The Following

Pilot: This Kevin Bacon/James Purefoy FOX thriller has a very interesting premise. WIth two heavy weights as its lead, it has a lot riding on it. The pilot established the premise and introduced the two leads: Bacon as the profiler, broken but brilliant; Purefoy as the charming intelligent Evil. EP, created, written and directed by Kevin Williamson, it had some good scenes, especially those where Bacon's pacemaker rhythm is heard over the action. Those were tense. Maggie Grace: hello, and goodbye, too bad you could not stay for long. It lacked the punch of a cable show and seemed tame by comparison. Or are we sensitised to violence? It can be darker and more disturbing still, can't it on network tv? I hope they develop the supporting cast more, in particular Iceman aka Shawn Ashmore.

Episode 2, "Chapter Two": We get a new character: FBI Agent Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) thrown into the mix who looks like will be a bug part of the mythology. I find her suspicious and won't be surprise if she turns up to be one of the acolytes, especially her last scene with Joe. But it also looks like she may be poised to be a romantic partner for Ryan, thereby establishing a strange sort of love quadrangle. Admittedly, she does have good chemistry with Bacon. The acolytes are getting interesting, and their backstory will help develop their characterisation and help the audience to understand/relate with them better. The law enforcers sidekicks, on the other hand, are rather bland. Even Iceman needs to be developed more. Some good scares, and unexpected turns, will keep this series interesting. But they will need to develop a larger plot ASAP.

Episode 3, "Chapter Three": I still don't trust this FBI lady, but this gives credit to her performance, although half the time I keep imagining Lisa Edelstein taking on her role. Emma is a psycho and her character lacks layers. The two ex-gay guys are at least more interesting and not so one-dimensional. The new guy didn't last long eh? But we get another female acolyte thrown into the mix. The multiple flashbacks are getting cliche and disruptive, ever since "Lost" this technique is getting repetitive. And in this case, it disrupts the dramatic narrative flow. The highlights are still the Bacon vs. Purefoy scenes.

Episode 4, "Chapter Four": The pacing is slowing down and it is turning slightly into a procedural/case/psycho-of-the-week theme. They should focus more on Joe's plot. The threesome are actually turning out to be the most interesting plot point, with the changing and fluxing dynamics. Bacon and Purefoy needs more scenes together, and Ashmore is turning out nicely. Again, the flashbacks, jumping in and out and about time, is rather jarring. Perhaps a different method needs to be employed for us to better understand Ryan. Although Bacon is really an outstanding actor. This year, the actors really outshine the actresses on TV.

Episode 5-6, "Chapter Five" and "Chapter Six": Finally the show got interesting and riveting. Joe's lawyer add an interesting dimension to this as his proxy to the outside world and increases his role. Purefoy is chilling. There are now less flashbacks which is good but do we really care about FBI Agent Parker? She is possibly the least interesting character at the moment. Many WTFs moments in these two episodes, and we are introduced to the mysterious "Roderick", who I am betting is an insider (?Agent Parker). Emma, Paul and Jacob have become interesting again, especially now that they are split up. This is still largely a hero's journey, with an excellent Kevin Bacon in these two episodes, but the villains are at least drawn complicatedly and not so one-dimensional. Even Charlie is a bit interesting, but they really ought to reduce the Lost shadows of backstories for everybody. Just focus on the core group, there is only 13 episodes!

Update (23 March 2013): The show is interesting and different from your usual run of the mill network series. But alas it is not superbly well-rounded. Only Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy are outstanding. The rest of the characters are merely supportive, and as the acolytes expand, so do they get more pedestrian. The core group, Emma, Jacob and Paul (and now, perhaps, Roderick too) are the only ones who seemed more complex. Even the storyline tends to be a variation of the murderer-of-the-week plot, and only the ones that served to drive the A-plot moving is really good. How can this show move beyond one or two seasons?


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