The Killing ended its first season last night and surprise! it did not wrap up anything and only created more questions. I really thought we would get some closure but I am impressed that people were left frustrated. This show has really polarized people and that’s really a good thing. One of the best things about The Killing is the female lead Detective Linden played by Mireille Enos. She is a different type of female lead. She’s not light and breezy like other cops like Brenda Lee Johnson on The Closer and she doesn’t have the smart retorts like Jane Rizzoli of Rizzoli and Isles. I don’t think she smiled once, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t wear any makeup. If anything, she reminds me of Kay Howard played by Melissa Leo in Homicide. She just kept her head down, tried to solve the case while trying to hold the rest of her life together.
The series was created and is led by showrunner Veena Sud who learned about procedurals from former Cold Case creator and showrunner Meredith Stiehm. Deadline spoke with Sud and asked some really good questions. Unlike the recent showrunner piece in the Hollywood Reporter which focused on no dramatic female showrunners, Deadline has decided that this show and this woman are worthy of some recognition.
DEADLINE: In Cold Case, your lead character also had a dark and lonely side.
SUD: To the credit of Meredith Stiehm, who created the show, she was always challenging us as writers to push the envelope. Especially on network, the character of Lilly Rush was very different from what we had seen before; she certainly didn’t show up in miniskirts, she dressed like a cop in a suit and pants.
DEADLINE: Are we past discussing the challenge of being a female showrunner on a police drama?
SUD: There are a lot of women who are running cop shows now, there’s Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue and myself, and there was Meredith on Cold Case. I don’t know if we’re past it: it’s always worth talking about in an industry that is still predominantly male. But I think that since there have been women who broke ground for all of us, ultimately it is the job. Can you do it or can you not? If you can, then you stay. If you can’t, then you go. Nobody’s in this job because anyone is trying to hit a quota.
DEADLINE: Is there a difference stylistically in the shows that are run by women?
SUD: The female leads are very human and very real and very flawed, yet are good cops. Maybe that’s the difference: women are interested in creating real female leads.
Should it be news to anyone that women are more interested in creating more realistic female leads? I like that there are women training other women and that these shows are successful and are watched by men and women.
EMMYS: ‘The Killing’s Veena Sud (Deadline)