Hey TV.com, Should I Watch The Following?

People get murdered all the time. Heck, I just murdered three people on the way to get some Mountain Dew at the corner store. But do you want to watch a whole show about people getting murdered? Fox thinks you do and has high hopes for The Following, a new drama about a serial killer and the FBI guy who wants to stop him. I've seen the piot and will answer some of the made-up questions you have on your mind to help you decide whether it's worthy of your eyeballs.


I've heard about this The Following show, but what is it about?

Kevin Bacon (yes, he of the loose feet) plays former FBI man Ryan Hardy, who left the bureau due to a drinking problem and a punctured ticker after putting James Carroll, one of the country's most infamous murderers, in prison. But when Carroll, a former literary professor, escapes the clink after creating a network of copycat fans via the internet who are willing to do his bidding, it's up to Hardy to stop all of them and work out his inner demons. (Yes, this is the actual premise.)


When does The Following premiere?

Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with a debut viewing of The Following on Monday, January 21 at 9pm on Fox! Although I have a feeling King's dream didn't involve women poking icepicks into their brains.


Who created the show?

This comes from Kevin Williamson, whose portfolio spans the TV drama category from the teen drama of Dawson's Creek to the teen vampire drama of The Vampire Diaries.


What type of people will like The Following?

If you've recently murdered a dog or a cat or a college coed, you'll like The Following. If you're a fan of deranged serial-killer movies like Silence of the Lambs and Se7en or dig horror-porn like Saw and Just People Getting Killed in Gross Ways V: The Grossening, then you'll probably like it. If you prefer vistas of lambs prancing in the sunny Scottish Highlands or you get a kick out of the laughter of children, I'd watch something else.


What's good about The Following?

Atmosphere is key to a psychological murder thriller like this, and The Following is legit creepy; it even has people walking around in the dark with flashlights and stuff. There are moments when the camera does a great job of defining a character, like when we first meet Hardy. And the idea that Carroll's cult of followers can stand in as the case-of-the-week subjects is a great way to give longevity to a show that's really about a serial killer playing games with an FBI agent. Purefoy is pretty intense as Carroll. Plus Natalie Zea (Justified) is in this and she's really pretty.



What's bad about it?

Okay, exactly who is so convincing that he can build an armada of murderers via the World Wide Web who do what he says, particularly when that "what" is KILLING OTHER PEOPLE? It's the core premise of the show, and it's also entirely ridiculous. The pilot includes several concept-defining moments that require huge leaps of logic, and no one in their right mind can jump that high. The show flaunts Carroll's obsession with Edgar Allen Poe like it's found some genius angle, but nope, sorry, it's just silly and cliched. And the violence is mostly mindless, with nothing much to say about anything.


What's the final verdict on The Following then?

Look, people are going to be split on this one. The Following has the spooks and gore to distinguish itself from the rest of network TV, but from what I've seen, it's not actually good television. If the series had more to say than, "Hey look what our makeup department can do!" it might be worth watching. But until it does, it's just senseless violence for shock value.


Do you have a trailer so I can see for myself?

BAM!


What drink should I pair with The Following?

Bloody Marys. Ha, I kid. Those should be consumed before 8am only. Fill some water bottles with vodka and chug, just like Det. Hardy does.


The Following premieres Monday, January 21 at 9pm on Fox.

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Discovery ID is an entire channel devoted to murder and mayhem. Hell yes, I'm watching this. Bring on the ice picks.
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quoteOkay, exactly who is so convincing that he can build an armada of murderers via the World Wide Web who do what he says, particularly when that "what" is KILLING OTHER PEOPLE?/quote One name here - CHARLES MANSON. Imagine that kook having the internet around in his time - he *would* be Carroll. Scary, but true - think about it.
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Think about this as well: The cult of personality and myth that surrounds Charles Manson is horribly, horribly overblown & unjustifiable. If the internet had existed in the 60's like it does today, odds are, the 'Manson Family' would never have existed either in the first place. His posts would be trolled relentlessly & his site would probably have been DOS'ed out of existence long before he even got around to mentioning the Helter Skelter War
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Ah, but what you're missing is the fact that Manson, and people like him, tend to prey on the weak. For every troll there would've been another person who thought he was right and followed along; it's *those* he would've concentrated on, not the trolls. Besides, once a few band together it's a lot harder to get at them as they attack you en masse. I've seen this on websites with forums as varied as ones about atheism to ones about politics and even the NHS. Besides Charles Manson did what he did best, manipulated others into doing what *he* wanted. I think with access to the internet he'd be just like Carroll. As for Carroll, he's just doing the same - manipulating others into doing what *he* wants; it's just they're too weak and easily led to see it. However, it's nice to see a different take on whether this whole scenario is possible.
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Actually, I didn't miss that fact at all. I wholeheartedly agree with ya that Manson preyed on the weak. What I was attempting to zero in on is the Manson myth itself. Realistically, there's no way he could have done what he's famous for over the net. the number of people in the Manson Family at its height was about 50 runaways & vagrants enamored with living a communal, off-the-grid hippie lifestyle...& the vast majority of those simply couldn't care less of the Helter Skelter he was preaching on the Sphan. The extremely tiny few that he was able to manipulate into subscribing into his delusions was due to a constant stream acid, sex and isolation from the outside world. Isolation being key. In truth, the only thing Manson was truly good at was songwriting. If Manson started spouting over the net that the Beatles told him to start a race war by speaking to him directly through The White Album, he'd have been laughed into oblivion with a steady stream of lolcat pics from around the world.
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Sorry, should've mentioned that Manson did what he did and there's no escaping that. He got his 'followers' to kill people - that is not overblown or a myth. Carroll is the same, just with access to even more weak personalities.
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Sorry, should've added I will definitely be watching it.
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The concept may be silly, but how is "serial killer who influences people to be serial killers via the internet" cliche?
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"fan of deranged serial killer movies like Silence of the Lambs..."

"Silence of the Lambs" per Wikipedia:
The film was the third film to win Academy Awards in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). It is also the first Best Picture winner widely considered to be a horror film, and only the second such film to be nominated in the category, after The Exorcist in 1973. The film is considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant by the U.S. Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry in 2011.


sounds like a huge respected fan base
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I get the impression that the Tim Surette is *not* a fan of this type of show. However that does make me wonder why he was the one that wrote the article. It'd be like me, who *loathes* pink, being asked to write a review about a new pink and fluffy laptop bag - it wouldn't be unbiased (much like the article) and it certainly wouldn't end well.......
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It's still a movie about a deranged serial killer.
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with a huge respected fan base.

I don't get your point~obviously it's a movie about a serial killer. It doesn't matter if Tim is calling the killer deranged or the movie deranged, it is still an excellent movie which received numerous accolades and awards. It has a huge fan base.

The Following may or may not suck but just because you like or dislike one movie doesn't mean you will like or won't like this show.
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My point is that all he's doing is making a simple suggestion. The article is about whether you should watch the show and he's suggesting that people who like movies/shows about serial killers might like it. I don't know why you're inferring that he's looking down at Silence of the Lambs; it's a perfect comparison. Silence of the Lambs is about an incarcerated serial killer who influences another serial killer. The Following is about an incarcerated killer who influences many serial killers.

Gee, I wonder why someone would connect the two...
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You say "Silence of the Lambs is about an incarcerated serial killer who influences another serial killer. The Following is about an incarcerated killer who influences many serial killers." but Tim says it's unbelievable that a serial killer influences others to kill for him. Obviously fans of Silence of the Lambs and those who gave the accolades and awards disagree
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I wonder if television credits count against an actors Bacon number?
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I had already decided that I would give this show a try, based on the trailer and regardless of what people had to say about it. Kevin Bacon, Natalie Zea I'm There.
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It is violent but that's because it's about serial killers but it is a strong show and it is turning into must-watch show
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Is it just me; or does it seem odd/annoying that the excellent James Purefoy gets a footnote, "Oh, by the by he's pretty intense"? He's a very well respected actor AND is the shows' main bad guy. Silence of the Lambs, for example, wasn't promoted/reviewed as Jodie Foster American sweetheart etc. etc. and some quite intense guy you may or not know! It's doubtful Natalie Zea would appreciate just, she's a pretty chick who was in one other thing!
There's not even a link to Purefoy.
This review would be more balanced and less patronizing to the reader if it actually offered more insight into the skills and weight of the actors in the drama and not just superficial nonsense - though entertaining in doses. Or was that the point, let's dumb it down because you found the show just that?
I look forward to your sycophantic interview with the stars -should they deign themselves!!
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Serial killer, a former literary professor? What? Beyond ridiculous. And Im having hard time embracing all that "serial killer as anti-hero thing" since Hannibal Lector has entered the stage. I can't say I enjoyed it. I like serial killers to be hounded like rats and to be executed or putting in solitary for life. I don't understand america's fascination with serial killers.

One serial killer with obnoxious background is not enough, let's multiply him via Facebook! What a great idea... not. After Sandy Hook I don't have that much desire to watch this violent show. Only presence of Natalie Zea may entice me to watch a pilot. But she should have stayed on Californication (I liked her role there).
Other than that this show is looking pretty obnoxious. Edgar Allan Poe as inspiration for murders. What a novelty! Poor Poe. And why should serial killer kill women in brutal ways all the time? Why not only men? TV male producers are suffering from emasculation?
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I think you are confusing serial killers with spree killers and those that just go on a rampage. Both should suffer in hell, and I don't blame anyone for wanting to avoid violence lately... especially with everything that's happened. But some people fail to make the distinction.

The Sandy Hook / Columbine / Aurora d-bags were NOT serial killers. Serial Killers are a completely separate group: as they follow very specific criteria. Namely their methods, how there is a cool-down period in between how they select their individual victims, the signature they leave behind. They usually have interesting + complex psych profiles (creepy, but interesting).

It's not uncommon for serial killers to be quite intelligent and thus hold respectable jobs or backgrounds.

Spree killers and the like... can be anybody just "snapping" one day and decide to go all Rambo. Just about anyone can get a gun, kill 2+ people, and be labeled a spree killer.

Both deserve to go to hell though.
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I understand difference between spree and serial killers. I wasn't talking about mass shooters in particular. Im not saying that serial killers and violence on tv shouldn't exist. I have no problem with violence in movies and tv shows. I was saying that all "serial killer as anti-hero, as someone who attracts viewer's simpathy thing" is wrong and I'd prefer fictional serial killers being portrayed with complexity but non-sympathetic. Coz sympathy towards serial killers is causing viewers to be fascinated with them in unhealthy way.
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I like Dexter as a show and a character but wouldn't want to know him in real life and would find him guilty if I was on the jury and he was up for his crimes. I have never murdered anyone and don't plan to even though I am fascinated with Dexter. On the other hand I did not like Natural Born Killers.

I think women wrote love letters to serial killers long before Dexter or other tv shows/movies portrayed serial killers as "anti-heroes". There have always been homicidal/"bad" people and nut jobs who "love' them (or idolize them). I doubt tv has changed it much.

I remember in College going to a White Zombie concert and seeing a lot of people with cards of serial killers around their neck and thinking what idiots they were but I wasn't scared of them. I just thought they were stupid uninformed kids trying to look cool but were unsuccessful imo. I found it offensive and figured that is probably what they were going for and then just ignored them a watched the band. Maybe I was in a pack of serial killers and just lucked out or maybe I was just in a group of people trying to express themselves or look cool or be anti-establishment or make a statement (I didn't care enough about it to find out)
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@TracyTrouble
I agree with your post, especially the "it's amazing to me however, that modern society thinks the world was just wonderful, bland and innocent until movies and tv arrived."
did everyone forget about the crusades, the spanish inquisition, the social injustice towards women/children/non-predominant culture males...child labor laws came into place for a reason.
Remember Jack the Ripper
Remember the romans (had crowds cheers as animals raped women and killed men & women; also the gladiators killing for sport)...the list goes on and on.
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There've been obviously crazy people who wrote to serial killers long before Hannibal Lector entered the stage of pop-culture. But after Silence of lambs serial killers became mainstream, element of pop culture. And even if there have been no movies glorifying serial killers prior to Silence of Lambs there was media who covered all those high-profile serial killings with great details. The extension is there nowadays. I just saying there is no moral ambivalence about serial killer.
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George Joseph Smith was was hung for murdering his (bigamously married) wives in a bath. He died in *1915* - he too had 'groupies'; women would flock to the court and coo and giggle over him, even after hearing how he murdered his poor victims. Some even wrote letters to him. So you're absolutely right; it's amazing to me however, that modern society thinks the world was just wonderful, bland and innocent until movies and tv arrived.
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I agree with your post and think both serial killers and spree killers should die. However, while they do horrible acts, they do make interesting characters in movies and shows. One doesn't have to admire or like someone/something to find them/it interesting. I hate murderers and crime in general but like watching it on tv.
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I agree, serial killer antagonists can make for compelling TV. And on the flip-side, Dexter is/was a solid show.

But, after everything, I can't blame someone for hating the concept. I've heard solid arguments from people that feel that glamorizing killers is part of what leads to... well... psycho kids wanting to go out in a blaze of glory... thinking we'll idolize them.

Personally, I blame the news media more than fictional TV. 24-48 hours after the Sandy Hook incident I knew more about the shooter than I do the celebrities and politicians that I actually CARE about. I see THAT as being more behind the "I'll be immortalized" bit than Dexter's ratings.
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No one is saying movies are to blame for real violence. Availability of guns are to blame obviously. But surely media is the one who glorifies all that high-profile serial killings describing it with great detail and drooling. It's a fact that most school shooters knew about Columbine and it influenced their actions in some ways. And media fascination with serial killers can be traced from 60s. But all im saying that premise of the show - sympathetic sofisticated serial killer as anti-hero is a cliche, that've been done many times before. So producers add some more brutally murdered female bodies for shock value and facebook serial killer's followers who kill on Anti-hero's orders. It's just lazy stuff, there can be no moral ambiguity about serial killer, even sofisticated one.
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agree but I think it's a stretch to say glamorizing killers will cause someone to kill (not that you are saying it). It may be one of many factors but not the only factor. I don't want more government regulation of movies/tv and I don't think it is a Direct cause & effect (glamorization of killers leads to more killers). It may (emphasis on "may") be one of many factors. I still remember when they said heavy metal music made people commit suicide~~so stupid and goes against all business sense~~die Tipper Gore die (not really, lol)

I did not like Natural Born Killers but loved seven, saw, silence of the lambs and all the evil dead movies...

I hated junior high school (and high school) and watched horror films but never murdered anyone. Life is to complicated to have just one direct cause/effect variable.

I no longer watch the news on tv--to biased, to filtered, to negative, to much spin...and many more reasons. Also, I think subconsciously the news/media on tv brings back traumatic feelings from 9/11 so I avoid news on tv since it makes me sad/angry~~there is probably some unconscious sh*t I need to work through but I'll probably avoid it since it doesn't interfere with my life.

Do you think the Sandy Hook killer wanted to be immortalized? I just read a bit about it after it happened and thought what a f*ck up loser to kill a bunch of innocent & defenseless children. Who would want to be remembered as the weak ass punk who killed kids~~even "regular" killers don't respect kid killers. I did't follow the story long so I don't know the motivations behind the killing other then his mother was strict and had an issue with the school (not sure since I only read on line about it the day after it happened)
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I'm specifically curious about how having a serial killer with a professional literary background is 'beyond ridiculous'
Could you expand on that please?
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Coz it's highly implausible. It's like Edgar Allan Poe goes insane and starts killing. It's too beyond even suspense of disbelief. Show just trying too hard to be unusual and creative. And I'm not even talking about Facebook bred serial killers followers.
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But how is it highly implausible? I can't follow the logic of your example. I'm honestly not trying to pick on you, I'm simply curious how you come to that conclusion since there's nothing about the literary profession in any of its forms that would somehow exempt the possibility of a serial killer making a living within it. Could you be more specific please?
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So what I'm getting from you is that you're under the impression that someone smart enough to be a professor is somehow smart enough to not be a killer? Is that what you mean?
Don't get me wrong, I understand you don't like the saturation of serial killer fandom in pop culture. It just simply seems that your bias is blinding you to the simple fact that killers come in all shapes, sizes & intellects.
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Coz there is statistics about literary professors who became serial killers. I know none. And if there is it's still ridiculous attempt to make out of serial killer an intelligent sofisticated art-loving guy whose morals are ambivalent coz he got brains. It's laughable cliche since Hannibal Lector. It's a tool to attract viewer's sympathy and justify his killings.
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Agreed. That's what's hanging me up about the grandparent post. And why I thought he misunderstood the concept.

Anybody can be anything: a priest CAN be a murderer or worse. A doctor CAN be a killer. A convicted criminal CAN legitimately turn to a life of religion and seek redemption. etc.

Why is it hard to believe a literary professor would become a killer?
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Actually it's not beyond believe. It's common for Serial killers (SERIAL killers, not spree killers) to be quite intelligent, have high-intelligence jobs, and be successful. There are typically 2 kinds: Organized and Disorganized. The Organized types tend to be well above average intelligence.

Sure, any "Bubba Sixpack" from the trailer park can be a spree killer or a multiple murder. It doesn't take much planning to pull a Sandy Hook or whatever.

But for a serial killer, it CAN take a lot of thought or planning. After all, to just qualify as a serial you have to kill 3+ separate times with a cool-down period in between. You have to be methodical with each kill. etc. More often than not, to make it that far (with today's forensics) you have to be smarter than the average bear.

Sure, it could also be an average psycho that got lucky 3+ times in a row. But sometimes, it's someone quite crafty.

Now, if you want to argue that it's highly implausible for this SHOW's premise (a serial killer than has attracted an army of fledgling killers) then I won't argue there. That's a bit far fetched.
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Exactly. Look at John Wayne Gacy for an example. No one really suspected him for years, despite him being arrested and jailed for a sexual offence and also being psychiatrically assessed as having an 'antisocial personality disorder'. The man ended up as a pillar of the community in his new town, politically active and actually dressed up as a CLOWN who performed at hospitals, etc for kids. He was actually called the 'killer clown' after his arrest because of that 'act'. He met Jimmy Carter's wife when Carter was president; and was even *cleared* by the *secret service* as being safe to do so. So I think *anyone*, *anywhere* can be a murderer - it just takes the right mindset and/or the right trigger....
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Tim, the way you describe it, actually sounds like a bad show. I'll do the usual - watch the pilot, and if it sucks, it's out.
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I really like Criminal Minds and other crime dramas but at least CM bases a lot of their cases on real murderers. This is just made up to be dramatic in the extreme. I'll wait to see a review or two before I bother.
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You had me at " Dawson's Creek" and "The Vampire Diaries". I'll definitly watch
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I stopped reading at Dawson's Creek. I'm gonna watch this and if this is anything else than a teenage coming of age drama series with lots of love triangles I'm gonna be very pissed.
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i will watch this because of Kevin Bacon
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I was hoping for "mindful" violence but I'll settle for mindless violence:)

I"ll try the show.

Convincing people to do something, even murder, does not require a huge leap in logic in my opinion. All I have to do is think about war, stockholm syndrome, Charles Manson, Jim Jones (and other similar zealots), product placement, religion, and many other seemingly random things/people/concepts.

Some people are easily influenced (to various degrees) and some are "crazy" to begin with. No, I don't think watching a violent show/movie will cause someone to be violent but I do think people can be influenced or persuaded to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do, including kill. It's complicated but given the right individual in the right circumstances & under the right conditions (need the correct internal and external factor mix) almost anything can happen.

sorry for rambling...
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I'll watch it ; just because there is a potential malignant bromance that can develop between the bad guy and the good guy... And the characters, even if they look a bit cliched seem interesting. Hope I won't be disappointed, I'll have to wait and see !
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I can't figure this show out, usually the premise, trailer and cast give me an idea whether I will like it but this just confuses me. I'll defo check it out though, it has potential I know that much.
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"Kevin Bacon (yes, he of the loose feet)"

LMAO too funny, Tim!

I am a big fan of Kevin Williamson and basically anything from good TV to trash TV (just any TV in general lol), so I'll give it a try. But Seeing that it is a Williamson project, I think I might just enjoy it.
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We all know it's not going to be the level of disgust as things like SAW and HOSTEL since network couldn't do that so I don't think people need to worry.
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Look, I've sat through 8 seasons of Criminal Minds and watched all the truly sick individuals they hunt on a weekly basis, so I can believe that some guy can charm a bunch of people into following him and killing for him. People are so desperate to follow someone these days.... But anyway, that aside, the fact that it's Kevin Williamson and Kevin Bacon alone is enough for me to give this a shot. And what's wrong with senseless violence for shock value? It's better than senseless T&A constantly thrown in my face. Give me blood and guts of the constant parade of naked women anyday.
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It looks too good to be good.
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The tone here is the same as with the Banshee article - some graphic violence and -god forbid- a boobie and suddenly it's bad television. ??? "Senseless violence for shock value" - so violence shown in a graphic way should soothe us?
From the few informations I gathered about the story from the (surprisingly unfunny) article... it's not that stupid. Literary professor, James Purefoy, exploding media-attention for his murderers(the profiler's book about him)... could attract some weirdos, even some with dangerous talents... BUT if they want us to believe that Purefoy turns more or less normal people who never killed before into an army of Hannibal Lecters ... well that would be just insane.
What does turn me off is that Tim points out the lack of depth behind Purefoys "teachings" and the fixation on E.A. Poe. Ugh, what an overrated pulp author, but maybe I think different about Poe when I'm older. 70 or something.
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His point isn't that violence that is graphic is problematic. It's violence for the simple sake of it--the question he's posing is about the value of the graphic nature of the violence. How does it add to the show's themes, characterizations, point, etc. Tim's certainly not saying that the presence of violence (or nudity) makes tv automatically bad--but that it has to have some kind of substance, and he, apparently, doesn't see that here.
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isn't the show about a serial killer who gets others to kill...how could it not be violent? I would expect a show with that premise to have graphic violence.
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I know that, and I think Tim knows it--the point (again, I think) that he's trying to make is that there must be some purpose behind the extremity of the violence.

It is possible to have a perfectly good series about a serial killer without demonstrations of extreme violence on-screen. I'm not a prude or anything and saying this is necessary, but if a show is going to present graphic violence, there should be a reason (beyond simply, "this is a show about a serial killer, so let's show lots of gore!").
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Let me clarify that I'M not making this claim necessarily: I'm simply saying that this is what Tim thinks. It's true that I don't know whether the violence is valuable--to create tone, suspense, tension, etcetera--or is simply shocking and gratuitous. I haven't seen the show, obviously. My original point was simply that Tim isn't just saying all violence is bad or automatically makes a show bad; it's pointless depictions that add nothing useful to the viewing experience that make for bad tv (or film, or whatever).
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The purpose behind graphic violence and nudity is self explanatory. Even Alfred Hitchcock new that ...
Just saying "some purpose" shows me that you(no offense!) maybe don't know what this purpose could be. If the story sucks and the acting and/or the editing is bad - you can add as much gore as you want, the audience won't get a feeling of anxiety, fear and terror. This would be a valid consideration. If that's the case than fine, tell me - but saying the depiction of violence was just for the sake of it is a cop out because you can't or won't say why you dislike the show or movie. Again, I didn't see it so Tim could be right but I would wish he could eloquently explain his view.
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The Following has the spooks and gore to distinguish itself from the rest of network TV, but from what I've seen, IT'S NOT ACTUALLY GOOD TELEVISION.

Looks like I'm a passing on this one.
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because you're incapable of making your own mind up?
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I know I'm going to lose interest anyway. It's Fox, not AMC or HBO. My television preferences are very compatible to Tim's. He knows what good TV is and what is not.
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Denied my comment so I'll try again. Another awful article by Tim, trying to be funny when he clearly isn't. "If you prefer vistas of lambs prancing in the sunny Scottish Highlands or you get a kick out of the laughter of children, I'd watch something else" is poor and a lazy attempt at humour which helps no one decide whether to give this a try or not. What are the similarities to Saw apart from people are killed? This is nothing like Saw. Taxi for Tim
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Obviously we all can't share the same humor but I'll have to add to your comment that I personally found this article hilarious.
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we need an edit button for our posts. I wanted to add the following to my previous response.
"People get murdered all the time. Heck, I just murdered three people on the way to get some Mountain Dew at the corner store." did make me smile (funny)
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"If you've recently murdered a dog or a cat or a college coed, you'll like The Following. If you're a fan of deranged serial-killer movies like Silence of the Lambs and Se7en or dig horror-porn like Saw and Just People Getting Killed in Gross Ways V: The Grossening, then you'll probably like it. If you prefer vistas of lambs prancing in the sunny Scottish Highlands or you get a kick out of the laughter of children, I'd watch something else."

I guess it could be funny saying only killers or fans of killers would like this and mentally retarded people won't like it. What about the rest of us.

I donate to animal charities, have rescue dog and volunteer dog, am a fan of Silence of the Lambs and found Saw to be very thought provoking (fan of saw one) and don't think either movie was just gore for gore or just violence for violence.

I think someone who just wants to watch lambs prancing must be bored or mentally retarded (mr). It might be ok for a few minutes then I would think it would get boring unless you have MR.

maybe, kind of, sort of funny but not really....I prefer the humor of Community, TBBT, Parks and Recreations or Price's reviews. I have liked Tim's reviews of Person of Interest (I think he review it) but the review of Banshee and this review just seemed so negative. However, I do realize it is all subjective and it is just his opinion but I wish he would back up his opinion with examples of why he has that opinion. I found holes in his "armada" example but at least in that section of the review he used an example.

It's all subjective and we may like some of the same shows but I get irritated when a review comes off as sexist (banshee review) or insulting (this review about fans of horror and the award winning movie Silence of the Lambs).
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As said, you can't argue about humour. However, he did back up his opinion with reasons. He says the premise is illogical and requires a huge leap of faith which results in the murderings and gore being kind of senseless. All the jokes he makes are build on that observation which is made in all seriousness.
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Sounds like you'd like this show then, since you seem to have no sense of humor and this is the furthest anyone is going to get from The Big Bang Theory.
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Personally, I like the light-hearted approach to these articles....
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Kevin Bacon ruins everything.
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It has Kevin Bacon which is enough for me to give it a try, his talents are so far underated. And the s/l is probably ridiculous but it's fiction, most ppl aren't looking for reality on fictional television shows. I'm a fan of Dexter, SOA, Supernatural, 24 and Justified, half their antics are unbelievable so The Following can't be that outrageous.
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If the ratings don't look like the show's going to get canceled in May, I'll probably give it a try, but "senseless violence for shock value" is making me doubtful about it. Also, I love those movies.
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Only because of James Purefoy you need to watch this. Loved him in Rome.
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So one follower a week would cover the procedural aspect of the show? OH, I know what's missing. What if the followers actually all came from 1963 and a female cop and an ex-LOST actor was trying to figure out why they were appearing in present time? No, just kidding.
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Imagine if Charles Manson had the internet. Or Jim Jones.
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I love the silence of the lambs, se7en and serial killers movies... i agree that the premise is not the best but if it manages to not be ridiculous ill watch it. Also, the show has a more than decent cast and will be in a very friendly timeslot.

And yes, i do think it's possible that a person can influence or inspire some sick people to start murdering.
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Unfortunately, you're probably right with your last comment...
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I really don't like Kevin Bacon, but James Purefoy is awesome. I'm really looking forward to this show - hopefully it'll be as good I want it to be.

Also, it's entirely possible for someone to be charismatic enough to recruit others to kill people. I'm not a psychologist/sociologist or anything, but if a person is vulnerable enough and someone like Carroll approached them with the right tact, it's not far-fetched to believe that he could convince them to kill.

Man, now I wish I'd done a sociology or psychology major instead of an English major...

Also, pretty sure you means "pilot" instead of "piot" in the last sentence of your intro paragraph :)
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Stockholm syndrome, mass hysteria, Jim Jones....things that make you go hmmm
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I'll probably give it the four episode test. I find Kevin Bacon very hit and miss and I think he's a very risky choice for a TV shows leading man, but James Purefoy is great and Natalie Zea is always very watchable, added to that are Shawn Ashmore, Maggie Grace, Li Jun Li, Billy Brown (Dexter's Det. Mike Anderson) and hopefully Jeananne Goossen (although I suspect she is only in the pilot). That could make for a fantastic cast but as always with Fox dramas, have they got the writers to make the show great?
Williamson has done a great job with The Vampire Diaries and both Scream and The Faculty are good horror movies but I doubt they have given him the experience he needs to make a dark atmospheric horror/thriller TV series. The biggest difference between a TV series and a two hour movie is making the characters compelling enough to follow them for a prolonged period of time, married to a premise that has the longevity and intrigue to make the lives of the characters interesting. To an extent he has achieved this with TVD but the target audience for that show (which isn't me but I do watch it, before you all vilify me) can usually be placated when the plot is lacking by throwing in some relationship drama - this technique won't cut it with the presumable more mature and more discerning target audience for The Following.
Tim made a point of saying "the violence is mostly mindless, with nothing much to say about anything." after lambasting the cliched use of Poe as an inspiration for Purefoy's characters kills. This, to me, points to Williamson already taking the easy option rather than looking to create something much more layered and involved. Hopefully I'll be underestimating the level of maturity of Williamson's writing, but on the plus side (possibly) is the fact that Adam Armus & Kay Foster appear to be on-board. They seem to have been working together since the days of Xena and both were writers for season 1 of Heroes, a season of TV that truly had multidimensional characters, constantly redefined good guys and bad guys and brought lots of different threads together to tell an interesting story. Quite how much of the writing they were responsible for on Heroes though, I'm unsure, but hopefully their experience has had a positive effect on Williamson and will consequently help with The Following.
I can't say that I have high hopes for this show, as you can probably guess I already have reservations about the writing and Bacon is a questionable leading man for a TV show, but I certainly think that the premise has some promise and the rest of the cast have the potential to be great providing the writers look after them and afford them more dedication than a series of shock & awe murder scenes. This show epitomizes the need for 'The Four Episode Test'.
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Will probably give this a try anyway... I guess the fact that this review didn't make me go running is a sign that this might be my kind of show xD
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I have my doubts after reading this preview but I'll def. give it a try. The trailer looks v. promising. Also Bacon, Purefoy and Williamson are really good at their works.
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I'll give it a try
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If it really is SAW like, I will pass.. though I have an intense curosity for mindset of serial killing, I really like it in Criminal Minds tone, not violence-porn tone.. I will probably wait for a couple of episodes and people's reactions to that..
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some episodes of Criminal Minds are more disturbing to me then anything in SAW or Hostel.....don't get me wrong, I like Criminal Minds.

I don't think SAW was violence porn---was there even a female in SAW except for the one who lived (got the device off her head after getting key out of the injured guy's body). SAW was interesting in that it made me think "what would I do to survive/live". I don't remember any "porn" in it but I'm a female so I may of ignored it or forgot about it since it didn't interest me (but I don't think there was any in it)
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When people talk about 'violence/gore porn', they mean it in the same way they talk about cooking shows being 'food porn' - not in the literal sense of sex, but just violence for its own sake, aimed at people who get off on gratuitous violence. I really enjoyed the first Saw, but the couple sequels I saw really did strike me as gore porn; the stories weren't anywhere near as well developed as in the first one, it was just each of the characters being knocked off one by one in various ways. Not to mention that, if I recall correctly, they totally strayed from the original premise of the killer allowing the victims a chance to live, however unpleasant and remote, which is what gave the original its tension and made it interesting (that, and the twists in the tale which the sequels I saw sadly lacked).

I'll more than likely give this one a chance; I do tend to enjoy stuff like this (e.g. Criminal Minds, The Inside, The Profiler, Silence of the Lambs, etc), and I do quite like James Purefoy. And, for what it's worth, it doesn't require an massive suspension of belief to buy into the idea that the right kind of person appealing to the right kinds of troubled minds could develop a following such as the one depicted in the trailer. Let's just hope that, however clichéd the idea may be, they do a better job with the Poe angle than The Raven (which I had high hopes for, but was truly abysmal).
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bewtifulfreak, thanks for the explaining, I exactly meant that.. a disturbing storyline (like it was in, for example, Mosley Lane episode of CM) is one thing but graphicly presenting that storyline is another thing.. of course in CM we also see stuff happened to individuals but we most generally see them "after" it happens, not while.. for me, that is the line..
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Thanks for explaining what they meant by "porn" and I agree with you on your post.
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I'm tempted to break my 'don't watch new shows on FOX' rule for this. Then I remember Alcatraz, Human Target, Chicago Code, Lie to Me... So if this makes it to season 2, I make take an interest....
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I'm STILL annoyed about losing Lie to Me and Human Target.
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I think it will. This is in a good timeslot and has a massive marketing campaign behind it.
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^This
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Also, the fact that you think there aren't a bunch of people out there just waiting for an excuse to kill people shows how naive you are.
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What the eff is wrong with you? Will you at least give people a chance to watch the show before you crap all over it? I thought this was going to be an educated guess kind of post and you go and run your mouth off about half the show. Spoilers much?

And let's face it, this is an incredibly pointless post anyway because regardless of your highly biased post which no one can argue with since WE HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET, everyone's going to at least watch the pilot anyway, because who's going to give up a chance to watch James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon played off against each other?
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What exactly did he "spoil" aside from whether he thinks it will be good or not?

You should also know that, as a TV writer, Tim gets access to episodes of new shows before most people, because he's seen it. He's giving you his OPINION. If you don't like it, fine. But what ELSE did you expect this article to be about?
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This is an article titled 'Should I Watch The Following' which implies giving educated guesses based on trailers and summaries. Given the article's actual content, a more appropriate title should be 'Is the Pilot a Piece of Crap or Not'.

Not to mention, the article is simply poorly written. He pretends to be giving pros and cons, but even when he's telling you the pros, he's sarcastically commenting that they're really cons.

Now, this type of article is perfectly fine when everyone involved is on the same footing (ie, everyone has already seen the episode). But since no one else has had a chance to watch the pilot yet, no one can argue against his points and we simply have to take his snide comments at face value.
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Well, okay, but isn't it a given that it's going to be unfair either way, then?

Just out of curiosity, would you have had the same response if his reaction to the show was glowing and he refused to entertain any flaws? That would be equally unfair.

The article title--for all of these "should I watch ____" articles--seems to imply to me that the viewer/reader of the site is the one "asking" the question of whether he or she should watch. And Tim, as one who writes about television, is giving his opinion and answer to the question, as informed by what he's seen of the show so far. I don't know what "argument" is supposed to be had here, because that's not really the point of the article in the first place.
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I don't know if my reaction would have been the same had the review been positive. I'd like to say yes, but being perfectly honest, I just don't know. I do know that it being negative forced me to see the flaws in the article. And the difference between the two would be that I would have had access to those same resources had his opinion been based on trailers and articles whereas he had an unfair advantage in having already watched the episode.

But now the time for arguing is past as I am going to watch the episode for myself and we will see what this show is really all about. It was fun arguing with you, but for me this will be goodbye. Hope to argue with you in future posts!
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It's got FRAKKING KEVIN BACON. And if that wasn't more more than enough to get me (and you) to watch, James Purefoy, one of the most awesome men on the planet is also in this. Purefoy reminds me of Hugh Jackman. I love Hugh Jackman, so automatically I love James Purefoy, he's a great actor.
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Here we go again ... people get excited about a show and Tim convinces them not to watch it because he doesn't like it!
Lets at least give it a shot ... it has James Purefoy in it!!!
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Because I've been a devout James Purefoy cultist since Rome, of course I'm going to watch this and kill people gruesomely if that's what he wants me to do. And Bacon won't be able to stop us.
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I don't like Saw, but i liked Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, so I'll set myself up for disappointment on this one.
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I like the theme, but judging from the trailer this could go either way. It seems to be standing a little too much on the cliches of the genre, to make a real difference. i like both the leads so I'll give it a try, but whether I become a regular or not, will depend on how original it is.
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I wasn't planning watching it to see mindless violence, which I have assumed all along would be the case. I am planning on watching it because James Purefoy is an amazing actor and I think he will be perfect for this role. Also, if anyone could pull off making thousands of people do their bidding it would be a character played by James Purefoy.
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I'm really looking forward to this.....
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This probably should've been a mini series but oh well we'll see how it goes, that is if fox doesnt cancel before it gets interesting.
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Yeah, I kind of see this being Killing-esque. I don't see how this could longer than a season.
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I am up for this. If only to see if Fox can make up for their sucktastic previous shows with great premises that had horrible writing and ending up being a complete and utter waste of time.

But I like the premise and would love a dark drama that isn't campy and slightly stupid like AHS.
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I was thinking of watching this, but now that you've clarified some deadly aspects of it, I guess I won't. I might try the first episode to see for myself, but I gave up on Criminal Minds after Patinkin left and mostly because the show got too dark to watch week after week. I guess it will be the same for me with this one
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"Okay, exactly who is so convincing that he can build an armada of murderers via the World Wide Web who do what he says" Isn't the whole point that he's appealing to like-minded people? Or does the show have some supernatural element?
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