Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bill Simmons on The Killing - Grantland

I've become a huge fan of AMC because of Mad Men and I've recently started watching Breaking Bad, which turns out to be an incredible show. With that in mind, I started watching The Killing, under the logic that if AMC was promoting it so much, it must be good. AMC's brand halo carried a lot of weight with me.

However, The Killing was really slow and never got anywhere so I lost interest. I planned on tuning into the finale to see "who killed Rosie Larsen?" though, but before I could watch it, spoilers hit Twitter about how terrible the ending was. It turns out the show didn't answer the one question that everyone cared about - who was the murder.

It's been interesting to watch the reaction on the Internet the last couple of days. It seems that with this decision, AMC squandered all the goodwill they built up. It's going to be really hard to get me to watch another new AMC show right away. The reviews will have to be tremendous. Bill Simmons had a good take on it below. It's interesting that in this day and age, with Facebook and Twitter, a brand is more vulnerable than ever.

Bill Simmons on The Killing - Grantland:

"Fourth and most important, I can't remember a single show damaging a network's brand this severely, to the point that AMC either needs to apologize, offer the entire Breaking Bad series on DVD for 85 percent off, or even publicly distance itself from the show the same way a sports team distances itself from a star player who does something horrible. That's how bad this was. AMC had won our trust over the past few years; because of that trust, we endured The Killing because we trusted AMC enough that we assumed they wouldn't screw us. It's unfathomable that none of the people running such a seemingly intelligent network said, 'We better leak to Tim Goodman or Alan Sepinwall that they're not wrapping things up in one season, we don't want people to be pissed off.' Nope. The ratings mattered more than the viewers.

And yeah, that's happened before in television … but not like this. The Killing turned out to be aptly named: AMC just killed any 'most creative network' momentum it had. People will not forget what happened. I know I won't. And in case you were wondering, hell will freeze over before I watch Season 2."