Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Green River Killer - in 4 hours

Miniseries: The Capture of the Green River Killer, Lifetime Network. 9:00

Anyone watching this?

Ok, I understand that it's on Lifetime, and the 4 readers of this site don't stumble onto Lifetime very often other than to ogle reruns of The Nanny. I also understand that, the current generation of television watchers can hardly handle 3 minutes blurbs, so a 4-hour miniseries is really going to be met with disdain. But still, it's an interesting subject (serial killer) and it has a fairly well known actor (that guy from Ed. Alright, so he won't be challenging Clooney anytime soon).

Anyway, I did happen across it last night. At first, I thought it was something old, just being replayed on Lifetime. But once I saw it was made this year, my interest was piqued. Now, the Green River Killer taunted police for years (apparently 20 or so) and killed prostitutes up in Washington state. The miniseries decided to split the story between the detective on the case, and a troubled female youth, who I am guessing met up with the killer (only part 1 has been shown, but there was ominous foreshadowing last night, so I think my prediction is safe).

As far as miniseries go, it's decent, though I really wish they would have dropped the troubled youth storyline. It's not adding much to the original story. I understand I'm not in Lifetime's demographic necessarily, but they're the ones running serial killer miniseries, not me. By using this storyline, they really short change the whole investigation aspect, moving the story along sometimes years at a time. By not choosing a consistent voice, they've lost an opportunity to make something really good. As it is, we're left to guess why the FBI and the lead investigator are at odds, and why the police didn't have much to go on.

Another nitpick, when they go to meet Bundy in prison (really, you have to watch the movie, but it happened in real life) the guy playing Bundy was just terrible. No charisma, not very well acted and just silly. I was hoping for a Harmon reprise, but the producers either weren't smart enough to go that route, or didn't have enough money.

Now, I've only seen part one, and let's be honest, I was flipping back and forth between the Phillies game and World Poker Tour, so it didn't have my undivided attention. But I don't blame myself (I rarely do), I blame how they put it together. So, let's get it out of the way - this is no Deliberate Stranger. While that's probably the high water mark of serial killer miniseries, this one doesn't come close. And it's a shame.

Of course, I've only seen the first part, so if the second part is fantastic, I'll issue my mea culpa tomorrow.

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