TV Review: Should Your DVR Follow "The Following"?

TV Review: Should Your DVR Follow "The Following"?


Airs: Mondays at 9/8c on FOX

Stars: Kevin Bacon, Natalie Zea, Shawn Ashmore, James Purefoy

Premise: A brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic serial killer communicates with other active serial killers and activates a cult of believers following his every command.

The Good: The pilot makes for a dark, intense and action-packed hour.  The plot zips along, jumping back and forth in time, and it feels like they pack an entire movie into one hour.  Bacon is a welcome small-screen presence, even if he's playing the typically flawed hero character.  There are a few effective jump scares, one involving a dead dog coming back to life that reminded me of Sloth in Seven (which I'm pretty sure was the intent).  Creator Kevin Williamson (Scream) plays with audience expectations and takes the story in directions that you don't see coming.  The final moments leave you hanging, wanting to see more.

The Bad: I'm not sure how believable the whole "cult of believers" storyline is; it seems to exist so that Bacon and Purefoy can square off against each other, while the feds get to chase down different killers each week.  Purefoy is good as the serial killer, Joe Carroll, but I don't buy that he's that charismatic where someone would stab themselves in the eye just because he commands them to in a text.  Carroll's fascination with Edgar Allan Poe is too reminiscent of the John Cusack flop, The Raven.

Should You Watch It?:  Yes, if you can handle the bloodshed.  The cast is strong, and the concept, if a bit unbelievable at times, is strongly executed.  Worth at least two more weeks of viewing to see where it goes from here.

Grade: B

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