Debate of the Day: The Following


I’m always wary of tuning into new shows, even if they seem promising at first. There’s nothing more I hate than either A) getting into a show, liking it, and then watching it be cancelled due to low ratings or B) getting into a show, liking it, and then having it slowly turn to shit.

But despite all that, my curiosity was too great to not give The Following a watch on Fox. Kevin Bacon hunting serial killers? Count me in.

So, how did it go? I rather liked it, actually. It’s got a great cast and Bacon making the move to television from film brings a gravitas that most other shows lack. The writing needs a bit of polish as they say lines like “you don’t play well with others,” with a straight face, but it’s got real potential.

James Purefoy is a malicious serial killer, Joe Carroll, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe who escapes from prison after he’s assembled a cult-like following of devotees. Past mere fanboys and girls, these people kidnap kids, kill cops and commit public suicide on his orders. By the end of the pilot, Carroll is recaptured, but it’s clear his master plan is just starting unfold.

It was a very solid pilot, and one that (spoilers) unexpectedly kills off Maggie Grace’s surviving victim Sarah by the end when you might assume she’ll be a major character. Though it should have been a hint she didn’t appear in any of the cast promotional material. I guess she had to go and get ready to be kidnapped and saved by Liam Neeson again.

Did you watch The Following? What did you think of it?

  • Bacon makes everything better.

  • Ben

    I enjoyed it.

  • Korky

    It was rather meh for me. One new show that I thought was more interesting was “Borealis” that’s about a bar owner/customs official on the north pole (kind of) in the year 2045.

  • Caleb K

    I liked it too. Found the Poe references a bit heavy handed though. Purefoy does arrogant and evil so well.

  • Loved it! As an avid reader of Edgar Allan Poe’s works and psychological thrillers, this was a treat for me. I liked that they included the sound of a beating heart in the background since Tell Tale Heart was my favorite of all his works.

  • Warren

    I was annoyed by just about every second of this show. While the overall plot is serviceable there were so many little moments that just stretched my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.

    Things like (Spoilers Galore From Here) him killing six armed prison guards in a confined space in under two minutes. Him wearing no more of a disguise than a guard’s uniform and being able to walk right out the door of a high security facility. The neighbors, who had seemingly only taken a correspondence course in serial killing, being able to stealth kill to armed police officers and kidnap a woman without making a sound. Them then carrying both her and one of the dead police officers all the way to their garage, again without making a sound. Sitting the dead cop in a chair, writing Nevermore in Blood on the wall and then somehow leaving the garage in their car without any of the 90 or so police officers seeing either the body or the message written in blood on the wall. The killer on death row being allowed to go to the Law Library once a week where he is left alone in a room with a computer. Not to mention the fact that he has seemingly won over almost all of these killer companions by simply chatting with them online. It just doesn’t make sense.

    I also don’t really understand the whole concept of someone being scheduled for execution next week and then breaking out and killing a bunch of people which, for some reason, counts as a stay of execution. It would also seem to me that the police and the FBI have no reasonable expectation to get any further information from him. They know he has several killers on the loose and a hostage in his own son but why would they play his game with him?

    I’m not going to give up on it after just one episode but if all of the killer’s ‘genius plots’ rely on everyone every being vastly incompetent and terrible at their jobs I won’t be able to make it very far with this show.

  • LEM

    I wanted it to be good but it wasn’t. It was so ham handed and riddled with cliches that I lost interest almost immediately. On top of all that it felt very rushed and takes liberties with what makes someone a killer; much like “Criminal Minds” another show I had to stop watching for this very reason.