Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Following

It has occurred to me that it has been almost a month now since I had written something here, and part of the reason is that I have been extremely busy and have not had much time to get to the movies. The last thing I saw in the theater was Identity Thief and that movie was so forgettable that I didn't even bother writing a review for it. But we aren't going to talk about that now. Today, we're gonna look at a show that I have been having mixed feelings about towards the beginning.

So you all know that I am a big Kevin Bacon fan, and when I saw that he was going to be doing a new show for Fox (and told on facebook by several different friends), I got pretty hyped, but then I saw the trailer for the show, and to be honest, I didn't really have high hopes for it. I mean sure, it had Kevin Bacon in it, but apart from that, I didn't see much promise in it. The premise looked cool, but I didn't understand why they decided to make a show as opposed to one or even two movies. And I still got that feeling during the first few episodes of the series. As time went on, however and the plot has progressed, I can see why they made this a show. It probably won't last very long, I'd give it 2-3 seasons tops.

So what is it about? Well we have a sereal killer played by James Purefoy from Rome who escapes from prison days before he is supposed to be executed. The FBI calls in the agent that caught him, played by Kevin Bacon, because he is the only one who understands him. And I have to point this out, this is a cliche that really bugs me. It was one thing when they said "You're the only one who understands him, that's why we need you" in the 80's, but nowadays when a character says that, I always wonder if they pause after saying it and think "Wow, I really am a character in a movie". Back to the story. The real trouble comes from not just the killer, but his followers. It would appear that in the years he spent in prison awaiting his execution, Carroll was not just twiddling his thumbs awaiting the end. Oh no, he was busy at work contacting people over the internet, sweet talking people that visited him in jail, so now he has his own cult of Manson-esque followers ready to do his bidding. At first, it looked as though he had only a few people under his command, but those people went out and recruited more people and now I compare them less to the Manson family and more to the Death Eaters from Harry Potter. These people have drive, they have purpose, and even though they are clearly crazy, they don't appear to be all that messed up. If anything, they just started out as being gullible and really impressionable, and Joe Carroll took advantage of that, promising them purpose and a better life if they follow him. It's actually pretty believable how he was able to seduce all of these people and get them to do his bidding. You hear them say things like "When you kill someone, your life has more meaning" and it just brings chills to my spine because I can actually imagine people using that as justification for horrific acts.

The show does a pretty good job of balancing out the narrative and whose story we are told. Almost every character has a backstory to them and it's interesting to see the flashbacks where Joe's followers visit him in prison and he works his magic on them. Again, I don't see the show lasting for extremely long, but I don't think the writers intend on it lasting very long either. They probably know that this sort of concept can only stay afloat for very long before you start shark jumping. But for now, I'm just gonna enjoy it. If you are into shows like Law and Order and enjoy movies like The Silence of the Lambs, I'd give this a watch. If you enjoy cop shows but are more of the fun-loving kind like Psych or Monk, then I would steer clear.