Every single TV network is making original programming right now, and that means new shows are popping up at all times every day. In fact, by the time you finish reading this sentence, approximately 14 new shows will have debuted somewhere on cable. But even though A&E has been in the game for a few years now, it has yet to launch a bona fide hit—Bates Motel is the closest it's come to achieving success with a scripted series. The network is gunning to change that with its new drama Those Who Kill, which it hopes will make it known for more than the murder of water fowl and bidding on other people's garbage. But should you check it out? I've already seen the pilot, and I have so much advice for you that you'd better take notes. Those Who Kill, you're the victim of this latest edition of Hey TV.com, ANOTHER Show About Serial Killers?
Those Who Kill, so this is a show about those who kill?
Yes! And those who catch those who kill and those who are killed by those who kill. Catherine Jensen is a ferocious detective who chases murderers in Steel Town, USA (Pittsburgh). But she's also trying to crack a more personal case, which it gives the show its serialized storyline: the murder of her brother. Helping her out—and really kind of doing her job for her—is a forensic psychologist and part-time college professor named Thomas Schaeffer, because all serial-killer shows must feature some sort of college professor element them at all times. It's the law! He's got a spotty record working with the cops, but he's also really good at what he does. So yeah, these two run around town chasing killers, basically, and the looks like it will be a case-of-the-week-type situation.
This is one of those Danish shows that was adapted, right? Who stars in it?
Yep, Those Who Kill is an adaptation of the Danish show Den som dræber that was canceled after one season in 2011. The A&E version was adapted for American television by Glen Morgan (The X-Files, Tower Prep), and directed by Joe Carnahan (Narc, The Grey, The Blacklist). Chloe Sevigny plays Catherine; the gig marks Sevigny's grand return to a leading teleivision role after portraying a transgender assassin in the DirecTV misfire Hit & Miss and a horny mutant in American Horror Story: Asylum. James D'Arcy (Cloud Atlas) plays Thomas, and you'll also see James Morrison, Omid Abtahi, and Bruce Davison.
When does Those Who Kill start the murderin'?
Those Who Kill premieres Monday, March 3 at 10pm on A&E, right after the Season 2 premiere of Bates Motel.
Who might enjoy Those Who Kill?
People who like any television show about serial killers due to a sick love of serial-killer dramas—those people will probably like Those Who Kill, as it is indeed a serial-killer drama because TV doesn't already have enough of those. But it's a lot closer to something like The Following than it is to something like True Detective in every sense, from its aesthetics to its general level of competence.
What's to like about Those Who Kill?
There's a certain look to the show that might appeal to some, and the tone is appropriately creepy. The killer in the pilot does some fun things with a face shield and a rolling chair, for instance. And Catherine is a rule-breaking hardass, so Those Who Kill has that going for it. Sevigny is decent in the role.
What isn't so great about Those Who Kill?
Those Who Kill is utterly ridiculous. Like, The Following might be a smarter, more well-thought-out series. Early character development and motivation are minimal, so the pilot feels like you're just watching two people do their jobs (and really only one of them is doing anything, because Catherine is a terrible detective) instead of getting to know them. I get the sense that all the grisly killer stuff is there just for the sake of shock value, and of course Thomas is around at every opportunity to specifically lay out the killer's mental state with cockamamie theories that have nothing to do with the case. "He kills them because he can't improve his life so he won't
let anyone else improve their lives." Whatever, dude.
So, should I watch it?
No. It's another terrible entry in a genre that needs to be ritualistically murdered.
Do you have a trailer I can look at?
Yes, I do.
Those Who Kill premieres Monday, March 3 at 10pm on A&E.
AIRED ON 5/18/2014
Season 1 : Episode 10