• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    May 29, 2013
    60
    Part Greek tragedy, part “Silence of the Lambs” offspring, The Following has an intriguing premise that almost rises above its layered plotting.
  2. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Feb 1, 2013
    60
    The Following, compelling and frustrating from its opening credits, sets viewers up for a season-long, blood-soaked rematch between an evil intellectual and his law-enforcement nemesis.
  3. Reviewed by: Geoff Berkshire
    Jan 22, 2013
    50
    Anyone looking for soapy twists and turns, shocking violence and a fast-paced ride will get what they want from creator Kevin Williamson and crew, just don't expect the show to dig deep into its characters or give you much to think about in the process.
  4. 60
    Nothing in this pilot promises how fascinating the show will ultimately become, and unfortunately, the show is more efficient than truly good. ... The first four episodes contain no aesthetically pleasing shots or sequences, just tedious coverage of talk and action, and too many of its 'shocking' moments are dependent on visual/aural shortcuts. ... Nevertheless, The Following fascinates, thanks to soulful lead performances by Bacon and Justified's Natalie Zea (as Carroll's ex-wife) and the nervy way it develops and sustains its central flourish.
  5. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 21, 2013
    50
    Through the show's first four episodes, an unexpected love triangle develops among three of Carroll's devotees that's tinged with unexpected sexual politics and questions about sexual identity. It's the only aspect of 'The Following' that feels fresh. Too bad this plot only serves as a side dish; the main course is the same old reheated serial killer/crime solver hash.
  6. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jan 21, 2013
    50
    There are twists and turns a-plenty, and Bacon and Purefoy are so good they make up for the silliness - if not the gratuitous gore.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 21, 2013
    58
    Williamson has crafted a pilot tense and frightening. But in the subsequent three episodes, The Following deteriorates into a serialized version of CBS' "Criminal Minds." ... After four episodes, this viewer was weary of seeing women terrorized.
  8. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Jan 21, 2013
    60
    When the show talks about crime literature, it's quite dull, but when it shows instead of tells, it's something to see.
  9. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 21, 2013
    60
    I had hoped The Following' would be a more self-aware about its own violence... Instead, The Following simply goes for more generic thrills, using a lot of horror-story clichés including making the most virulent followers into boys and girls next door. It's a well put together show, so that the four episodes sent for preview flew by. But it doesn't invite bigger thoughts, which is what violent cable series such as "Dexter" and "Boardwalk Empire" have done at their best.
  10. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 18, 2013
    58
    The Following is a bummer of significant proportions. Not that it's bad--it's not--but it's bleak, sordid, blood-spattered and creepy (though not necessarily always "creepy" in a good way, like "The Walking Dead").
  11. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 18, 2013
    42
    Williamson may have put thought into what this show is about, but what comes across on screen is an empty exercise in fetishizing the charismatic evil of serial killers.
  12. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jan 18, 2013
    50
    There is some suspense here, even if it is mainly because the violence when it comes is so swift and sickening. But the show still feels slack.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 399 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 153
  2. Negative: 79 out of 153
  1. Jan 28, 2013
    3
    I really liked Kevin Bacon in this, but everyone else seems out of place. The dialogue is very bland, and it's unconvincing how people worshipI really liked Kevin Bacon in this, but everyone else seems out of place. The dialogue is very bland, and it's unconvincing how people worship James Purefoy and follow him by killing college girls. All because he is so inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. I just don't buy a college professor turning into this methodical serial killer. The show would have been much better if Purefoy was an Agent turned into a terrorist like what Homeland does. Oh well, spend your time watching something else Full Review »
  2. Jan 23, 2013
    0
    It's hard to believe that a show that had so much promise fell so short. Even with Kevin Bacon attached, how could it have gone so wrong? It'sIt's hard to believe that a show that had so much promise fell so short. Even with Kevin Bacon attached, how could it have gone so wrong? It's predictable, routine and stale material.Bad writing, over-acting round off the mix. Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2013
    0
    Wow, this is a pathetic attempt to make another serialized show about a serial killer who wants to play cat and mouse with an FBI anti-heroWow, this is a pathetic attempt to make another serialized show about a serial killer who wants to play cat and mouse with an FBI anti-hero who once beat him, and is so pretentious that even Poe would call him a hack. Actually, Poe would consider this guy a phony. While the actor who plays the serial killer isn't bad, he's nothing special when it comes to manipulation. Especially to the point of having a cult. He's not high IQ hippy with tons of drugs and a bunch of lost, angry people searching for something DIFFERENT. He's not charming or even a mystery of having actual different personas like Bundy or Kemper. And he's not as cunning as the Zodiac or Jack the Ripper. He gets caught and his wife bangs the guy who catches him. The masks are beyond silly. The fact that some of these brainwashed clowns have any sort of college education is even more laughable. Poe would be considered boring still. They should have gone for H.P. Lovecraft, and an actor who radiates charm and a pretend down-to-earth ego so people would be more easily played. Manipulation is an art, not a science. Poor Kevin Bacon, he deserves better than this derivative, vacant show written by a guy who once wrote Scream and Dawson's Creek. Chris Carter, Whedon, Minear, and many others could have done a better job with this supposedly dark material. This is tame compared to Millennium, The Inside, and other shows that Fox has tried. Seriously, Dexter is ACCURATE compared to this Hot Topic drivel. Full Review »