The Following – almost lost

I’ve been a fan of the new Fox t.v. show The Following.  I’ve enjoyed the suspense that each episode has had and thought the use of flashbacks was very effective (quick peeks into what happened in the past but not disruptive to the storyline).   My enjoyment was put to the test with last nights episode “The Fall.”  The episode started out good, some banter between Ryan Hardy and three of his antagonists, but the last twenty minutes was almost insulting to viewers.  The Following isn’t the best show out there, a sort of weak plot line with some obvious turns, but the fast pace, suspense, twisted characters, and good acting by Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy allowed you to look past those items.   I’ve read complaints that the show is too dark – really? it’s about a serial killer who has found a way to torment his ex-wife and the man who put him prison, and you expect it to be all sunshine and happy? – and that the FBI is inept at their jobs.  My previous thought was of: if this was an actual portrayal of how a case goes in the FBI I don’t think there would be a need for Hardy as the protagonist and the show would be called a documentary airing on the Discovery channel or History or something along those lines.

With all good shows I think there is some element of obvious disbelief, that moment when you say “come on, how could that possibly have just happened” but if the show is good enough, you are able to overlook and ignore that moment (Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, insert name of any good t.v. show that you like). Last night I was not able to overlook that “come on…” moment.  Joe Carroll’s followers are everywhere and the writers appeared to have lost their minds with “The Fall”.  Joe’s people get into everything and inserting them into or having them overcome some elite tactical teams was ridiculous.  I know there has to be substantial followers out there for Joe Carroll’s plan to work out, but the last 20 minutes of “The Fall” was over the top.  When writers take a show too far, it sets the show up to fail.  I’m hoping that next weeks episode returns to the form of the first five episode – fast pace, suspense, gruesome but watchable.  If not, I’m afraid I’ll be forced to say “nevermore…”

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The Following – worth following?

Last night (1/21/13) Fox debut a new t.v. showed called The Following.  The show is about a former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) who is called back to work the case of the killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) he captured in 2003 and who has recently escaped.  The premise of the series is Joe Carroll has built a cult following of fellow serial killers who communicate and connect with each other to commit gruesome murders.  An interesting spin on the serial killer plot line.

I have to say that the first episode did a really good job of drawing me in and keeping the suspense going.  I was appalled at the ways the first victim met their end – which is a good thing to say when talking about a crime series.  Joe Carroll is a former teacher who is obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe and this obsession played out with the murders that put him into prison to begin with, as well as the murders that will happen after his escape.

As with all t.v. shows, there are few things that could be better – the female FBI agent seems like she’s trying too hard and the other FBI agent seems suspiciously suspect (maybe I’m just seeing a connection that’s not there).  Overall, I would say this was worthy first episode and look forward to seeing how the series plays out.  The Following has at least one follower so far.