Fox Renews “The Following” And Rightfully So! (A TV Series Review)

by on March 5, 2013

in Entertainment, tv reviews

promo still of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy in

Today Fox announced the renewal of a few TV shows…  The Mindy Project, New Girl, Raising Hope and The Following.

I’m not prone to frothing all over myself about the first three but if you like a TV series that keeps you on your toes and creates compelling content, then The Following is for you.  And the renewal from Fox does not surprise me.

The Following is Fox’s top scripted drama and gives Fox a sure footing in the fight for the no. 1 spot on Monday nights.  This week alone, several weeks into the season, it’s scoring almost 9 million live views, and the 7+ numbers are just as crazy!  (Do you hear that Person of Interest distributors? , OnDemand helps the ratings!!! Sorry, that’s my vent about how you can’t catch PoI in anything else but when it airs.)

The renewal involves a short 15-episode order for some reason, as if they aren’t sure how this story or show will pan out after the first season comes to a close, and if you think about it, that might not be a bad call.

The Following, created by Kevin Williamson (The Scream franchise), follows ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy, played wonderfully by Kevin Bacon.  Hardy is a flawed man, but he has a serious job to do.  That job, after being called back in to consult, is to capture one escaped prisoner by the name of Joe Carroll, played insidiously by James Purefoy.  But it’s not going to be as easy as all that for Hardy.

At least that’s what everyone thinks, including the viewers.

One of the first few twists that we are introduced to include the fact that Carroll allows himself to be captured by Hardy.  At the end of the first episode, viewers were like, What?  I thought we were going to watch a season full of chasing this evil mastermind!?   Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that Carroll is an evil mastermind?  Indeed.

Even though he’s been captured by the police, the game has barely begun with Carroll and Hardy, as over the years, Carroll has developed a cult following that is beholden to no one but him.  And they all want to be like Carroll…  murderers.

And one of the first twists from The Following that takes place is that ….  oh, wait, if you’re one of those that might wait for the DVD season to come out and you don’t like spoilers, then I best be careful. No spoilers here.

But suffice it to say, the story is pretty damn engaging.

The twists keep coming, even when you aren’t sure how they can twist it up any more.  And these twists are serious “jaw droppers.”  Even when you’re not surprised about a twist, you still have both hemispheres of your brain yelling at each other…  sure we saw it coming.. but it still happened!!!

It’s an amazing job the showrunners are doing with this show.  Other cast includes Shawn Ashmore, Natalie Zea, Annie Parisse, Nico Tortorella, Valorie Curry & Adan Canto.

But there lingers a curious question in my mind.

This show is pretty amazing (Yea, yea, I know, I keep saying that.)  as far as a police procedural goes.  Purefoy is the perfect criminal murderer, his followers are just as insidious and as easy to dislike.  And when I see that Fox only renewed the series for 16 instead of 22 episodes, it made me wonder.

That being, how will they keep the series going after this season?

1)  Will Carroll and his schemes be stopped by Hardy, or will it continue into next season?  It would be the perfect season to have Hardy win this match.  But then how do you present another criminal as insidious as this one?  And the show’s titled, The Following, implies Carroll’s cult.

2)  So then do you drag out the story into next season, with Carroll still calling the shots prison?

3)  Or is he stopped, then it’s a season of mop up as the FBI chases down the straggler cult followers?  And if you’ve been following, you know that the followers are inspired by their leader to be as great as he is, but in their own, creative ways.  To a degree, Carroll has “hired” very well.

The show is incredible.

If you haven’t caught the show yet, and you enjoy a decent police procedural, I’d suggest checking out The Following.  It can be pretty intense and the surprises just keep coming, just when you think they’ve exhausted all of them.

OK, ’nuff said!

(IF you leave a comment and want to leave spoilers, just stick the word “SPOILER” in there so no one has the show messed up for them.  Thanks!)

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