SO THAT’S it. The Killing has been killed off. No more confrontations in abandoned warehouses or shootouts in dark, dripping woods or secret chambers revealed behind layers of sturdy Danish crispbread.
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Wrestling’s Golden Age: Grapples, Grunts And Grannies
BBC4, Thursday, 9pm
Sky1, Monday, 9pm
No more fishing jumpers or bonking politicos or bing-bong-bing. No more gun in right hand, torch in left or impassiveness of a comely herring or blousy sentimentality (joke). And no more Sofie Gråbøl as Sarah Lund, last seen jetting off to a new life in Iceland, presumably for those oh so important extra few minutes of unremitting gloom.
Is it just me, or did you want her to die in the end, because that would have been the Danish way and we know this because we’re all honorary Danes now? Because the kidnapper had been shot a few times but kept coming back for more, in the Hollywood tradition, and if there’s one thing the slowly unfolding tundra of a Forbrydelsen script has done it is to turn us right off the quick and contrived resolutions of an hour and a half’s worth of movie? Well, it may just be me. A quick straw-poll afterwards revealed most friends want and still hope she’ll get it together with Borch in her shed. But this is exactly the blousy sentimentality The Killing was supposed to have drummed out of us. Haven’t you lot been paying attention these past two years?
All that said, I didn’t, when it came right down to it, want The Killing to end. I know I said before that I thought three seasons was enough, and still hold to that, but I wished III could have been 20 hours like I rather than ten like II, because we can take it. The Killing has taught us about endurance; how to fit snowchains for an epic journey and be prepared not to see Lund let slip even the merest shadow of a half-smile between one family dinner and another (as far as I remember, there was only ever one and it didn’t go well).
This was a taut tale, taut like tungsten on rubber, where suspicion hovered over many and parental guilt was shared between good guys and bad. The prime minister had neglected his son, damaged and now dead; the boss of the conglomerate being sucked up to by the PM had neglected his daughter, spirited away by the kidnapper avenging his daughter’s murder years before while admitting he hadn’t always been a good father either. Lund wasn’t mum-of-the-year, her son frequently reminding her of this as he ran from his responsibilities as a soon-to-be-dad. And Borch was told by his wife to prepare for Saturday afternoon parenting in the swing-park although, as we now know, the shed-tryst with our heroine didn’t quite happen. Amazing that The Killing was always so taut, given how much space the stories were afforded, and how little we got to know Lund, in common with everyone around her. So that’s it. She’s not dead so could yet return but for the best of reasons I hope she doesn’t. Denmark’s political classes must be hoping that, too, having been portrayed as utterly ruthless bastards right through these long and brilliantly dark winters.
“Masambula!” Does that name mean anything to you? Randomly over the past 40-odd years I might have uttered it three times, just to see if anyone was listening (things can get pretty strange in our house when we’ve run out of macaroon bars). But I didn’t know or couldn’t remember how I knew it until Wrestling’s Golden Age: Grapples, Grunts And Grannies transported me back to the primary school playground where every Monday the bouts from World Of Sport would be recreated on solid Scottish tarmac (no big-jessie canvas or crash-pads for us). Masambula, you see, was a wrestler. A leopard skin, head and all, was his thing, and when TV started relaying the “sport” into the nation’s parlours, they all needed a thing.
Black wrestlers like Masambula were rare. Johnny Kincaid had to pretend to come from Barbados, “one of the Caribbean sunshine boys”, but in truth he had never left Battersea. If you didn’t have a thing, you died, so if your old man was a steel-worker, you kidded on he was a Mountie. Mick McManus got his “Not the ears!” catchphrase and Adrian Street borrowed a look from glam-rock ponces Sweet, to the horror of the coal mine where he used to work. All very touching.
Before Ab Fab and national treasurehood, Joanna Lumley was in some pretty ropey things and before that she was a mildly exploited swingin’ London model. Her directorial debut in the Little Crackers series looked back at that period but what charm it possessed was spoiled by the unnecessary behind-the-scenes report which followed, adding nothing but gush. «