YMMV / The Killing

The Killing TV series:

  • Arc Fatigue: The fact that the show takes two full seasons to identify Rosie's killer really aggravated a lot of viewers, so much so that the ratings dropped sharply for season two and never recovered.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Oh so much. Especially once it's revealed who killed Rosie. The actor's performance throughout the show until that point was certainly not what you'd expect from someone who knew they were responsible. Thankfully averted by the reveal of the Pied Piper, which had hints and foreshadowing leading to it, and it cast a significant part of the show into a new light.
    • Several of the clues also get this effect after a while, as it turns out Rosie packed about a week's worth of adventures into her final 24 hours.
  • Broken Base: The Netflix revival season has received a very divided reception, with viewers either finding the new storytelling direction refreshing and compelling, or boring, repetitive and unsatisfying. The fact that much of the drama hinges on Linden and Holder covering up Skinner's murder, which takes up about as much time as the season's murder case in contrast to previous seasons, has quite a bit to do with it.
  • Complete Monster
    • The Pied Piper, James Skinner, is the despicable madman who serves as the Arc Villain for season 3. A seemingly-kind family man, the Piper is in actuality a brutal Serial Rapist and Serial Killer of teenage girls, or even younger. With his career of evil starting when he beat a teenage prostitute to death for disrespecting him, the Piper began kidnapping, raping, then murdering teenage girls. Years ago, when the Piper realized a young boy may have spotted him committing his crimes, he seemingly planned to kill him, before settling for murdering the child's mother then framing his father for it. Having amassed 17 confirmed victims over the years, while boasting dozens more, the Piper continues his spree throughout the season, raping and killing numerous more girls before viciously murdering Bullet for discovering his identity. When cornered by Sarah Linden for his crimes, the Piper reveals his mindset that the girls he kills aren't even human; just "garbage" that doesn't deserve to live, while taunting her about that fact that she had fallen deeply in love with his public persona. Even when beaten, the Piper goads Linden into executing him, wanting to drag her down with him even after he was dead and gone. Though claiming at one point to "not kill children", this claim is immediately thrown back in his face with the fact that many of his victims were as young as 12, showing that his statement was either twisted hypocrisy, or just a method of screwing with his foes. A complete maniac who believed he was in the right for removing the stain of "trash" like the girls he killed from the world, the Pied Piper is shown to be nothing but a misogynistic psychopath who gets his kicks from murdering people no one will ever miss.
    • Goldie is a minor criminal from season 3, appearing in only the second, third, and fourth episodes, yet makes the most of his limited screentime to be one of the series's most depraved characters. Known around the streets for being a creepy thug, Goldie quickly establishes his wickedness when, after catching the homeless teen Bullet sneaking into his apartment to look for her best friend, he proceeds to brutally beat and rape her. When confronted by the police, Goldie is revealed to not only deal in child pornography, but also has a long record of molesting and raping underage girls, with him shrugging them off as "misunderstandings", and claiming that one 13 year old girl was "begging for it". As a final way to screw with the police, Goldie publicly humiliates them by making them think he plans to assault a woman, before revealing she is actually his "mother". Though weaseling his way out of the majority of punishment for his crimes, Goldie's crimes were all too apparent and disgusting to all who interacted with him, and he made his mark as the show's first wholly irredeemable villain.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The Breaking Bad fans weren't happy with this show stealing its attention, especially when it looked like Breaking would get a truncated final season in favor of The Killing getting a bigger budget from AMC (luckily, this didn't happen).
  • Growing the Beard: The third season, which focuses on a new case altogether with a new supporting cast, has been significantly better-received than its predecessors.
  • Moment of Awesome: "I'm not Stan." Said by Alexi right before assassinating local mob boss Janek Kovarsky. Alexi spent his childhood plotting revenge against Stan for killing his father, but after befriending Stan's lovely daughter Rosie, he decides not to go through with it. Thus, when Alexi finally learns that Kovarsky forced Stan to kill his father, his vengeance is swiftly delivered.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Pied Piper (James Skinner) crossed it when he snapped and raped then murdered a teenage girl. Afterwards, he never looked back and kept doing to dozens more over a number of years.
    • Goldie crosses it when he attacks and rapes Bullet.
    • Holder himself felt he crossed this line when he stole from his own kid nephew to pay for his drug addiction.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • Shocking Swerve: A lot of complaints about the first season finale came down to one of these where it was revealed Holder delivered faked evidence that fingered Richmond as the killer. The second season made it clear that Holder wasn't aware it was fake.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The third season addressed and improved many of the issues that plagued the latter half of the Rosie Larsen arc, resulting in tighter plotting, less Padding and a more satisfying and less nonsensical Reveal. Unfortunately, the bump in quality was not enough to save the show from cancellation.

The Killing 1956 film: