Binge Guide

Weekly Binge: The Following

We give you what you need to know to dive into the popular shows everyone's talking about.

by | January 23, 2014 | Comments

Welcome to the Weekly Binge, where we’ll be taking a closer look at the shows that are worth your time. This week, we’re spending time with Ryan Hardy as he continues to pursue serial killer Joe Carroll and his oh-so-dedicated followers.

 

The Following

The Following

What’s the premise? Retired FBI agent Ryan Hardy returns to the field to track and re-capture infamous serial killer Joe Carroll, a cultish Charles Manson-like leader with hundreds of followers at his beck and call who has just escaped prison.

What’s it like? Definitely not a show for the squeamish, The Following‘s graphic violence encroaches upon the line of what is considered proper for primetime network television. Don’t take that to mean it should be avoided, though, because it’s a tense, twisted, what-happens-next kind of show. Episodes will often lead viewers to believe they are about to witness the big capture and ultimate face-off, only for the writers to concoct some crazy, creative way out. It’s a dangerous, manipulative ride, but man, is it fun.

Where can I see it? The second season previewed on January 19 on FOX but on January 27, it resumes its regular slot on Mondays at 10 p.m. To catch up, you can watch select episodes on FOX.com and Yidio, or you can always purchase views on HuluPlus, Vudu, Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

How long will it take? The first season contains 15 episodes, and now the preview episode of the second season has aired, which you can view online (see above). This could easily be hammered out in one weekend, if desired.

What do the critics think? Season one is Fresh, with a score of 65 percent. Of that season, Curt Wagner of RedEye says, “If you like to be scared to the point of watching through interlocked fingers, then tune in,” and The Los Angeles Times’ Mary McNamara says that the Edgar Allan Poe theme “[lends] the whole enterprise an artistic gravitas usually reserved for period dramas.” However, season two is off to a rocky start, with a score of 45 percent (with only 11 reviews aggregated at this time). So far, the criticism is aimed at the show’s predictability: Sonia Saraiya of AV Club argues, “For a show so bent on shock value, it has to this point failed to surprise much.” But some critics are still onboard, like Mark Trammell of TV Equals: “All in all, a fairly solid opener, with lots of action and set-up to get you hooked all over again. It will definitely be interesting to see where all of this is going.” The Following‘s own following remains addicted (with an audience rating of 76 percent), so it may just surprise us all again.

Why should I watch this? The Following is more horror than police procedural, which is especially nice for those of us who enjoy a dash of slash in our network TV. Watching Kevin Bacon on a weekly basis has also been a treat (since, you know, he’s only six degrees from any one of us). James Purefoy as Joe Carroll has demonstrated a proven ability to engage viewers, with a hate-to-love-him sort of charm, and Valorie Curry, as number one follower Emma, possesses a naturalistic charisma, even when she’s on the hunt. But it’s the twists and turns, the “gotcha” moments, that make The Following addictive. We know we’re going for a ride, but we still scream “Oh, ya’ got me!” now and then. The producers have stated the violence would be toned down this season, but based on the first new episode, there is no evidence to support that yet. Anyway, we hope the gore remains; otherwise we would end up with just another detective cat-and-mouse show. For now, we say bring it. Bring the sensationalistic gore, bring the tricky plot devices, bring the “killer” performances. And we will follow…

What’s my next step? For another creepy Kevin Bacon flick, check out the 1999 film Stir of Echoes, the disturbing drama The Woodsman, or Mystic River, the Certified Fresh film which also depicts Bacon as a detective. As for detective/serial killer films, we cannot forget the 1995 hit film, Seven, and chilling horror like Silence of the Lambs or any of the Hannibal films might keep you warm at night, as might season one of the television adaptation. Last year’s Elijah Wood remake of Maniac was quite fun, too. If you’re looking for solid police procedurals, we’d recommend Major Crimes and its predecessor The Closer, starring and executive produced by Bacon’s wife, Kyra Sedgwick. And right now you can watch the new Certified Fresh HBO show, True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

What do you like about The Following? How would you explain it to a newbie? Get in on the conversation here.

Tag Cloud

Logo dramedy TruTV GIFs Hollywood Foreign Press Association TCA Stephen King VOD halloween romance Musicals GLAAD Amazon Prime Disney slashers Peacock Holiday jamie lee curtis Drama indiana jones TLC History facebook game show CBS All Access blockbuster Freeform reviews what to watch Film Photos Disney streaming service nfl Watching Series National Geographic boxoffice war Pixar HBO Max BET Awards NBC laika robots action-comedy cancelled LGBT high school emmy awards 4/20 Brie Larson Christmas telelvision stoner prank remakes free movies fast and furious justice league Starz Disney+ Disney Plus Fox Searchlight all-time Baby Yoda Bravo teaser Turner Classic Movies award winner Tarantino Hear Us Out golden globes Video Games sopranos Captain marvel adventure true crime 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards crime Quiz worst movies live event book Thanksgiving king kong Election archives Year in Review Epix mob LGBTQ Podcast sequels scary Prime Video Funimation franchise a nightmare on elm street mutant PaleyFest critic resources Reality Competition BET Sci-Fi Spectrum Originals olympics Ghostbusters Ellie Kemper Britbox Anna Paquin batman HFPA Country FX HBO Spring TV feel good dragons halloween tv MSNBC kaiju Mary Tyler Moore E3 comedies lord of the rings aapi Toys indie dogs Elton John Black History Month toronto joker Best and Worst witnail Amazon Studios Travel Channel Summer legend science fiction kong scary movies spanish natural history football 2017 spinoff foreign Pop Trivia Mudbound Rock BBC American Society of Cinematographers cars debate 2018 harry potter TV One NYCC streaming TCA Winter 2020 DC streaming service YA Valentine's Day President cats Superheroe OneApp First Look suspense Tubi Winter TV strong female leads 73rd Emmy Awards BBC One casting movie target DGA HBO Go Biopics new star wars movies directors Interview VH1 Image Comics new york Cartoon Network quibi crime drama name the review Television Critics Association canceled 93rd Oscars festivals psycho Acorn TV Tags: Comedy basketball mcc YouTube Red festival Vudu comic books discovery rt labs critics edition Netflix dreamworks aliens comic book movies thriller television ViacomCBS golden globe awards MTV art house Ovation FXX cooking Masterpiece book adaptation king arthur 2015 MCU Star Wars stand-up comedy classics Marathons Legendary 71st Emmy Awards technology italian rom-coms Comedy Central Marvel biopic venice james bond composers Super Bowl screenings serial killer The Academy TIFF international The CW Creative Arts Emmys richard e. Grant Trailer criterion Paramount Plus Turner comiccon south america cartoon Tokyo Olympics Black Mirror Neflix Comic Book Nickelodeon worst Grammys french Food Network A24 YouTube leaderboard Rocketman Paramount comics Warner Bros. 45 Comics on TV See It Skip It 21st Century Fox spider-man RT History cancelled television wonder woman video on demand Sundance Now dark adaptation Chernobyl game of thrones comic Alien 99% crossover Song of Ice and Fire Sundance Amazon Prime Video El Rey spain WarnerMedia screen actors guild Disney Plus jurassic park live action Mindy Kaling asian-american 2021 Tomatazos Family ITV Cosplay The Walt Disney Company Comic-Con@Home 2021 Crackle Apple TV Plus zombie Paramount Network Superheroes scene in color Pirates elevated horror Fantasy Sneak Peek anthology TV San Diego Comic-Con blockbusters Red Carpet finale First Reviews IFC Lionsgate black comedy political drama Pacific Islander doctor who Shudder saw Pet Sematary TCA 2017 RT21 Showtime Certified Fresh sequel hollywood Fall TV TCM Western ratings Binge Guide travel rt labs Apple cancelled TV series monster movies period drama films The Purge A&E documentaries DirecTV pirates of the caribbean Mary poppins Lifetime Christmas movies SXSW mission: impossible marvel cinematic universe Hallmark Christmas movies child's play twilight PlayStation Avengers deadpool Academy Awards scorecard nature royal family ABC FX on Hulu theme song Emmy Nominations Mystery ABC Family trailers posters fresh Mary Poppins Returns Instagram Live versus independent Rocky AMC Nominations based on movie Lifetime AMC Plus docuseries Martial Arts Awards Tour hist singing competition police drama politics cancelled TV shows Amazon YouTube Premium satire japan Polls and Games Apple TV+ Syfy children's TV Awards heist movie Arrowverse binge obituary Reality Writers Guild of America stop motion miniseries slasher talk show latino BBC America biography Set visit Crunchyroll Music blaxploitation universal monsters best Universal TCA Awards japanese Rom-Com Holidays Endgame young adult critics docudrama unscripted godzilla australia 90s video breaking bad The Arrangement TBS Lucasfilm Winners superhero Sony Pictures chucky Tumblr dceu zero dark thirty TNT vampires 2020 Schedule Premiere Dates Marvel Studios Pride Month ESPN GoT Pop TV reboot 2016 cinemax Netflix Christmas movies Extras Universal Pictures diversity Teen Nat Geo supernatural spanish language historical drama green book New York Comic Con Action Sundance TV CBS Discovery Channel CW Seed TV renewals DC Universe ABC Signature sag awards Spike Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Shondaland cults TV movies Comedy new zealand hispanic heritage month Marvel Television BAFTA TV Land zombies Fargo black crime thriller popular Film Festival 79th Golden Globes Awards superman anime werewolf CMT women APB Opinion sitcom renewed TV shows genre revenge movies canceled TV shows Columbia Pictures transformers social media die hard romantic comedy 24 frames FOX NBA ID streaming movies boxing Walt Disney Pictures Women's History Month Horror DC Comics space hidden camera spider-verse Hallmark comic book movie vs. spy thriller psychological thriller SundanceTV sports Broadway SDCC VICE Fox News X-Men Countdown trophy Animation IFC Films animated Calendar toy story Disney Channel Wes Anderson hispanic news rotten series PBS OWN 72 Emmy Awards Cannes rotten movies we love adenture Oscars Exclusive Video tv talk concert IMDb TV medical drama Trophy Talk gangster christmas movies know your critic Hulu 20th Century Fox marvel comics Television Academy 007 USA Network Musical Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt razzies rt archives Character Guide 1990s USA dexter Esquire documentary disaster The Walking Dead ghosts Emmys Box Office Star Trek Adult Swim 2019 Classic Film WGN Dark Horse Comics Heroines dc nbcuniversal CNN parents kids Kids & Family Infographic cops The Witch E! mockumentary