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‘The Killing’ Is Bad, Apparently

As a writer/broadcaster, I have limited time to take on watching new TV properties, so I have to choose wisely. Awhile back, I asked my Twitter followers whether I should begin watching HBO’s Game of Thrones or AMC’s The Killing. Overwhelmingly, people insisted I check out Game of Thrones. While many said The Killing was good, everyone insisted that Game of Thrones was incredible. Thus, I’ve been watching Game of Thrones religiously and it has rekindled my love of television and shot to the top of my list of favorite TV shows of all time.

Both shows had their season finales last night. And based on the reviews of TV critics, it looks like I made the right choice. Here’s Maureen Ryan:

‘The Killing,’ in the last two months or so, has been a waste of time. This week, it turned into a giant insult. This wasn’t a swing and a miss. Those are forgivable and expected on networks that take chances with their material. This hour was, in my opinion, the worst season finale of all time, because it was a terrible execution of a set of colossally stupid, misguided and condescending ideas. And clearly, people at the network have known about what would be in the finale for some time. They should have stopped it. All of it.

Alan Sepinwall agrees:

[T]his will be the last review I write of “The Killing,” because this will be the last time I watch “The Killing.” Because I have no interest in going forward with a show that treats its audience this way.

It is unusual for me to post reviews of shows/films I haven’t watched, but this criticism is so brutal and withering that it is fun to read even if you don’t follow The Killing (Just know that spoilers are included).

Also: the disparity between these shows reinforces my inclination that when dealing with serialized shows that have season-long arcs, sometimes it is best to wait until the end and see whether the showrunners did right by the audience before investing 10 hours of your life into what may be a pointless waste of time.