Those Who Kill / Dem som draeber

October 12, 2013 | By

Nope. Not convinced you're Grade A material.

The Danish detective series Those Who Kill  / Dem som draeber [M] may be a crime show dealing with ordinary folks whose lives have been affected by the worst forms of human cruelty, but unlike The Killing / Forbrydelsen [M], it’s perhaps the most overt attempt to create an American-styled series – or more precisely, one patterned after a standard net workshow like C.S.I.

The end result, not unlike NBC’s current The Blacklist, is banality.

Blacklist has its own share of problems (the weekly catch-a-villain + fast wrap-up within 40 mins. of running time is deadly dull and wholly formulaic), but the issues with Kill reside primarily in the way the writers chose to focus on U.S. network clichés. There are edgy moments within later episodes, but these do little when the characters remain awfully flat.

The most saddening is Lars Mikkelsen as police chief Bisgaard, who spends most of his screen time either chewing out his rebellious, burnt-out detective Katrine (Laura Bach), or giving a pat on the back when needed. The show’s also larded with some of the top talent (like Mikkelsen) that peppered The Killing, so it’s especially disheartening to see them struggle in what they knew was banal material.

The series also has a strange broadcast history, with the  five feature-length episodes being broadcast as two-parters outside of Denmark, and the series finale consisting of a theatrically released film. The stories do improve around the midpoint, but for those who’ve seen even a smattering of American serial killer hunter shows, there’s little fresh in Kill.

Perhaps the irony lies in the show being remade for the U.S. market. A pilot starring Chloe Sevigny and directed by Joe Carnahan (who’s also behind the flat Blacklist series) was reportedly picked up by A&E, but given the network’s lousy switch over the years from making / carrying actual arts programming to the less than exciting reality series (crap like the mysterious contents of storage lockers), the show may either be as banal as the original, or worse.

Glen Morgan, a main writer of The X Files and the dour weekly catch-a-serial killer series  Millenium is involved, but I remain a little fearful after his attempts to rework genre classics like Willard, and especially the garbage that is Black Christmas (2006).

Maybe A&E and Morgan & Co. will surprise us. There is that age-old axiom that holds true: you remake good concepts done badly, not good ones done great.

Coming next: Twilight Time’s Blu-ray release of Sexy Beast.





Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

Category: Uncategorized

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