The Following: Is the New FOX TV Series Worth Watching?

The FollowingFOX’s last new Monday night TV series, The Mob Doctor, wasn’t a ratings hit right out of the gate and was cancelled. Will The Following meet a similar fate or will it be a big success instead?

The Following revolves around Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), a former FBI agent who years ago put away serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) at great cost to his own physical and mental health. The FBI enlists his help when a coven of killers are unleashed on the world.

Others in the cast include Shawn Ashmore, Annie Parisse, Adan Canto, Kyle Catlett, Natalie Zea, Nico Tortorella, and Valorie Curry.

Does it sound like an interesting TV series? Is it worth watching? Here’s what some of the critics think:

LA Times: “It is a Very Big Deal that Bacon has come to television; anyone who saw his performance as the self-loathing pedophile in 2004’s The Woodsman knows that when a story goes dark, Bacon does not mess around. He may be playing a familiar character, but he plays the heck out of him. Purefoy as Carroll is no slouch either; he creates a villain so seductive he doesn’t have to leave his jail cell to continue his killing spree.”

NY Times: Carroll’s obsession with Poe gets a little silly, especially when characters use literary exegesis to decipher clues. (The raven, one says, symbolizes ‘the finality of death.’) But there is nothing funny or arch about The Following. Like so many prime-time shows it traffics in gruesome depictions of death, but it also takes its violence seriously. And that’s not such a bad thing these days.

Boston Globe: “This new series goes for generic thrills, using a lot of horror-story clichés. It’s a well put together show, but the writing doesn’t invite bigger thoughts, which is what violent cable series such as Dexter and Boardwalk Empire have done at their best. It just grabs us with an arsenal of bloody, familiar tricks.”

Kansas City Star:The Following, having upped the network gore ante, will probably be a ratings monster, despite falling short of the quality cable fare Bacon could have scored. Or the country may turn away, finally weary of watching women and children in danger through the cracks between their fingers.”

USA Today: “Whether it’s a game you want to see played is a different matter. Some may grow tired of following a hero who always seems to be a crucial step behind, while others will be uncomfortable with the joy the show seems to take in mayhem… Whether you let your own child see it is up to you, though I can’t help hoping the answer is ‘no.’ Still, if what you want for yourself is a network series that will effectively and efficiently chill you to the bone, here it is. Follow at your own risk.”

NY Daily News: “If The Following isn’t always Hitchcock, it rarely gives the viewer any reason to relax and never offers much reassurance about who will win in the end. Not everyone wants this in a TV show, and even those drawn to Bacon, Purefoy and Zea may find the introduction rough. But those who can stand the seas will enjoy the ride.”

Star-Ledger: “The supporting cast is strong, including Annie Parrise (Law and Order’s Alexandra Borgia) as a sharp-eyed FBI cult specialist and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman of X Men) as an eager-beaver young agent who seems to idolize Hardy, although the body count for the white hats mounts pretty fast.”

What do you think? Does The Following sound like it’s your kind of show? Will you watch? If you’ve seen it, will you watch again?


24 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. mike says

    lmao at all the people that think this is gory!! It really really isn’t lol. if you can’t handle a bit of blood then stick to watching reality tv. As for the show it was alright not sure if I’ll watch it again though

  2. says

    Liked it so far. Is a bit gory. If the writing is good will continue to watch. It should have had more build up to KB to get to know him a bit more.

  3. Funnyguy101 says

    Great series premire hope, glad it is able to actually kill of characters, something welcomed in shows like Lost but denied in shows like Flashforward and The Event, hopefully unlike Flashforward and The Event, the rest of the episodes dont run out of steam

  4. Patricia says

    I looked forward to this new show with Kevin Bacon, who I love, especially since being from Phila originally, but……it was terrible. Blood and gore…and the craziest story line I ever heard of. I switched channels after trying to stay with this show for over 30 minutes. I will not return. Please don’t consider me one of “the following”

  5. Samara says

    I thought it was a fantastic pilot! The “gore” is what is putting you all off? Funny, I can recall an episode of “Bones” that showed a giant chocolate bar being opened with a gooey and disgusting skeleton and melted body tissue pouring out of it! And that is on at 8:00! Don’t get me wrong, I watch “Bones”, but it is no less gory than “The Following”! Kevin Bacon is perfect for this part, and I think the character makes for a great protagonist! I will most definitely be watching this series!

    • Why Watch says

      An icepick to the ice and eye’s carved out of a head is a bit more gorier than goo pouring out over chocolate.

  6. Duane says

    I liked the 1st show. Yes it was a bit gory but knew it before going in. Reg. Chs. need to get a bit risky to compete that cable shows (ie FX). Humor? Why would you have that in a suspense/mystery show? Kids? Should be in bed by 9am for school!

  7. MK says

    DVR’d it and after reading this can’t help wondering if I’ll ever watch it. Is it gorier than American Horror Story S2 – which I just stopped watching at a point. Or is it worse than that even?

  8. Why Watch says

    What may do this show in is the gore factor. Half the family left after the ice pick to the head, and vowed no more to this. The same effect could have been conveyed without showing it. It’s intriguing non-the-less, if you can stand to watch some scenes.

  9. Ron says

    A movie or TV show has to have a character one can identify with, but Kevin isn’t playing one. And the villain is strong enough, but is a nutcase. The show does lack humor.

    My wife and I will be skipping the other episodes.

  10. sheri says

    I watched eagerly the first episode of The Following. I love a good suspense and have loyally watched many over the years, but this one I will not watch again. It is far too gorey and glorifies the killer who brutally and graphically is depicted in what is a nightmare for anyone. Please people don’t let your children watch this. I honestly hope it is taken off the air.

    • Kat says

      I saw nothing that glorified the killer. On the contrary, much time was spent in condemning him. Sure, he’s a charismatic killer, but everyone on the show grimly acknolwedges that his force of personality, in creating a cult, leads to death, which the characteres clearly think is NOT good.

  11. Massy Davidson says

    If you can get past the shocking amount of gore (considering it airs at 9) it is definitely a show worth the hour.

  12. geri says

    I will watch. I really like what seems to be an intriguing story line. What do critics know anyhow. They are wrong about 90% of the time. Look at Criminal Minds. When it first came on all the critics said it would never last because it was so gory, but it is still around and more popular than ever. The characters make the show. Lets hope that is true in this case.

  13. Paul says

    This show has promise but it will fall short of excellent shows like Dexter for sure. Part of the appeal of the Showtime and FX shows is that they can get away with A LOT more.

    But, I have a good feeling about Ren McCormack and Iceman pairing up together. Also…Jeremy, I don’t think you and I were watching the same show if you think the Mob Doctor was “an excellent show.”

    I’m halfway through the pilot episode and I’m very surprised at how much gore they’re able to get away with at 9pm on a national network. I have high hopes because Revolution was a huuuuge let down. I need a new favorite show.

  14. Sharon says

    I am so over the one-upmanship on gross. I watch Bones (I like) and Criminal Minds (will stop watching) and that is enough. I wouldn’t watch Bones if it wasn’t for the characters – I love them all. But the gross-out stuff…not so much. I will not be adding The Following.

  15. Jeremy Rynek says

    All the signs point to yes except the biggest sign of them all pointing at no. The Mob doctor was an excellent show and it got canceled. Why shouldn’t we expect the same from this show?

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