My Take On…THE FOLLOWING Series Premiere on FOX
Tonight on FOX, Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy star in Kevin Williamson’s latest drama THE FOLLOWING, at 9/8c. Purefoy plays serial killer Joe Carroll, a charismatic Lit professor with a fixation on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Joe was convicted of killing women in increasingly violent ways, always being sure to cut out their eyes, “the windows to their souls,” in the process. The man responsible for finally stopping Carroll was FBI Agent Ryan Hardy (Bacon), now a former agent with a book that tells the story of putting Joe away. When Carroll finds his way out of prison, and the killing begins again (in a whole new set of ways), Hardy is brought back into the life he’s been trying to put behind him. What follows is a taut and exciting thrill-ride that explores “the following” (not a cult, according to Annie Parisse’s FBI lead) that this enigmatic man has been able to cultivate while rotting away in prison.
In the first episode, Joe sets out to finish what he started, and the intricate plans he and his followers have put into place continue to unravel over the course of the next three. Tense interactions between Ryan and Joe’s ex-wife Claire (Natalie Zea, who is incredible), plus Ryan and just about everyone he meets, really, make for edge of your seat kind of action. Shawn Ashmore is fantastic as Mike Weston, Ryan Hardy’s number one fanboy who happens to be an incredibly smart FBI agent with an interest in understanding how Ryan’s mind works. Their bond develops nicely by the end of ep 4, and I would be lying if I said I believe he doesn’t have ulterior motives! Nico Tortorella and Adan Canto are great (especially together), and Valerie Curry is in a career making role as Denise, Clarie’s nanny, whose secrets could hurt everyone she knows.
But really, the show belongs to Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy – their chemistry is off the charts, and when they’re together, you really don’t know if they’re going to cut each to shreds or share a hug among old friends. Purefoy is calculating and charismatic – I understand why people would fall for his charm; Bacon is smart, collected, and just the right amount of alcoholic insane that makes him someone worth rooting for. I could watch them for hours and never tire.
Yes, it’s incredibly violent (pushing-the-network-TV-boundaries kind of violent), and yes, others have made a case that it’s perhaps TOO violent, but I think the show needs to be to work. By the end of the hour (which I first watched at 2PM on a Saturday and needed a comedy afterwards to convince myself that I wasn’t going to get attacked), you’ll be hooked and need to see where the show goes.
THE FOLLOWING premieres at 9/8c on FOX. Will you be watching?