“The Killing” is my favorite show. If you know me at all, you’ve heard me mention it countless times. I watch it over and over and over again. People who have seen it totally get it. It’s one of those shows that just sticks with you forever. But if you haven’t seen it, let me tell you a little bit about it.
The Killing was a TV show about two homicide detectives in Seattle, Det. Sarah Linden (played by Mireille Enos) and Det. Stephen Holder (played by Joel Kinnaman, my absolute favorite actor ever). The first three seasons were on AMC and then it was cancelled, but Netflix came in and saved it and gave it a 4th season and wrapped up the story. It’s a show that is a testament to its fans because AMC was actually going to cancel it earlier, but the outpouring from the fans led them to extend it to a third season and to Netflix picking it up.
Obviously, the premise of the show is that people get killed, and the detectives come in and try to solve the murders. Seasons 1 and 2 focus on the murder of a teenage girl and the ripple effects of her death. Season 3 and part of 4 focus on a serial killer who murders runaway teenage girls living on the street. Season 4 also features the brutal murder of 4 members of a wealthy family, with a 5th survivor who has no memory of anything that happened.
With all that death and tragedy, you might be wondering why I called it the most beautiful TV show. It’s about murder. It’s rainy and dreary the whole time. It’s not a show that’s flashy and bling-y. So, why? Well, the beauty lies in the relationships. The emotions. The subtleties and complexities.
Linden is tenacious. She’s good at her job because she doesn’t give up. But it’s also to the detriment of her romantic relationships and the relationship with her son, because she becomes consumed by her cases and her empathy. Holder is loyal. He’s good at his job because he’s good with people. He knows how to talk to them to get the information he needs. But he’s not so great at believing in himself. Linden has a fear of abandonment because of her traumatic childhood. Holder is the guy who always stays. Holder thinks he’s a screw-up who will never be redeemed. Linden thinks you can do anything, as long as you try and keep trying and never give up.
The beauty lies in the two of them accepting the flaws in each other. They see each other at their worst and it doesn’t scare either of them away. They can relate to the mess that is life and know that underneath, we’re all trying as hard as we can to survive.
And the beauty also lies in the silences. The glances. The hidden meanings behind each sentence. The pure love and intimacy of truly seeing and knowing someone else - flaws and all - and loving them anyway. In each other, they’ve found a place where they belong. And to me, there’s nothing more beautiful than that.
This post was inspired by the monthly theme from H&L Writes, a writing membership program hosted by Holl & Lane Magazine that features writing prompts, exercises, expert writing review, community support, opportunities for publishing, and MORE.