The brutal murder of a young girl launches an extended police investigation. Detective Sarah Lund is supposed to leave for a new life in Sweden, but can't bring herself to leave the case behind. The girl's parents and friends struggle to cope with their loss. Troels Hartmann is campaigning to be mayor of Copenhagen, but struggles when links are revealed between city hall and the murder. Over a time span of twenty days, suspect upon suspect is sought out as violence and political pressures cast their shadows over the hunt for the killer. Two more seasons follow about a series of killings of soldiers and the abduction of an industrial magnate's daughter.Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
Often once can criticise mainstream film an television for falling into the standard conventions of genre. Danish drama 'The Killing', for example, is only pseudo-naturalistic: it's highly manipulative, and, if you take all of its plot twists together, as risible as any other story where one death magically leads to a chain of others to keep the story alive. But it's also the best thing I've seen on TV for years. Over twenty episodes, those plot twists actually come pretty slowly; the drama treats its audience like adults; there's some highly absorbing interplay between a police investigation and political circles (as in the later series of 'The Wire'); and above all else, there are some of the best characters I've ever seen in a TV drama. The lead parts, Lund (Sofie Grabol) and Hartmann (Lare Mikkelsen), are especially good (and in a strange way, not altogether unlike each other): neither is a conventional hero (or villain), neither is even particularly personally likable, but you still will them on. But the lesser characters are no less absorbing; and even the guilty man is still plainly human, although as episode twenty throws up a new and surprising twist, one can't be altogether certain what he is guilty of. Few other programs have left me so entranced; if the second series keeps this up, it will be a true great.
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