Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kevin Bacon has a Following?

I think I am ready to say that The Following is the best show currently airing on TV. This is the ballsiest to come along in some time, and has no qualms about extreme violence. Kevin Bacon is showing that he is still capable of carrying a production on his talented back. Most people were ready to write him off as a has been because he is no longer a true marquee talent headlining blockbusters in Hollywood. What he is showing is that he can still act circles around the rest of Hollywood and could still be a headliner.

I almost forgot how incredible an actor James Purefoy was until seeing the pilot episode of this show. He is a major player in the pilot and becomes a supporting character in the subsequent episodes. He crafts Joe Carroll into a captivating character who is pulling the strings of almost every character on the show. There is a "Hannibal Lecter" quality to him that perfectly balances calmness, smarts, and a viciousness that can frighten and entrance people at the same time. He is a force that is dangerous even when in prison and he is a truly great villain, which is very hard to come by on TV these days. Joe's stated long term goal is to create a sequel to his first killing spree, in which Ryan is the hero. I have a feeling that this is not the true goal and there are definitely more twists and turn coming within the next few episodes. 

The followers are shaping up to be the best part of this show, and that was the thing that really surprised me about the show. The three main followers, Paul, Jacob, and Emma are all equally engaging which is going to be great going forward. They seem like the steady core of the "following" and there will be a new follower highlighted each week because there doesn't seem to be a shortage of people willing to kill for Joe and his cause. I can't wait to see their journey play out alongside that of Kevin Bacon's Ryan and his race to catch them before they kill again.

The examination of peoples willingness to follow a cause blindly seems to be coming into play as the season moves along. The followers, while all disturbed in their own ways, choose to blindly follow Joe's plans at every turn without so much as an explanation.  They feel like he is nurturing them and that they can identify with his need to kill. He killed for the "art" of it, while some of the other killers seem to enjoy it. At this point in the season, we have only had a limited exposure to the followers and their individual motives. One is there because he desperately wants to be like Joe and the other people in the group but he has been unable to kill up to this point. Another was so entranced by the teachings of Joe that she now follows him without question, and the other one has unseen motives. I am interested to see what limits they are willing to follow Joe to and what lines they each would not personally cross.

In a season of sub-par new shows, The Following is head over heels better than the competition. Bacon and Purefoy make formidable adversaries and I can't wait to see what Joe has in store for Ryan over the course of the season. The only thing that I am not completely sure of  how this story is going to extend into multiple seasons but other than that, I am pretty psyched to see what happens over the rest of this season.