Aired on: FOX
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The previews of The Following were very intriguing to me. I was surprised that Kevin Bacon had signed on to do a television series and that made this upcoming series even more intriguing. Sure, his wife had done well with a crime drama – Kyra Sedgwick had great success with The Closer. But that didn’t automatically mean that her husband’s series would be well accepted. Well, the only way I was going to find out was if I watched and so I found myself seated in front of the television watching the premiere episode of The Following on FOX, January 21, 2013 at 9pm EST.
The series begins on a gory action note right away as we witness serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purfoy) escapes from prison. The man who captured him and brought him to justice, former FBI Agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), is brought in to help find him once again. Unfortunately, Hardy comes with a great deal of baggage. In saving Carroll’s last victim, Hardy himself was nearly fatally injured…a career ending injury. Never mind the mental and emotional anguish caused in tracking the murderer down and all that ensued afterwards, leading to a life of mental suffering assuaged with an alcoholic beverage or three or a bottle.
But despite the hell the original case put him through, Hardy is devoted to recapturing this killer, because he knows that Carroll isn’t done. His last victim survived and Hardy believes that Carroll will want to finish what he started. But this time around, there is a twist. Apparently Carroll had internet access while in prison, building up a following of disciples willing to do anything to earn his praise. This time around, Hardy doesn’t have to just track down one serial killer, but a whole following of killers.
The first episode of The Following was an intense roller coaster ride that felt more like I was watching a movie than a television show. The drama was intense and emotions run high, but be forewarned, this is one of those graphic series and if you are squeamish, you definitely won’t want to watch. Also be forewarned, the intensity of this series will have you jumping at every noise and bump in the night.
If the rest of the series is as an intense, dramatic and well-written as the premiered episode, The Following is going to be a breakout Kevin Bacon hit. He is excellent as the distraught, yet determined Ryan Hardy. James Purfoy is despicably diabolical as the serial killer Joe Carroll. I can’t wait to see what this series has yet to bring to the table. I will definitely be seated in front of the television next Monday at 9pm to check out the next episode of The Following.