Those Who Kill: TV review

A&E's new crime procedural gives in to the genre's darker side

 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiChloe Sevigny in Those Who Kill
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James D'Arcy and Chloe Sevigny in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Giovanni Rufino)
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Photograph: Giovanni RufinoChloe Sevigny and Omid Abtahi in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiJames D'Arcy in Those Who Kill
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Nicole Forester in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiJames D'Arcy and Chloe Sevigny in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiOmid Abtahi in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiChloe Sevigny in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiKathy Baker and Bruce Davison in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiOmid Abtahi and Chloe Sevigny in Those Who Kill
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
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Photograph: Paul SchiraldiJames D'Arcy in Those Who Kill

Premieres Monday, March 3 at 9pm on A&E.

It's plain to see that there will never be a shortage of dramas about murder investigations on television, from the familiar franchises like CSI and Law & Order to the more artistic reinventions of the genre like True Detective and Hannibal. And there are the entries into this class of shows that revel in the darkest parts of the murder mystery and get lost down the rabbit hole. Much like last year's The Following, Those Who Kill depicts a disturbing fascination with the most unsavory aspects of the world it's created.

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Based on a Danish series, Those Who Kill follows Detective Catherine Jensen (Chloe Sevigny), a homicide detective who, in her short time on the job, has already managed to be something of a pariah in her department. Her reputation isn't improved when she essentially steals a murder case from a fellow detective by following a hunch that leads to the discovery of several more bodies. Against the wishes of her boss, she brings Dr. Thomas Schaeffer (James D'Arcy) into the fold. A forensic psychologist, Schaeffer has a bad history with the police department due to his experimental methods having hurt a previous case. Despite her boss' feelings, Jensen is confident that Schaeffer's assistance will be vital to undertanding and catching the murderer.

The tone and mood that Those Who Kill establishes is repellent from the outset and the cold demeanor of its central characters does nothing to alleviate this problem. Jensen and Schaeffer are both very broken people who fail to connect or warm to the people around them. Even their relationship with each other feels strained. Immersed in a darkly drawn version of Pittsburgh and loaded with leering images of young women tortured, this show is in need of an emotional connection, some semblance of warmth to rescue it from utter nihilism, but none comes.

Giving in to the darker nature of its subject matter, Those Who Kill is a grimy and odious murder mystery that's uncomfortable to watch.

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