Saturday, November 16, 2013

(TV) The Killing: AMC's Loss is Netflix and our Gain

If the myriad of articles you'll read about how the internet killed television are to believed without reasonable criticism, what Netflix has done in picking up The Killing has shown that the death of Television as a business was more of an assisted suicide than a cold blooded murder. 

When I heard the news that AMC was about to cancel one of the best detective dramas on television anywhere in the middle of a great season I had to say it was one of the rare instances the network that brought us Mad Men and Breaking Bad had dropped the ball (Low Winter Sun notwithstanding)

The Killing should have been a sure fire hit as it has a cult following as well as an established fan-base of the original series in Denmark but AMC, amazingly, thought otherwise. Netflix have been, for the lack of a better word, owing the networks by punishing it's mistakes as well as securing top notch content and has continued the trend by picking the series for 4th and last season.  Netflix look set to further revolutionize the TV industry as it looks set to punish the networks for prioritizing numbers over the quality of their shows by snapping up shows with a ready made following betrayed by the Networks short minded mentality. 

TV networks has a history of cutting top notch television short from FX inexplicably cancelling Arrested Development in its' third season to HBO cutting short the excellent Deadwood again in its' third season. While the Killing didn't have the largest audience in the world, it had an audience willing to fight for it as news of Netflix running the show on its' trended on Twitter.

This is great for cult fans and binge-watchers everywhere as Netflix can now be the saving grace of shows that may not have got an audience that matched its' quality or reflected the devotion of its' following but can have a new lease of life on a platform that's catering to people (myself included) who consume and expect more from television than the average viewer has or ever will.

In sum, Netflix Picking up The Killing for its' final season is a win for Netflix, fans of the show and most importantly fans of great TV who are sick of Networks losing their nerve when shows of superior quality don't attract an audience.  AMC has produced some of the best shows on television in the last 30 years but in cancelling The Killing, it looks like the network is losing its' eye for great TV and it's nerve to give it a chance to flourish.

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