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Emotion, gender and genre: Investigating The Killing

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Traditionally, Scandinavian TV crime fiction has been regarded as a public arena for critical exhibition of and debate about salient features in contemporary social development. As a point of departure, the development of TV crime fiction in Sweden and Denmark is delineated. To explain the continuing, acknowledged impact of this socially engaged crime fiction, both domestically and abroad, it is necessary to involve the notions of emotion and gender in combination with the mixing of genres, as especially the thriller and the melodrama have invaded the police procedural during the last decade. These assumptions are displayed in an analysis of the Danish series The Killing, showing that it exhibits prevailing features of common public interest, representing a reversal of masculine and feminine stereotypes and the invalidation of family life in the process. The genre mix and the style are essential ingredients in conveying this to the viewer in a way that both provokes debate and is emotively impressive.
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Keywords: Swedish and Danish TV crime fiction; The Killing; best-seller; blockbuster; emotion; gender and genre

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Aalborg University

Publication date: July 28, 2011

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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