Midseason Pilot Review: The Following

Premise: When a serial killer breaks out of prison with the help of a group of copycat killers he’s collected, the FBI calls in the man who originally caught him to catch him again

Initial Thoughts: This was one of the 3 shows I was most excited about this television series. The concept sounded like something I would love, the promos looked interested, and it has gotten a lot of really positive press, so I have been waiting for this since it was announced last May.

Series Premiere: 1/21/13

Timeslot Competition: 2 Broke Girls/Mike & Molly (CBS), The Bachelor/Dancing with the Stars (ABC), The Biggest Loser/The Voice (NBC), 90210 (CW)

Post-show Thoughts: I think this might be the strongest pilot episode this season. It kept me engaged during the episode and the ending made me want to tune in for the rest of the season.

The acting in this, especially from Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, was outstanding. Bacon and Purefoy play off of each other perfectly and they completely sell the antagonistic dynamic between their characters. The constantly-moving camera adds an extra layer of tension although was a little distracting at times.

It’s definitely not a show that will appeal to everyone. It’s dark, unsettling, and at times, the gore and violence seemed to be there just because it could be. I also wonder if it’s a show that would be better served as a mini-series (or two short seasons) because I can see the show becoming frustrating or the levels of duplicity becoming too tangled and messy to maintain a high quality. I would rather have fewer strong episodes than more episodes that gradually (or suddenly) decrease in quality, although I recognize that is not necessarily a profitable strategy for networks to use.

Personally, I really liked it. Carroll makes a really fascinating villain and Hardy makes an equally interesting “flawed hero”. It combines my love of forensics and psychology so while I probably don’t want to watch this show right before bed, I will definitely be keeping up with it this season.

Predictions: This was the second-highest rated premiere this season (behind Revolution) and it’s a show that I believe can maintain most of its audience, assuming the quality is maintained. There will be some drop off, of course, but even losing half a ratings point should still make it an easy bet for renewal. FOX doesn’t have as many highly-rated shows as they once had and this show has gotten them a lot of good publicity. FOX can be tricky to predict, since they have fewer hours to fill than the CBS, ABC, or NBC, but with Fringe ending and The Mob Doctor being canceled, they have the room on their schedule for this show to be renewed for a shorter season and still premiere one to three dramas depending on Touch‘s ratings this spring and whether or not they choose to keep their two-hour comedy block on Tuesdays.  

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One thought on “Midseason Pilot Review: The Following

  1. I have been meaning to check this show out and just haven’t yet, but I’m glad you liked it! From seeing the promos it definitely looked like my kind of show because I love the procedural/etc tv genre in general (mysteries were my favorite books to read ever since I started reading as a kid, and I think it’s rubbed off on my tv habits lol!), and because the plot looked fascinating. I’ll have to see if I can find it On Demand on my tv and watch it this weekend!

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