Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Television Review: The Following (FOX)

Murders patterning their killings off famous other murders, or writers who covered the topic seem to be a popular theme in television and movies nowadays. With the movie The Raven, following Edgar Allan Poe as he tries to stop a madman from imitating the killings from his writings to the detectives in Ripper Street solving crimes that closely follow the patter of Jack the Ripper. Now with The Following, you have Ryan Hardy, tracking crimes that build of Edgar Allan Poe's writings.

Ryan Hardy thought he was able to put one case to rest, until the serial killer he put away almost 2 years ago escapes prison leaving a scene of awful murders in his path. He's on the run to fuel his followers into a new beginning crimes by attempting to kill the last person, Sarah Fuller. Hardy has something bigger than just stopping Joe Carroll this time though, because the amount of followers he has are huger than they could have imagined. Everyone from neighbors, to policemen are capable of turning, so it's up to Hardy to navigate to bring down the string of crimes.

Crimes shows are getting creative as there a ton of them, and all of them need something a little bit new to keep them going. In the hopes of giving the audience something new shows are beginning to let the crimes run the length of the series instead of solving them up neatly in one show. The Following is about one man and the people willing to carry out his murders, but with each episode you have someone who is caught through individual crimes, while continuing to build the circle of people involved. This gives the show more room than say a show like Deception, where the lady supposedly won't solve the one murder we got caught with until the end of the series. It seems like Pretty Little Liars can be credited for this popular wave of show, which honestly is losing steam at this point.

The Following does catch you though, and has plenty of moments that make you jump.  Kevin Bacon does a good job as Ryan Hardy even though he plays the typical mysterious, guy, sort of made cynical by his years seeing the brutality he has. The villain is also interesting, but a little too typical too. He's very theatrical, and creepy. The show is really dark though, and it's definitely not something you would want to watch late at night. No one cracks a laugh, and it takes it's brutal graphic abilities to the highest it can in an hour show on network television. It leaves you a tad unsettled after viewing.

The Following is one of the stronger shows of the winter lineup, but still not anything too unique. It has some strong acting that is trying to work with some very stereotypical characters. There is potential that if you pick up this show it will be on air for some time. There is something about it that feels it will stick around. For some though it will be took dark, and if the show is anything like the first one except there to be very tough scenes to watch, and not a lot of smiles from any of the actors, unless you're the bad guy.

Rating 4 of 5.

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