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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The Following- Season 1, Episode 1
This show is about a retired FBI agent who is called back to look for an escaped serial killer. The criminal is a former English professor who killed a bunch of his students. Worst professor ever, right? Also, he has a bunch of crazy followers who are willing to do insane things for him. The killer is obsessed with Poe, and we think it would have been more interesting if the killer were obsessed with multiple writers and ideas.
Ten minutes in, we already knew we loved this pilot. It was fast-paced and we cared pretty quickly. We didn't really want to watch this show because it had a boring name, but then we heard that LOST actress Maggie Grace was in it, and we think she picks good things.
Also, of course, Kevin Bacon, who is great in this. We spotted Rome and Justified veterans too. Once we found out the reason this show is called "The Following," we liked the name.
Yeah, there are a lot of cliches, like the damaged hero and the genius killer, but those are traditions because they work. Even with those staples, this show doesn't feel tired. The killer's cult is what separates this villain from Hannibal Lecter, although Hannibal was a lot more charming. This guy is too loud, talkative, and in-your-face arrogant.
We don't know if they picked the right actor to play the killer. The casting of James Purefoy might be our only complaint. He's good looking, as he should be, but he should also be more charismatic and terrifying.
The show is not afraid to be gruesome and very dark. Of course, this is the network that brought us the disgusting first season of Fringe, so we shouldn't be surprised. (We have GOT to watch that finale, by the way. We're the worst.) It's also pretty creepy. Even the flashbacks are creepy. Don't bother with this show if you can't stand violence.
We can see quickly that this will be a crowd pleaser rather than critic bait, kind of like 24 was. We can tell this show is dangling itself in front of an audience that isn't familiar with Poe or really can't process a remotely deep analysis of his work. A baddie literally writes NEVERMORE on a wall, in blood. THUNK. Der. We like when TV assumes its audience is smart and well-read, like LOST did. Still, we were highly entertained through the entire hour. If the show can keep up this level of quality, it will be one of our favorite shows. Can't wait for next week.
Episode grade: A-
For those of you who have seen it: Poor German Shepherd! We almost cried, and then we remembered that no one really hurt that dog in real life. It's interesting that Carroll had a wife and son. Also, Hardy having a thing with Claire isn't something we expected. It was also AWESOME that we got to see Hardy catch Carroll the first time.
Nothing in this pilot went the way we thought it would, and that's one of the reasons we were so impressed. We had no idea Maggie Grace would die so quickly. We had no idea Hardy would catch Carroll so early on (and that Carroll would let him). We also liked the twist at the end with Hardy having his own son taken.
Picture by David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons