half a really great show in it: it had an outstanding cast and strongly drawn central characters, and it could be deeply moving in moments and individual episodes. (The major problem was that it claimed to be different from typical TV cop procedurals, but really simply used many of their tropes—especially the switcheroo fakeout twists—over two long, slow seasons.) There’s a lot of talent behind the show, producer Veena Sud—if you can believe reports—made a strong pitch for a third season, and this time the whole crew, having finished the mystery of the first two seasons, could start again, lessons learned.
That said, at this point I’d think the best move would be for the talented people involved to move on, lessons learned, to different projects. Anybody out there want more of The Killing? And where could it go from here?