Friday, February 18, 2011

Fortuitous Friday: Enter The Killing

Well here we are- another Fortuitous Friday is upon us- and you are to be subjected to whatever non-gaming topic is currently on my mind......

It isn't often that I recommend a television program. There are several reasons for this but the primary one is that I don't own a television. I know, I know, it kind of stops the heart for a bit there doesn't it? The television has become the luxury-turned-necessity can't-do-without item in the modern household. We design entire rooms around this box and then spend days on end worshipping in its neon light. It screams at us non-stop: We're too fat, not fat enough, too old, too young, too poor, too rich, too lazy- but for god sake don't turn off that tele!

I'm not preaching, really I'm not. I hide in a virtual world of games during my free-time so each to their own. I do watch television, of a sort, on the BBC I-player which we stream in via a proxy. She Who Will Be Named Later misses the programs from her distant home-land (Wales), and uses it to keep in touch with her culture. I completely understand that as I used to love watching hockey and such when I lived away just to hear a familiar accent. The bonus with the BBC is there are no ads.

There are very few shows that I have recommended to others throughout the years. Personal taste accounts for a lot when selecting what to watch, and whereas I would love to see a 2-hour documentary on the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant mutualisms as evidenced by the Myrmecophilia orchid in Central America others, sadly, would not.

When I first moved to Ireland (2003) I was in the middle of The Wire season 3 and  recommended it to everyone. It was a tough sell, I have to admit. Another 'american' cop show? With a maverick? Groaaaaan. It was hard to explain why The Wire was different, but it was. As I was moving back to Canada the Guardian and other UK papers were finally realizing how good this HBO series was and it's popularity soared.

I am once again staking my (not so) precious reputation on 'another cop show', and am highly recommending The Killing.

This is another tough sell based on the fact that it is a familiar story (cops- and yes one is a maverick- investigating a murder) and, unless you're Danish, it's in a foreign language. Subtitles are not my particular forte. I always moan that I don't want to read a bloody movie. I spend all day working as an Intake Officer in Gulag 52 reading the files of those sent to us for re-education: confessions, life stories, KGB's an endless wall of text, let me tell you. One of the last things I want to do, when I want to relax and 'watch' something is to read it.

That said this series is really worth a look. The story is, indeed, familiar- I've already managed to pick out who did it- but it is very well done. A slow-burner some may say, although I liked it from the start. It follows the 20-day investigation of a murder with each episode being a single day. It is a unique format especially when you consider most 'cop shows' tend to have the murder, investigation, trial, incarceration, and the death of the offender by old age- all in one hour (45 minutes without ads).

It is also well-acted (which is sometimes hard to tell when it's a foreign language) and the lead is a very strong female- also somewhat rare in television drama's. I don't mean strong, as in tough-talking, and butch, but well acted, well-scripted, and believable. The series is just picking up steam, and I think it's starting to get some pretty good critical reviews (I could be wrong about that since I don't actually read reviews lol). The characters are human, believable, and talk like real people do which is always a plus.

If you don't have access to the BBC I'm not sure how you might get a hold of this one. I, of course, wouldn't recommend Isohunt or any such illegal program for exchanging copyrighted material with other like minded individuals but I'm sure you'll think of something.

And do ignore the fact that I have stated I know who did it. I could be wrong (not likely) but it isn't for any flaw in the program- I'm just pretty damn good at guessing these things. I will, at the end, proudly reveal who I thought it was- right or wrong- and we'll see. In the meantime they are currently on Day 9 so if you can grab the back episodes you'll have 9-hours of viewing bliss.

Happy Friday!

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