The Following – yay or nay?

Posted on Posted in The Following, TV

Did you watch “The Following” on Fox last night?  It’s taking a lot of flack from the critics. I think it’s easier for them to knock stuff down.  That’s what makes critics better than us, right?  It’s like Jr High all over again.  er…I digress….

Pros

  • It plays like a book I would read. It seems like something James Patterson or John Sandford would write.  I would’ve liked it more as a book, but I’m interested in it as a TV show.  Murder mystery books have crazy high sales, so I know I can’t be the only one.
  • 14 consecutive episodes.As in Deception, I worry about a show that drags on endlessly without getting any closer to its conclusion.  I like that it has an end date.  I LOVE that they’ve committed to showing all new episodes every week.  No repeats!  Awesome and thank you!
  • Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy. The acting was good.  It’s always easier to watch shows with good acting.

 

Cons

  • Too much GORE for an 8pm show. I read Harlen Corben and Karin Slaughter.  Gore in books doesn’t bother me.  I don’t celebrate it, but look forward to seeing how they catch the bad guy! Seeing it on the screen is too much.  I’m hoping they tone it down a bit.  I can’t even watch CSI anymore, so I’m pretty wimpy in this department.
  • Have to suspend your disbelief to follow the premise.  Dexter taught us that serial killers can’t have friends. The idea of a serial killer with friends to do his bidding is hard for some to choke down. Yet, I don’t hear people complaining about Red John’s godlike ability to enlist loyal followers.
  • Parts of the show were way too predictable. It happens.  It’s hard to stuff everything into a premier without messing it up.  I liked it enough to watch it next week.
  • Personally not a fan of the “hero” as a broken alcoholic. It may be lame in today’s society, but I prefer a hero who doesn’t drown away the pain in alcohol.  A hero who stands up and kicks ass.  I understand that people have flaws….and that heroes with flaws make for a better story.  I just don’t personally care for a hero with this flaw.

How to enjoy this show

  • Accept the premise as is–a serial killer with a loyal following.  Skip over the part where you try to decide if that’s even possible.  Start with it as a given.  What questions pop up?  What would someone like that be capable of? How would it make things harder for the cops? How does it make the story different?  Is our society heading that way? What can be done to protect ourselves from that path? It’s like a brainstorming session at school – you’re not supposed to take time wondering if it’s even remotely possible.  Just run with it!
  • Ignore the Gore. It’s supposed to bother you.  Just look away.  You can tell when it’s over just by listening.
  • Allow for exposition in the first 3 episodes.  “Show don’t tell” is the current law of the land.  However, you have to expect a bucket of “telling” in the first several episodes. Roll your eyes….then yell, “we get it!” at the TV screen and let it go.  3 episodes.  That’s all they get to switch over.
  • Hop on Twitter. Have you done this yet?  It’s actually pretty fun.  You log onto twitter just before the show starts.  Then any thought that pops into your head from the show, tweet it.  Include the #thefollowing tag and you’re now watching TV with millions of viewers.  Surprisingly, not many tweets last night for #thefollowing.  They said 10.4 million people watched it.  I guess they were too shocked by the twists in the show to take time to tweet.  This show will be way funner with twitter, though.  Guess what’s going to happen next.  Call out lame lines.  Drool over cute outfits.  It’s funner than you think – go try it!
  • Ignore the critics. One of them complained that the victims were women.  Really?  Others complained about the uneducated references to Poe.  Snooty, much? Decide for yourself.  Then be loud about it on twitter.  People connected to the show will read it.  You can actually be heard!  Speak for yourself 😉

Trailer:

[hahahah – It’s so funny that books and tv shows have official “trailers”!  I picked this one because I felt like the other one gave away too much of the first episode.  I detest spoilers.]

Leave a comment – what did you think of The Following?  Will you be watching it again?  What show or book/author did it most remind you of?

You can watch The Following Monday nights on FOX or on Hulu or Fox.com