Pilot Review: Those Who Kill


Hearing that Chloe Sevigny was attached to a dark and broody serial killer drama for A&E had me excited.  Her somewhat quirky resume (Boys Who Cry, Hit & Miss) calls for some integument when it comes to a new project and with Sevigny at the helm of a new cop drama, It was a shoe in that I would be wanting to watch.

I’m just annoyed that the final result of ‘Those Who Kill‘ isn’t as good as it looks on paper.

All the right elements are there – It’s written by Glen Morgan (The X-Files) and stars Chloe Sevigny as a sullen eyed and desperately tough Detective Catherine Jensen who, in her spare time, is looking for clues into the strange disappearance of her brother along with James D’Arcy as Thomas Schaeffer, a brilliant academic/forensic psychologist.  Plus It’s also shot in Pittsburgh among all it’s crumbled and industrial drab surroundings – all the usual things one expects in a bleak serial killer drama but Those Who Kill somehow manages to miss the mark of making itself stand out from the crowd of the Criminal Minds/CSI/Hannibal clones that are populating late night television.

The first problem in Those Who Kill that hit me is how clean and light everything is.  I was expecting gritty and grungy textures or perhaps, a hard-light filter to keep in tone with the characters, locations and the show, but instead, we’re given a stark contrast to expectations.  It is quite off-putting.

The Second problem – sorry to say, is James D’Arcy.  He is just not believable as a criminology professor with the demented ability to see more in a crime scene than your everyday detective and the fact that this type of character has been done before (and done very well), just only enforces just how wrong D’Arcy is for the role.

In the pilot episode, almost every aspect of the investigation into this first case we’re presented with is ludicrous if given more than a passing thought, including what could only be considered to be the worst apprehending of a suspect in the history of cop shows to how Thomas Schaeffer is able to connect some songs on an iPod, a box of clothes for goodwill and a mirror covered in positive words to reasoning’s behind the killers motives.

However, not all is lost.  Those Who Kill does have an interesting look and when the show moves aside from the norm, there are some perfectly creepy visuals and a few jump-out-of-your-chair surprises.  

Chloe Sevigny creates a damaged and dark intensity to her Catherine Jensen (wine, leather jacket and cigarettes included) that makes her seem interesting enough to want to know more and there’s a promise of a season long thread littered through the 10 episode run.

But, is a few scary moments, a tough as nails female cop and a backstory only peeked into, enough to warrant continued viewing? If you love your run-of-the-mill police procedurals, then this is for you.  It will fit nicely into your CSI, Bones and Criminal Minds collection but if you’re into something that’s a little more in-depth, a little more erratic and somewhat more interesting, then I’d suggest giving this a pass.

Check out the preview of Those Who Kill below

Those Who Kill airs Monday nights 10/9c on A&E in America

Those Who Kill premier’s Tuesday April 15th on SoHo in Australia.


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