March 27, 2011

FOR 280 EUROS IT BETTER CLEAN AND REKNIT ITSELF:

REVIEW: The Killing, BBC Four, review : Sweaters and subtitles: Danish drama The Killing signs off in style (Neil Midgley, 3/27/11, The Telegraph)

Gudrun & Gudrun is a small knitwear company, based in the Faroe Islands, which makes traditional Scandinavian sweaters. Over the years, one design in particular – the one “with the star pattern” – has, according to the firm’s website, “become our classic number one”. This iconic design has, apparently, long enjoyed cult status in Japan. And, over the last 10 weeks, these discerning Japanese jersey-coveters have been joined by an even more obsessive crowd: BBC viewers of Danish detective drama The Killing.

Those viewers gather together, often in dark corners of the internet, and ask each other questions about the sweater. How has Sarah Lund, the Copenhagen police detective who is the show’s heroine, managed to wear it almost every day throughout a gruelling murder investigation? Does it magically clean itself? Did it, indeed, magically repair itself when it was slashed – along with Lund’s arm – by a baddie? Even though The Killing managed to notch up half-a-dozen deaths during its 20 episodes, the sweater mysteries were still some of its most impenetrable by the time it finished its triumphant run on Saturday – to understandably Auden-esque wails of grief from its fans.

But even the jumper, spellbinding as it is, does not entirely explain why so many people – a remarkable 500,000 a week on BBC Four, most of whom seem also to be discussing the show on Twitter – have been so devoted.

The Killing is much more than just Midwinter Murders: it comes from an honourable and growing tradition of complex continental cop drama, including the French detective show Spiral and Sweden’s original Wallander. But by some magical Nordic alchemy, it has transcended both of them.



Posted by at March 27, 2011 6:55 AM
  

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