Guardian blog forum on spiral April 3rd 2011


3 April 2011 9:25PM

Hi all, like some of you have come to Spiral straight after The Killing. Spiral, unfairly perhaps as it is a different genre really even tho it’s a ‘Cop Procedural’ has a very hard act to follow.

Only dipped into Spiral before, not sure what numbers, briefly and was put off by the goriness although entranced by the overall ‘chic’ of the sets: incredible lamps, ‘retro’ furnishings, the gorgeous buildings of the law offices and of course mostly everybody’s supreme good looks.

The only thing i remember that i enjoyed previously was the stand out line:

“yes, we have the best collection on Phalluses in the world”! quite obviously a one off line, i propose, in the history of cinema and i found, very funny too..:)

That too, was a gory case and i remember clearly that it was the Van Klint look alike white moustachioed one who was at some couple’s darkly lit farmhouse examining aforesaid collection on a their mantle piece!..

The thing i remember liking about it was the presence of older people in it with white hair and still
a) working b) in the thing to start with and c) not being patronised in any way for their age and utilising both their obvious intelligence and wealth of experience
oh and d) not being necessarily ‘quirky’ and or restricted to a back room somewhere..

My first thoughts on watching it last night was “it’s officially fantastic” and i loved the murky monochrome blue/grey light bathing all, evoking, i felt the 60’s or even the 50’s..I should declare perhaps a penchant for spoken French and once, very long time ago, fluency in Parisien French (and very happy memories of living and working there as a young nanny for a while whilst learning it-on the Boulevard St.Germain-can you believe?!)

For me, unlike @Peckham On Rye, French sounds fabulously ‘cool’, i love the sound of it and it doesn’t remind me of exams, thank goodness:) So being that anything they say sounds necessarily brilliant to me, cool, chic AND sexy i am somewhat prejudiced in favour of anything in French to start with!

I do agree with @Zozitufnel wholeheartedly and it’s great to hear somebody else say it as i feel exactly the same way: why does it always have to be the horrible abuse and torture of some young girl (is it me or are the victims getting younger and younger?) then murdered, then shown in horrible graphic detail. Oh and having been tortured and all the rest, held somewhere (usually a hideous/underground/basement/hospital set up even) for days and days?

Enough already i say, i did get to a point one night, having watched, like most of us as what else is there really on the box? umpteen how many dark and dastardly similar scenarios culminating in one episode of Criminal Minds where yet another woman was being tortured, horribly, whilst suspended from some underground cave’s roof in chains with the deranged one of the day shouting ‘B#+*#’! at her i realised that it’s always women and it is indeed some kind of “murder porn” as Zozitufnell quite rightly says.

I thought “this stuff is sick, i’m watching it, i’ve been ‘sold’ somehow into watching it for the ‘psychological interest’ supposedly, but there really isn’t much of that is there? it’s mainly the visuals..(consistently ‘flash backed’ or presented amongst the serious Profiling scenes..)

I decided to stop watching such stuff-BTW it’s never a man, is it? why is that? not that i’m wishing it on any fictional character:)
So i did gave The Killing a try since it hardly had any such full on relentlessly visual horror i still have that “uurrghh” reflex and agree that it’s harder to read subtitles when you’re hiding your eyes!:)

So i agree with @Highfidelity too, i could have done without such graphic scenes of the body too. I found myself wondering if they had really done that to a dead body or was it some really amazing specialised artist mock-up? I had recently read an article about such a guy who provides lifelike mannequins for films and training medical staff so hopefully, yes, a state of the art special effects illusion..

I would agree tho, that there is humour, whether intentional or unintentional in it..the line from the Pathologist as she robot-like intoned the details starting with:

“a very fine circular saw was used” was, darkly funny to was like the trump out of all autopsies!

The common storyline as @PeckamuponRye says:

the 2 women, tho missed the jumper connection?

the involvement of a nightclub, a paedophile etc is a good point but i would propose it to be so common now so becoming a cliche’ & therefore free from blame of copying from another series perhaps?

These same themes having been present in Special Victims Unit from the Law & Order series..also the pathologists could be said to be the same..worryingly, for me, the pathologist in CSI Miami would get all sympathetic &cuddle the bodies, which was a little darker than intended..
nb. cool jingly accordion intermittent background music:)

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