The Killing – an example of TV’s fear of showing intelligence

I missed The Killing the first time it was aired in Britain, which was a silly thing to do. I’ve been watching it over the past few days, and I’m absolutely blown away. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV for the simple reason that it’s mostly a load of toss. As a result, I’m often slightly late to get into some of the fantastic shows that have been produced in the past few years. Band Of Brothers, The Sopranos, The Wire, The Thick of It, The Inbetweeners (I don’t see any incongruity here, it’s a fantastically well-written load of bollocks) and many more; all shows which I’ve only got into once they sold out and stopped writing songs for their real fans. Er, I mean, I’ve only found them after the Guardian or Charlie Brooker (often both, often together) told me I should see them.

The Killing (judging purely from the seven episodes I’ve seen so far) deserves the hype. Frankly, it deserves a lot more hype, as I’m sure that it’s still not getting the viewing figures that it deserves. Quite why shows of this calibre aren’t given as much publicity as they deserve is a mystery to me – TV executives must presumably live in fear of being widely and publicly denounced as boffin twats, or possibly massive gays, and therefore try to put as little intelligent programming on as possible. The BBC tries its best, but still tries to look hard in front of it’s mates, and therefore The Killing, which so far is one of the most masterfully written pieces of art I’ve ever encountered, is tucked away on BBC4 at 10PM, and I bet barely anybody will see it. The BBC is hiding its poetry books in case anybody takes the piss. It should instead be proud to have shows like this on the BBC1 schedule. Perhaps one of the reasons it’s tucked away on BBC4 is that somebody at the BBC really wants to show it, but a lot of other people there are worried that it puts most British drama to shame?

It does.