The Following Kevin Bacon Kevin Williamson S1 Discussion SPOILERS

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Locutus of Bored, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Co-Founder of ISIS Moderator

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    My review is only mildly spoilery and involves only the details of the set-up to the ongoing events of the series in case other haven't seen it yet, but please feel free to use spoilers from now on while discussing the show.

    This aired last night in the US and Canada, and airs tonight in the UK and at various times in the next few weeks in the rest of Europe and elsewhere.

    I've been looking forward to seeing this ever since watching the previews and reading the positive reviews, and it didn't disappoint. The show is certainly not for children or the faint of heart, however, as it is extremely gruesome and violent and genuinely scary in parts, the latter of which is rarely achieved on television or even most horror films, where the outcome is usually so predictable you rarely are shocked by anything that happens. It's not a procedural in the vein of the CSIs or Bones where an equally gruesome murder will be surrounded by goofy dialogue and character moments; the show is (at least during the pilot) pretty relentlessly dark, disturbing, and humorless. This is more in the style and tone of Silence of the Lambs and Seven, and while I mean that in a good way, it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. It has the all the self-awareness, inside references, and lampshade hanging of Williamson's Scream series minus the humor (though the inside references are literary --Edgar Allan Poe-- this time rather than horror films), and in a fantastic sit-down between the primary protagonist and antagonist, Carroll basically spells out to Hardy that they're writing the sequel to their original thriller together.

    The casting and production values of the show are exceptional, and raise the bar above most other TV dramas. Bacon gives an outstanding beat-down and on the ragged edge performance as Hardy, who seems very much inspired by Will Graham from Thomas Harris' Red Dragon (adapted as Manhunter and the later Red Dragon), especially in his backstory and ongoing consulting with while simultaneously outsmarting each other relationship with the sophisticated Lector-esque killer. Carroll stabbed Hardy as Hardy was rescuing a potential victim (Maggie Grace) nearly a decade go, and Bacon shot and captured Carroll, but needs a pacemaker to survive now. Hopefully the weakness during any exertion or stress that his heart condition causes Hardy is not something that will be forgotten after the pilot. Purefoy is pure evil with none of the pretense of making us try to sympathize with him or understand his motives many other shows attempt, but it's easy to see why someone would be compelled to admire or follow such a charismatic figure if they were disturbed; so it's not difficult to believe he could start a Manson Family-like cult following, even if his method of doing so online while behind bars stretches credibility a bit. Natalie Zea from Justified does a great job as Carroll's ex-wife, a fellow professor who had a relationship with Hardy during the search for or after Carroll was caught and may have fathered a child with Hardy or Carroll (it's briefly implied that Carroll is the father, and I don't know why you'd tell your son that a serial killer is his father if he wasn't, but I have a feeling given his age that his parentage will come into question later). Maggie Grace as Carroll's only surviving victim manages to be sympathetic and not annoying like she was in Lost or Taken. She's Carroll's unfinished business, much like Poe's The Light-House, and Carroll escapes from prison in an attempt to finish what he started with her and begin a new game with the washed up Hardy. And Shawn Ashmore gives a chilling performance as Iceman, trying to stop Bacon's Sebastian Shaw from creating a mutant empire in the ruins of a human apocalypse (sorry, I've got nothing -- he did a good job as an FBI profiler and fawning expert on both Carroll and Hardy).

    I've left the major spoilers out of my review, but I will say that there were three pretty big "holy crap!" moments in the show, both from being immediately frightening and dramatically shocking in a "I can't believe they did that" sort of way (in one case). Like I said before, when they're searching some dark rooms, there are some genuinely scary moments, which is pretty impressive since you know something is coming but still don't quite expect the way it happens. I highly recommend the show for people who don't have a problem with a dark and rather depressing story that still manages to be dramatically compelling and interesting. But I wouldn't recommend it for people expecting a CBS-style procedural with humor mixed in with the darkness. If it maintains the tone of the pilot, it's going to go to some pretty dark places, both literally and figuratively.

    This was one of the better TV series pilots I've seen in a long time. I give the pilot episode an "A" and look forward to seeing where the series goes from here.
     
  2. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll add it to my netflix queue. Should see it in oh about a year. :D
     
  3. auntiehill

    auntiehill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I enjoyed the pilot very much, too, Locutus. I'm definitely going to give this series a try. The performances were all very good and the characters are certainly compelling.
     
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was shit.

    Nothing reasonable happened.

    Nothing sensible happened.

    Nothing Horrific happened.

    Nothing logical happened.

    So much exposition to explain back stories we don't need yet.

    Pace yourself.

    Meh?
     
  5. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yet another villain whose plan is to get captured. I'm so past being able to accept that one it's not funny. I'm going to try the second pilot, i.e., the first regular series episode. Purefoy doesn't convince us that he's smart enough to plan this crap. And since he's apparently just going to rant and emote at Kevin Bacon, the show is going to rise or fall on its temp characters, the titular Following, the Carroll cultists. If they're believable and interesting, the show might overcome its bloodlust. The gore is a turnoff, it's not entertaining.
     
  6. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I enjoyed the pilot too very much. I'll definitely keep watching.
     
  7. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Watched it last night and thought it was petty good. I'll keep watching for now.
     
  8. Borgminister

    Borgminister Admiral Moderator

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    Wanted to really like it, but came away a bit underwhelmed, frankly. I will give it a few more watches but the premise is rather thin right now, and other than shock value, I'm not sure what could make it more intriguing. There's going to be absolutely nothing about the villain that's redeemable, or about his followers. Pretty rote and two-dimensional to my eyes, unlike say Dexter, which for whatever it's flaws, has an interesting psychological premise.
     
  9. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked it even if the beginning escape scene was silly. I'll continue watching.

    My mom even liked it... kind of. "I enjoyed it, but I don't really like the people who follow his orders."

    I'm like "That's the point of the show, it's called The Following".

    I'm looking into nursing homes now. :lol:
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    BTW, I've been avoiding spoilers for the new movie but every time I see Locutus' av, I get scared all over again that JJ Abrams plana to resurrect the Borg. :rommie:
     
  11. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was ok. I watch a lot of crime dramas, and I was thoroughly underwhelmed by this. For something that's been getting a lot of press and has Kevin Bacon, I just expected a lot more.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I think it could have benefited from being 2 hours instead of one. Give more time for the premise to develop. Still, not bad.

    The one thing I think was sorely missing was what set Carroll off to start killing to begin with.
     
  13. chardman

    chardman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thought it was great, but not sure how long they could maintain this single storyline. I mean, it would be great for a limited run series, but an ongoing series?

    No way.

    It would be one thing if the plot involving Purefoy's character was simply a recurring sub-plot, like Patrick Jane's pursuit of Red John, or the like, interspersed with otherwise unrelated stand-alone eps, but with Purefoy listed as a series regular, that's apparently not going to be the case. He's clearly going to be Bacon's prime adversary in virtually every freakin' episode, and I see that wearing thin pretty damn quick.
     
  14. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah because we always knows why a killer kills right away. That wouldn't even be realistic.
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Um, it's been 8 years since he started killing. Ryan Hardy (Bacon's character) wrote a book about the guy. I think it would have been very realistic considering it goes to motivation for what he's doing now.
     
  16. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm sure they'll explain why over the course of the season. I'm sure that they didn't want to blow that wad right away in the pilot.
     
  17. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah. It's really not that big of a deal. He killed people because he thought it was beautiful.

    Or maybe he started killing when Kevin Bacon's character started banging his wife.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    The killings started before Bacon's character met the wife. He met with her to consult on motivation.
     
  19. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Same here. It's certainly well made and looks great... but I'm just freakin bored to death of serial killers by now, and watching damaged cops/detectives/agents chase them down with their super sexy partners and quirky, comic relief tech guys.

    It's nothing I haven't seen in a thousand other cop shows and movies.
     
  20. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    His "plan" wasn't getting captured. Realistically, getting captured is inevitable for someone like him, in the USA in 2013, so he accepted that from the start, after doing what he set out to do.

    I'm not fully buying into the show yet either though.