The Following TV series review

Posted on 30 January 2013
By Debs Marsden
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Kevin Bacon is connected to everybody and new American drama The Following tries not to let this universal truth distract viewers as the story focusses on an escaped serial killer and the ex-FBI agent who caught him ten years ago.

The narrative style will prove familiar to audiences, taking place largely in the present day, but dotted with flashbacks of when the murders were committed.

Slick execution is maintained throughout and the deftly handled action flows nicely, resulting in a well paced drama which never strays into the easily available cliches for such well-trodden ground.

The traditional flawed hero Ryan Hardy is an alcoholic loner with a pacemaker. Since being declared unfit for duty, he is called in to assist on the case. Kevin Bacon plays Hardy with power, creating a distant, yet sympathetic character.

But it is James Purefoy who really shines as the villain, Joe Carroll. With a charismatic screen presence, Purefoy has always given fine performances, but he truly steals the scene here. A perfect portrayal of a charming sociopath; his eyes glint with mischief and the possibility of death.

The Following revels in expensive outdoor shots making it a luxurious affair to watch, though there is often a disconnection between production values on a pilot episode and the series as a whole.

In many respects, all standard fare: but this may be a clever use of slow narrative to lull the viewer into a false sense of security.

Towards the end of what is a fabulous pilot, it becomes clear that this may not be the show that the audience first thought it was. A bigger stage for the drama is unveiled and the possibilities are endless.