This Is Not a Review: Fox's Serial-Killer Pilot The Following

By Tim Surette

Aug 01, 2012

We're not allowed to properly review the advanced pilot screeners sent to us by networks, but we ARE allowed to chit-chat about them and give you an idea of what to expect. Most of the season's pilots will undergo some form of change by the time they hit the air, so consider this is as a general guide to the feel of the show.

The Following (midseason on Fox, premiere date to be determined)

STARRING: Kevin Bacon (everything but let's go with The Air Up There), James Purefoy (Rome), Natalie Zea (Justified), Maggie Grace (Lost), Kevin Bacon, Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Bacon.

THE GIST: This series is kinda scary, guys! It's another Kevin Williamson show, but it's a lot different from Dawson's Creek or The Vampire Diaries. Bacon plays FBI profiler Ryan Hardy, who's called back to work after serial killer Joe Carroll (Purefoy)—someone Hardy put away years ago—escapes. But the real fun begins once Hardy learns that Carroll has been using the internet to build a network of people who also like to go on murderous rampages. The Following also features some of the most gruesome stuff I've seen on network TV, which is a major plus.

SNAP JUDGMENT: This is on a lot of critics' "like" lists, but not mine. Sure, it's creepy and twisted, but I just don't understand how a person can convince others to become serial killers through social media. However, if you're more interested in blood and things jumping at you and you don't mind some improbable situations that provide the foundation for the series, then this will work. And to The Following's credit, it looks really great and the performances are fantastic. Let's face it; this is going to be another show I don't really like but you love. Why can't we just get along? Oh who am I kidding, it's my fault.

PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: There are some cliches early on, but aside from that it's an outstanding pilot from a TV structure standpoint. Nothing egregious here!

FACE(S) TO LOOK OUT FOR: Kevin Bacon, duh! This is his first TV series, so let's be nice. And feel free to ogle Natalie Zea if you're unfamiliar with her. She should be a star.

RANDOM THOUGHT(S): The pilot aired at Comic-Con, and most of the audience was into it. Except for the guy behind me, who found it absolutely atrocious and just had to tell his bored mother about how bad he thought it was. Loudly.

EXCITEMENT LEVEL: I'm holding out hope that the positives outweigh the negatives and giving this a 6 out of 10.


The Following is being held for Fox's midseason.

This Is Not a Review: NBC's Pilot Revolution
This Is Not a Review: NBC's Pilot Go On
This Is Not a Review: ABC's Pilot Red Widow
This Is Not a Review: The CW's Pilot Arrow

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • DebbieStothar Aug 26, 2012

    Saw the pilot at comic con and was on edge of my seat the whole time. The premise that so many people are fundamentally lost souls whose inner darkness can be nurtured through social media resonates. What else i like about it , an FBI agent who gets out of breath running up stairs but still looks good in bike shorts, gay-acting straights, preppy killers etc etc. Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy TOTALLY watchable!

  • citizens13 Aug 09, 2012

    I was luck enough to see the pilot at comic-con. I thought it was amazing. It really surprised me what they were willing to show on network tv. Plus even though the plot is a little far fetched, James Purefoy's character just has so much charisma that I might consider killing for him.

  • zeddyp Aug 07, 2012

    this looks good but....they gotta keep it under 3 seasons especially if its in range of fox's ridiculous 22-26 episode per season quota

  • TrueTvWatcher Aug 05, 2012

    This looks very interesting and may be a good replacement once Dexter wraps up it's last season.

  • Special-K99 Aug 04, 2012

    Casting Purefoy is pure (foy) genius. He'll make a great psychological serial killer.

  • Shreela Aug 03, 2012

    Agreeing with others about how it hopefully won't turn into just a weekly procedural.

  • Ben411 Aug 03, 2012

    I bet Fox will cancel it, and then use a shitty reality show as a replacement.

  • iShivi Aug 02, 2012

    Apparently HBO sees this as a major contender for next year's Emmys I believe. I can't wait to watch this!

  • Uncle-Bryn Aug 02, 2012

    Farfetched doesn't deter me at all. I dig the Mentalist and thats just ridiculous.

  • dark7angel Aug 02, 2012

    I'm looking forward to this one!

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