Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Netflixing & Beyond ~ The Killing & Joel Kinnaman

The Killing, a four season TV series adapted from a Danish series, began in 2011 in the USA, on AMC channel, with a 4th season produced by Netflix. This series has been our staple diet for the past couple of weeks, becoming more addictive by the episode. I'd been wary of watching yet another police detective series, we'd overdosed on 'em already this year. I'm very glad now that we did venture in to it, and were hooked. Plaudits have to go to writers as well as actors, naturally - but without talented actors even the best scripts will sink without trace in audience memory.

There are just one or two familiar faces involved, in secondary or minor roles, the two leading actors, Mireille Enos (Detective Sarah Linden) and Joel Kinnaman (Detective Steven Holder), were completely unknown to us. After a slow start, the pair have impressed us more and more with each episode. In fact, I'm convinced Joel Kinnaman in particular will, before long, become a superstar- Initially on the big screen, but I hope he'll return to TV in another series.

After The Killing, Kinnaman played the leading role in a re-make of Robocop, and has another big screen role coming up later this month, as Liam Neeson's son in Run All Night. We watched the Robocop re-make last week. Kinnaman was good in the role, but it doesn't offer the same kind of scope as The Killing. To be honest, Kinnaman is much too good for the Robocop part, but it has made his name familiar to millions more people.

Rather than rattling on about themes of The Killing, and spoiling someone else's enjoyment of it in the future, I'm going to say simply that its one of the best, top of my list in fact, among shows in the same police detective genre. We've watched, via Netflix, this year Broadchurch, The Fall, Top of the Lake, and Luther, I found The Killing more constantly engaging than any of those. Husband thought it well-acted, well-scripted, but a tad depressing. Ah well...he's a big Blazing Saddles-type fan, so he would, wouldn't he?

I'll concentrate here on Joel Kinneman. As episodes progressed I became intrigued by the character he plays, and plays so well: quirky, flawed, street-wise police detective, Steven Holder. He plays well against his less quirky but equally flawed female detective partner, Sarah Linden. There's that kind of love/hate chemistry and loyalty between them that audiences brought up on shows such as Moonlighting and Law and Order SVU (me) revel in. We'd watched seasons 1 to 3 before I looked for the actor's history in detail, plus his date of birth. He's Swedish born, with dual citizenship Sweden/USA - mother Swedish, descended from Ukrainian Jewish immigrants to Sweden; his father American born.

In a video interview (see below) Kinnaman mentions that he spent a year in high school in Texas as an exchange student. He says that the accent, general style and demeanor he adopted as Steven Holder is largely based on the voices and attitudes of his friends there. He said that the school was quite segregated - redneck types and black & hispanic minorities. He found friendship more easily with the latter two groups, enjoyed their attitudes and quips, drew on his memories of these when playing Holder. It works so well!

The video interview is a must watch for fans of The Killing and for fans of Joel Kinnaman.

There's also a shorter video interview with Jon Stewart - this one about the Robocop role.

Kinnaman comes over as being quite non-starry, down to earth, even a little shy at times, a world away from Steven Holder.

Why was I finding Joel Kinnaman's acting so engaging? I even dreamed about him (as Steven Holder) one night! Cut to the chase: I'd noticed his date of birth was 25 November 1979. In deciding to prepare this post I used my software to calculate a 12 noon natal chart for him - bingo! Moon in Aquarius (whatever time of day/night he was born). My Aqua-astro-anntenna was at it again! On looks and build alone, I'd have guessed on some strong Gemini emphasis - but unless he has Gemini rising I'd be wrong. I'll not post his natal chart - that would seem overly intrusive. I'll say just that he has Uranus conjunct Mercury in Scorpio, Sun, with Neptune conjunct Venus in Sagittarius, Moon in mid-Aquarius (at noon) and three personal planets in Virgo.

I'll be watching Joel Kinnaman's ascent with interest. He has, already, entered what I call my ABBO (always be a bit of) Hall of Fame, along with Bryan Cranston (there's always be a bit of Walter White in Bryan Cranston); Damien Lewis (there'll always be a bit of Brody and Major Winters in Damien Lewis). In Joel Kinnaman, there'll always be a bit of Steven Holder!


mike said...

I saw this fellow on Jimmy Kimmel over a year ago...he's essentially an unknown to me, as I've not seen any of his movies or TV programs. I don't tend to like the genres he is typically cast. Looking at his bio in Wiki reveals that he's performed in quite a number of productions. I noticed his father absconded his duty from the Vietnam war...hooray for him! Interesting parents.

He has natal Sun sq Mars & Jupiter (Sag-Virgo), so Saturn will be affecting this aspect through 2015. He also has natal Venus & Neptune sq Saturn (Sag-Virgo), which will be hit by transiting Saturn in 2016-2017. If he should by chance read this comment, I advise him to see a competent astrologer...LOL.

You and anyjazz are getting your money's-worth from Netflix! I'm waiting for HBO's independent streaming to arrive next month and I hope it's affordable. Netflix offers a lot for the $8.99/mo I pay, but most is for mainstream USA, which I'm not. There are many movies that I'd like to view, but virtually every one I want isn't available on Netflix. They don't have a good inventory of independent films or older films...the newer releases are only available for an extra $7,99/mo on DVD. Amazon charges per film and Hulu shows commercials, so can't have everything! I would pay more, if I could get a wide selection, no commercials, price-per-month movies included. I'm hoping HBO does just that.

Twilight said...

mike ~ You probably saw him on Jimmy Kimmel's show at the time he'd be doing the publicity rounds for "Robocop". I hope he'll not become stuck in the "slam-bang" genre of movie so popular currently.
"The Killing", though a police-centred show was certainly not of the slam-bang variety.

Any Saturn aspects coming up for him could simply relate to the extra work and demands coming his way. Saturn needn't be scary - demanding perhaps, and he'd likely relish that (via his workaholic Virgo planets ).

We certainly are getting our money's worth, yes! Enjoying Netflix a lot.
Not all of it is to our taste, but everything is worth a quick look-see. Some movies require extra $2.99 (or more) to watch -we haven't had to resort to the extras yet. These films will all become accessible without extra payment in time, I guess.

At some point we might consider adding/changing to Amazon Prime; will watch what happens regarding the HBO thing.

We're dipping into that old TV series "Quantum Leap" currently - I always enjoyed it, back in the UK many years ago. It still comes up quite fresh, and fun while making some always-valid points.

LB said...

Thanks Twilight, for another mini series to add to our list.:) Not sure I can handle anything *too* dark, but we'll see. My tastes have changed a bit.

mike (again) said...

I just looked at HBO's site for an update. They are now taking email addresses for potential subscribers:

"With HBO NOW℠, the new streaming service from
HBO®, get instant access to every episode of every
season of the best of HBO's award-winning original
programming and exclusive Hollywood hit movies —
plus documentaries, comedy specials, sports and
more — for only $14.99/month."

I'll subscribe, if that's an all-inclusive price.

Twilight said...

LB ~ It's dark in places, for sure. Some people seem to prefer the first two seasons which deal with the same case. I enjoyed those as an introduction to the characters, but for me the show and characters really found their feet and took off in 3rd and 4th seasons.

I remember you liked "Top of the Lake", so you might like this too. Worth a try!

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Thanks for the link.
Will keep that in mind for the future. We've subscribed to HBO TV for years, so will have seen many of their specials and some of their original progs. already. Still, it could be worth considering later on.

anyjazz said...

Kinnaman is a fine actor. I particularly liked how he could slip into the street slang and cadence. And you are right the series was well written and photographed. And yes, it was all very dark; there were only TWO laughs in the entire series. Not enough.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ He's one whose progress will be good to watch for sure. Hope he's given the chance, at some point, to show a lighter side too. Damien Lewis has, Bryan Cranston has, & JK's of the same ilk, I think.