TV Ramblings 08 – The Following

 photo The-Following_zpsd607a332.jpgA couple of girls on a passionate-book-reader forum recommended the new series, so I decided to indulge my curiosity and watch the show I’ve initially been hesitant to start. I’m not unfamiliar with the topic of serial killers (watching Criminal Minds faithfully does that to you), so it wasn’t the topic per se that held me back, rather it was my desire for a fresh concept. One can watch crime-oriented shows only so many times, no?

Boy was I wrong.

I just barely finished the Pilot and I was already clicking on the next episode. I had to know what happened next. Only the late hour and my cold floor did stop me from watching the rest of the aired episodes (4 at that time). It’s this addicting – seriously… I don’t know if it is morbid curiosity, the fast pace, my urge to wring the bad guys’ necks, or just a desire to see all their plans crossed by the police/FBI. Maybe it’s all this plus a great cast.

SPOILERS BELOW!

The followers of the convicted serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) are even crazier than he is, and that is putting it mildly. They are mostly a bunch of psychos in their early twenties with over-active egos and delusions of grandeur – Joe truly knows how to pick ‘em. So far we got evil nanny Denise (her real name Emma Hill), who worked for Joe’s wife, her lover and fellow cult member Jacob Wells, his undercover partner Paul Torres, and several more who I will not name at the time to reduce the number of spoilers. What they all have in common is admiration for Joe and his Poe obsession, and they will stop at nothing to prove their worth to him.

The police appear overly incompetent when facing this group, though one must stress that their actions are really well planned, stretching several years working undercover. The fat spider sitting in the middle of this net (or in prison in this case), pulling strings left and right, is Joe. He has decided to write a new story with characters who are actual people. He’s not very forthcoming with his plot ideas, and is not averse to some of his follower’s artistic licenses, so that makes it even scarier than it is. No wonder the FBI needs their former agent who caught him in the first place – they’ve never seen anything exactly like it, and the followers are crazy enough to follow his orders, even if it takes years before they can act. All for glory… Ugh. One must admit Joe is highly intelligent and charismatic, so it’s not all that surprising he has many, many followers. The wonders of internet access.

 photo FollowingPoster_zpsfe05861f.jpg
The series is therefore a disturbing look into the mind of evil and its many incarnations. Making the young cast easy on the eyes doesn’t lessen my revulsion for their actions and behaviour. My sympathies lie with the adult cast. We have the
ex-agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), who rose in my books considerably when he broke Joe’s fingers (though many would have joined him if not stopped by their own morals). He’s a broken man, a drinker, but he’s not going to lose to Joe. He seems to be the voice of reason during the investigation; even though that is rich considering he does many things without involving the agency. His instincts are good, but he’s limited by his ex-agent status and personal demons. Thank the stars he has a good sidekick in agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore). They make an excellent team and I look forward to their interaction.We also have a strong female cast. There’s no lack of women in important positions or strong women overall – we have a professor, Joe’s ex-wife Claire Mathews, who has nerves of steel and is the one who helped catch her husband, FBI agent Debra Parker, specialist on cult behaviour and the woman leading the investigation. I may not like the psycho bitch Emma (see, I’m using the ‘b’ word), but she’s the one in charge of the cult and one cannot say that she’s less than efficient – a strong woman, if morally and psychologically challenged.She’s the one who kidnapped Claire and Joe’s child Joey. He’s a good boy, but he’s far from stupid and her refusal to let him speak with mommy has made him suspicious. I’m anticipating the moment her true face is revealed to him, if only to make him realise that he’s got to get away. On the other hand, it would be less damaging to him if he had no idea what’s going on, but the truth is bound to come out one way or the other. The series will definitely never get boring.

I do hope though, that the trail of bodies gets smaller. It’s just so unfair that the innocent get the short end of the stick every single time they come across the Followers. Some appropriate punishment would be nice, but I’m not entirely sure keeping them behind bars would be enough. Locking Joe in prison certainly didn’t help, did it?

END of SPOILERS
If you have a strong stomach and nerves of steel, this is the series for you.Trailer (rated intense):

Website links:

Images curtesy of google search

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