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Fox’s ‘The Following’ Will Add Much Needed Thrill to Monday Nights [REVIEW]

The Following Logo
(Fox Broadcasting / YouTube)

As the saying goes, “Everything is better with Bacon.” Even a TV show!

My job comes with several perks. I wear t-shirts and jeans to work everyday, I get to hear new songs before most people, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought a CD or purchased a concert ticket. From time to time, I also get the opportunity to see a new TV show before most people, such as the case here.

I was invited by Fox 44 here in Evansville to stop by earlier this week and check out the pilot episode of The Following, starring none other than Mr. Footloose himself, the man who everyone has somehow managed to come into contact with by one of six degrees, Kevin Bacon.. Seeing that I had already listed The Following as one of my three most anticipated new shows of the year several months back, I gladly accepted the invitation.

Since this was a copy sent directly from Fox to its affiliates for the sole purpose of sneak previews like this, we had the luxury of watching it commercial-free. Although in hindsight, a few commercial break here and there would have at least given my heart a chance to slow down a bit.

The Following - James Purefoy
James Purefoy (Fox Broadcasting / YouTube)

Bacon stars as Ryan Hardy, a former FBI agent whose pièce de résistance an undisclosed time ago, was tracking and capturing serial killer, Joe Carroll (played by British actor, James Purefoy), a former college literary professor obsessed with not only the writings, but the life of famed author Edgar Allen Poe, he based the murders of 14 female students off of him, taking the eyes of each, à la “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

Fast-forward to present day. For reasons not immediately made clear (although I suspect they will be as the season moves forward), Hardy is no longer with the FBI and clearly wrestles with a few demons, as evident by his need to guzzle vodka from an empty water bottle as soon as he gets out of bed.

He awakes one morning to news that Carroll has managed to escape from prison. A phone call from the director of the FBI follows shortly thereafter and just like that, Hardy is sucked back into a world he left on apparently not-so-great terms to start a new chase with an old foe. A chase that will take an unexpected turn.

All “six degrees of separation” jokes aside, Kevin Bacon is a great actor and plays the role of tormented hero well, while Purefoy portrays the wickedly smart, cold and calculated psychotic Carroll with a chilling effect.

While I feel it should go without saying, I’ll say it anyway just to be safe, The Following is NOT fun for the entire family as it really pushes the boundaries of broadcast television in terms of suspense and, for lack of a better term, gore. I even made the comment after viewing the pilot in the well-lit conference room of Fox 44 that I don’t know if I could watch it with the lights off.

For fans of thrillers and suspense, The Following will more than satisfy your thirst. I’ll definitely be setting my DVR to record the season when it debuts next Monday at 8pm Evansville time on Fox 44.

To get a good idea of what you’re in for, check out the trailer for The Following.

To get an even better idea, check out the “Rated Intense” trailer on YouTube.

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