[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the series premiere of "The Following" - you've been warned.]
Monday night's premiere of "The Following" finally arrived after months of hype. Kevin Bacon, in his first TV series since "Guiding Light," stars as FBI agent Ryan Hardy, a man who knows serial killer Joe Carroll better than anyone else.
So how was the first episode? Well, it was certainly a learning experience. For example, we learned:
1. You can get away with a lot of gore on Fox
Just a few minutes into the episode, we see the grisly sight of multiple dead prison guards, which first puts Hardy on the trail of Carroll.
In an ode to Edgar Allen Poe, college professor Carroll gouges out the eyes of his (usually female) victims, so we saw many, many eyeless victims throughout the episode, including a woman who was brainwashed to publicly strip down and gouge her own eyes out. Lovely.
Fox hasn't played coy about their hope that this will be their series to challenge the HBOs, FXs, AMCs and Showtimes out there, so they're definitely pushing the limits of broadcast TV here.
2. "Homeland's" Carrie Mathison has company
If you're hungry for more investigators who are always right but probably crazy, Hardy will satisfy your craving.
It's clear that Hardy is constantly on the verge of a breakdown while on the trail of Carroll. This leads him to be dismissed on a regular basis by his colleagues. Carrie Mathison, anyone?
3. "Lost's" Maggie Grace won't exactly be a regular cast member
Williamson scored a coup getting Grace (also known for the "Taken" movies) to star as a girl Hardy saved in Carroll's initial rampage.
But by the end of the episode, it was clear she was like "Scream's" Drew Barrymore, a familiar face who was there as cannon fodder. Carroll killed her in horrific fashion, her eyeless corpse hanging upside down right in front of Hardy.
Hardy captured Carroll, but it didn't matter as Carroll has a seemingly-unlimited army of followers to do his bidding, including his son's babysitter, who kidnapped the boy away from Carroll's ex-wife.
4. Creator Kevin Williamson is still a fan of the "look-out-there's-someone-behind-you" fake-out
The best example of this was Sarah - whom Hardy saved from Carroll nearly a decade ago - coming upon her roommate, who collapsed to reveal Carroll had stabbed her in the back.
Immediately following Sarah's flashback to that moment, she was surprised by an officer who snuck up behind her. This kind of thing happened a lot in the episode, like when a dying dog snapped at Hardy.
If there's any doubt that this show was based on an abandoned Williamson ("Dawson's Creek," "Vampire Diaries") script for "Scream 3," "jump scenes" like this will convince you.
5. Serial killers are about to have a big TV moment
It's not just "Homeland," but that other big Showtime hit, "Dexter," which seems to be the grandaddy of another TV trend.
NBC's "Hannibal," likely to premiere in the summer, is based on the original charismatic psycho, "Silence of the Lambs'" Hannibal Lecter.
Unlike Dexter Morgan, neither Hannibal nor Carroll mean well by any stretch of the imagination. But Carroll is very much the star of this show, in some ways more so than Hardy.
So the question is, will audiences tune in to a show with material this dark and violent week after week on Fox?
On the one hand, dead bodies are paraded constantly on programs like "CSI," "NCIS," "Bones" and "Criminal Minds." The real question may be if the cat-and-mouse game between Hardy and Carroll is enough to sustain a series long term.
I'll check out the next few episodes and see where it goes, but I am somewhat skeptical if it can keep people's interest.
What do you think? Share your thoughts on video or post a comment.
I'm currently watching episode 12 of the series and I must say that I've never seen a tv series that so completely fails to comply to human intellect. The FBI are portrayed as complete fools, falling for even the stupidiest tricks in the book and acting as amateurs everytime they have a chance at getting ahead. Instad of being out in numbers they, every single time, decide to go into action in 2's and 3's making themselves extremely easy targets to "the bad guys".
I have to ask myself why I have continued to watch the series, but I guess I have continued to hope for a change of plot that will show just a slight bit of reality.. This seems to be still in the running...
Can you say "jumped the shark"? An alcoholic ex-FBI agent who hasn’t been on the shooting range in 8 years kills five, armed ex-military ‘followers’, while his partner the seasoned FBI agent yells “Stop!” Stop?! Where was she when the shooting started, certainly not taking a backup position for her partner, disabling the get away vehicle, taking a position to confront the skels and prevent their escape, or calling in backup. When does the FBI go in after an armed group holding an FBI agent hostage without a full swat backup in reserve? Fonzy water-skiing is more probable.
no..and risk not seeing boo everyday...no way
This is just too much gore for me! It makes the FBI inept as the Security Guard choked on his dressing and they didn't really check out David for hidden stuff! Last night FBI finds SUV, why not slash the tires for they can't get away or pull the plugs!
So many flaws in the writing like they could not track the helicopter! Hey guys it's the 21st Century and satellites are all around us today!
careful of screwed up wiring too...that's more serious then blogging punkin
she doesn't wire well does she...
I am puzzled by the second episode where Ryan Hardy is snooping around in Emma's house and the the mask man (Rick) appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. Where the hell was he hiding all the time? How on earth did he creep up on Hardy without him even knowing it? Hardy just reaches down to pick up a book and poof, like magic, we see masked man's reflection in the mirror. What gives?
What in the world are any of you people thinking. Show is not gory it is violent but doesn't go too far into blood and guts. I was excited to see what this show was about. But am sadly dissapointed. So apparently it is beliavable to think FBI agents are morons, cause I think not, and the sheer idea that a serial killer would be dictating when and how he would be treated in prison much less a warden okaying his transfer between states. Not my favorite show but my husband likes to watch in the hopes it will get better. But I think not. The writer needs to make it more believable.
kevin bacon did a poor job in this movie and really needs to do better monitoring of his cast.
its not good for future financial projects....
Loved the show. Can't wait for next Monday. Have always loved Kevin Bacon. So much better than those mindless reality shows that are staged to begin with. We really don't need more adults showing our young people how to be rude and obnoxious and in housewives of wherever. Feel better for venting.
the connection wins....
The morons who created The Following are basically plagiarizing Red John in the Mentalist(Who by the way has never been in jail!),and Hannibal Lecter.Red John has successfully manipulated a lot of people,but manages to stay out of jail,unlike the cretin the The Following!
he can come ":visit" whenever he wants..i just wish he wasn't mad.
Mr. Bacon looks great in his photo...he's in his 50's....lookin hot my dear!!!!
Great pilot, however I dont think this storyline has alot of legs. The gore didnt bother me as much as the predictability did. Too many ads giving away the plot. I hope the writers can stretch this premise, Criminal Minds seems to have found the right formula.
CUSTOMER DRAWER LADIES AND GENTLEMEN....
YOU CAN GO AWAY NOW....HAHAHAHAHA
he needs to make my delivery –
I love Kevin Bacon and I WANT to like the show...and I'm old enough to remember him on the Guiding Light. I'll be giving him another week or two but I will probably have to give it up if they don't leave some of the gore to the imagination of the viewers. There was too much!
Love, love, love Kevin Bacon. Will watch anything he's in. Loved him in Mystic River and loved him in this show. Hope it continues....
he's my favorite actor.
Five things I learned. 1) Kevin Bacon is way too thin. 2)Kevin Bacon has great hair. 3) Kevin Bacon has no age lines on his face, shouldn't he have some? 4)Kevin Bacon did not play the full frontal nudity he is recognized for in so many of his films. 5) Kevin Bacon's career has never gone into the toilet, he has taken dark rolls, serious rolls, playful fun rolls and always had a following. Even as his wife enjoyed a resurgence of her career we always knew he was there in the studio in the wings waiting for when she was choosing to end her series, he would return to work again.
I found it to be great and cannot wait until next Monday! Mark Anthony did a great job as a serial killer!
It is my hope this TV show is ditched early. While I like Kevin Bacon, this show should not be shown in prime time, it is too violet, and the torturing of animals was completely unforgiveable EVER on TV.
Too violet? There's no such thing. I love the color purple.
A show about serial killers is "violet"? Really? It's kind of a violeNt subject...
letting the blogger customers know my cd skipped in the car...hahahaha.
That’s an interesting way to look at the first episode, Harry, but I totally agree with you on the coming year of Serial Killer TV. Everyone was talking about The Following when I got to my office at DISH today. I didn’t want to be left out, so I logged on to DISHOnline.com. The newest episodes from FOX are posted there the day after they air; I watched the premier at lunch, and came back with everything I needed to contribute around the water cooler.
and still so popular....yes yes yes.....win
DON'T PLAY THE R0CK STAR OLD LADY....HURTS BUT I N THE END...FACIAL PLEASE....THANK YOU.
've checked out some other reviews, and besides the refreshing honesty of this one (though I can't comment on the Poe accuracy) the most common descriptions I found were "intense" and "a rival for cable's best." Uh, what? If they mean intense as in gruesome, right. It's certainly got the gore. But a rival for premium channel offerings? I don't think so. Homeland, Dexter, Girls, Game of Thrones, House of Lies, Californication, even Damages – these are shows with complexity and depth, raucous at times and truly intense, full of terrific characterization. It's what I expected from The Following and didn't get. Instead of actual suspense and fear, we get the ubiquitous wobbly flashlights down creepy hallways and formulaic blood-dripped walls. Cops are killed like ants, as though they all forgot their firearms at home. And don't get me started on the characters! Purfoy tries so hard to convey the suave, evil dude you can't take him seriously. He conveys none of that eerie, fetishistic stillness of a remorseless monster; and Bacon, while he does give it his all, like the professional he is, must have needed the cash. How many times have we seen his retired, semi-alcoholic, obsessed serial-killer catching cop character? So banal. Last but not least, that animal torture scene was in poor taste, not to mention that most experts agree that unless caught in the act, serial killers never leave evidence like that just lying around. No one in the show said another word about the poor dog eviscerated on the table, or called in forensics or even the SPCA. Not only was it gratuitously cruel – as most of the show – but so unrealistic. In sum, an over-hyped disappointment.
We can only hope it'll catch its breath and mature as the season progresses, but with the writer of "Scream" at its helm, who's hardly known for his subtlety, I doubt it.
I AM STILL FREEKN MADONNA...
Spring was never waiting for us, girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
Between the parted pages
And were pressed in love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants
MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again, oh no
I recall the yellow cotton dress
Foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees
The birds like tender babies in your hands
And the old men playing checkers, by the trees
There will be another song for me
For I will sing it
There will be another dream for me
Someone will bring it
I will drink the wine while it is warm
And never let you catch me looking at the sun
And after all the loves of my life
After all the loves of my life, you'll still be the one
I will take my life into my hands and I will use it
I will win the worship in their eyes and I will lose it
I will have the things that I desire
And my passion flow like rivers through the sky
Oh, after all the loves of my life
I'll be thinking of you and wondering why
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh no, oh no, no, no, oh no
Read more: RICHARD HARRIS – MACARTHUR PARK LYRICS
anybody interested this weekend
You should work in a spa. Lol
I was on the edge of my seat watching the "Following". The show had me jumping several times and that is hard to do. I think this is going to be a popular show and will have a future if they give it time to stick. The acting was great and so is the writing. It is not far from reality when you think about the "Manson Family Cult" which were nothing more than trained killers at the beacon call of on person!
is a huge price....especially if they have done nothing,....
Husband and I jumped at least 3 times together. Some of the gore pushed it, but some great acting and it's just the pilot. I suspect as the show develops there is going to be an FBI member in the cult. Kevin Bacon is hotter now then when he was on Guiding Light. Finally, something to watch on Monday night.
then buh bye
Yeah, you may just be right about one being in the FBI. That kinda reminded me of one of James Patterson's book with Alex Cross. Alex's FBI friend was a serial killer himself.
kyra needs too act like a lady...like kevin's other girlfriends are...
it would be huge "gamble" WALTZ UP ON YOUR STUFF TOO.....
Kevin Bacon gives me goosebumps not the kudies..i actually want to shake this man's hand
It was a p oooooopy shoe
I thought the show went quick and held my interest...guy who played serial killer was awesome and I believe there will be enough to keep views captivated. DEXTER with his sister and all the family background keep me interested and I have Never been uninterested to see what happens next...great cliffhangers...thought this serial killer was caught too quick and too much gore for regular TV...however Kevin bacon was great choice as agent who first caught him and I think he can carry 15 more episodes....as we delve deeper into the background.
now looking for my other phones, computers and other accounts–ain't happening,....
make sure mumzy has waltz up
Kevin Bacon is such guy's guy...the marriage to kyra is superb...
its bad to do things too madonna.....i will bring NCIS screenshots
OH MY GOD I LEARNED HOW TO SWALLOW THREE TURDDS
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