• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 367 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy are great leads and with a solid supporting cast, Could really turn it into a show worth watching. However, The plot just wasn't there imo and that is what ruined the show. It was just boring moment after moment, It was poorly written and a real drag to get through each episode. They need to improve their writing staff if they wish to turn this show around. I will continue to watch the show though because it has the potential to be one of the best drams on TV. That is why, despite my low rating of this season, it's worth checking out. Expand
  2. Jun 24, 2014
    4
    This show is entertaining and pretty violent, but that's it. The show is only getting a 4 with me because I was entertained. The show was nothing special. I'm not even watching the second season.
  3. Jan 25, 2013
    9
    Very few television shows make me jump out of my seat. The first episode got me twice. If nothing else this show will start an Edgar Allen Poe revival.
  4. Sep 22, 2013
    7
    It may be a little bit more literary than some will enjoy. Perhaps it will be a little too much for certain audiences, but make so mistake about passing on The Following. Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy play great opposites of the good/evil spectrum, something the show heavily depends upon. Otherwise, it's a pretty typical crime-based action & mystery. While overall a success, The Following seems to never quite capture the magic of shows that seem to influence. Its reminiscent of the best of what super-show 24 had to offer, only The Following doesn't seem to capture as much magic as 24. Of course, where it may lack some in fun and engaging action, it certainly delivers in intelligence and literary references to Edgar Allen Poe's work in the crimes of Joe Carroll (Purefoy). By the end of the season, I felt that, while The Following hadn't totally captured me, I was ready to continue watching the story unfold. There's lots of good yet to be unpacked, and just having Kevin Bacon leading the solid cast is promise enough that this show will only improve going forward. Expand
  5. Jan 22, 2013
    8
    I thought that this series would be just like any other serial killer drama, and that's how it seems at times, but it has so much to offer. Kevin Bacon on television, he is a treat to watch, whatever he does, he does it great. The pilot has its gripping moments, has some shocking scenarios as well, I appreciate the writers for that but they need to do it even better in the future. The direction wasn't that amazing though, it needs some more polishing. The only thing I'm worried about is how this series is going to survive because the premise is different, it would need the best possible writing to keep the viewers interested in the series and make it marvelous. I liked the pilot, loved how it ended with Marilyn Manson's cover of Sweet Dreams, this show can become successful, if not cancelled and given the right amount of everything. Expand
  6. Jan 31, 2013
    1
    The show just seemed boring in the first few minutes. I was not and still am not interested in it at all. It may be because I am more interested in action shows and lots of drama, but The Following does not appeal to me.
  7. Jan 22, 2013
    3
    Despite the interesting premise and the talented actors on board, 'The Following' is a major letdown. It's not the fact that the pilot episode is filled with predictable twists- the fact that the dialogue is so poor that it takes away from the soild performances of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy- the fact that the violence is too over the top and gratuitous- It's the fact that the creators promised us something different, but instead, gave us more of the same. Expand
  8. Sep 11, 2014
    0
    Kevin Bacon has always had a track record of lending his name and talent (a marginal one) to some pretty good films over the years, I guess he didn't care to continue the pattern in this shift to Television. I have never seen a more show consistently deliver stupid at every turn. The premise would have served a two hour movie well, but falls flat on it's face on the small screen. The writing is amateurish, the acting is average (though the actors are made to look less than average thanks to the dreadful writing) Forget about the over top violence, which serves no purpose than provide red meat for an audience that is not interested in a well acted, written and paced show. The plot turns are implausibly ridiculous and after awhile, no matter how incredibly stupid the plot turns are, they become laughably predictable. Worst show I've seen on TV in a while. They say that TV these days is better than the Big Screen, The Following is a great argument against that sentiment. Expand
  9. Nov 12, 2013
    8
    The Following is the Spring sensation that took Fox viewers by storm and led to some of the highest ratings for a mid-season debut in network history. After watching one episode, I could see why this show was so popular, it really is right up my ally, and is easily one of the best written shows on network television.

    10 years ago, College professor, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), was
    convicted of the murders of 14 young women. He sits on death row, waiting to be executed, when he launches a daring escape. Completely stunned, the F.B.I. brings in the now retired agent who originally caught him to track him down. Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is a troubled, lonely man, who just wants to move on with his life and leave all the horrors he's known behind him. Reluctantly, he agrees to find Carroll and to everyone's surprise, does it with ease. As it turns out, getting caught again was all part of Carroll's plan. While in prison, Carroll had spoken with and gotten to know many different people who admire what he did. The charismatic killer has tricked these people into believing that they need to give their lives meaning by being a part of something special, his resurrection. Carroll's getting easily captured by the F.B.I. was nothing more than a signal to his many followers to begin reeking havoc all over the eastern seaboard. The targets are seemingly anyone Carroll ever interacted with and the acts all meant to torment the man who caught him, Ryan Hardy. With no other choice, Hardy agrees to stay on and try to stop whatever was set in motion, before Carroll's plan can come to fruition.

    I know what you're thinking, because I was thinking the same thing. It's a great story for one season, but how in the world can they continue this show after that, without it becoming old and repetitive. It was something I thought a lot about while watching this show, however my doubts may have been premature. The more this show continued, the better the writing got, and if anyone can keep this show interesting and fresh it's this talented cast and crew.

    Kevin Bacon has always been a tremendously underrated actor, because for 30 years, he's simply been known as that guy from Footloose. I've seen many of his films and now his new TV show, and I have to tell you this guy is phenomenal. It wasn't just being able to pull of the character of Ryan Hardy, but also the chemistry he had with James Purefoy. Joe Carroll is one of the best villains I've seen since Hannibal Lechter and the chemistry Purefoy has with Bacon, easily rivals that of Hopkins and Foster.

    The show is made even stronger by a tremendous support cast of complicated characters, all of whom have their own hidden past and issues that are brought to the table. Movie actor, Shawn Ashmore is terrific as the young agent who wants nothing more than the praise of his idol, Ryan Hardy. The boss is played by Annie Parisse, perhaps best known as A.D.A. Alex Borgia on Law & Order.

    This show really has deep, well developed characters, that you get quickly attached to, and every time you think you know what's coming they throw a curve ball at you. The Following is such a strong story, that is so well written, that it really has the chance of being on the air for years.

    Season one is now streaming on Netflix and season two debuts on Fox in January. I really can't wait to get there. Rarely do I watch shows on the air, I prefer to wait for the DVD to avoid the commercials and watch as much or as a little as I want. The Following is different though, because this show was just so amazing to me, that I honestly can't wait to see what season two has in store for me. I am more than willing to sit through the commercials in order to get there that much faster, and I think once you've seen this show, you'll feel the exact same way.
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  10. Apr 19, 2014
    9
    Suspenseful and action packed. Each episode ends with a wanting to see the next one. There is a ridiculous amount of killing and gore in the show. There's a lot of repetition in the plot. By that I mean the same point is accomplished in 2 episodes when it could easily be accomplished in 1. Overall a great show and worth watching.
  11. May 3, 2013
    6
    The season premiere of The Following was one of the best, if not the best, openings to a show I've ever seen. TV shows have long been capable of film quality drama and production, but for suspense and horror, the pilot was as good as any slasher film I've seen. Within 45 minutes, we were introduced to Hardy and the FBI team as well as Carroll's wife and son, who are soon secured following Carroll's escape. Also secured was Carroll's last victim and the only one to survive, Sarah Fuller. She seemed set for a role in the show yet it turned out that through his cult, Carroll's reach is vast and her death summed the first episode up, dark, scary, brutal and unpredictable.

    Created by Kevin Williamson, the writer of Scream 1 & 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Faculty, perhaps it was not surprising that The Following ventured further into a darker, macabre nature than most procedural police shows. The idea for the show was certainly original from the cult perspective but the notion that Carroll was an Edgar Allan Poe fanatic and based his murders on his works seems too hot on the heels of the 2012 film The Raven to be original. Also, it has to be said that Bacon's character ticks a fair number of boxes on the 'former agents returning to the job' cliché list.

    Unfortunately, the show's pilot episode was it's strongest and all later episodes were hampered by the contrived nature of Carroll's plot, the stupidity and ineptitude of the FBI agents involved, weekly introduction of the latest member of Carroll's cult to 'play their part' before inevitably being gunned down senselessly by the FBI and irritatingly repetitive metaphors to the structure of a book's plot by Carroll.

    As leading men for a TV show go, Kevin Bacon was a pretty big catch for FOX and on occasions you do feel that he is the heart and soul of the show and maybe the only reason you are still watching. That's not to take anything away from the likes of James Purefoy, though not quite as menacing as Hannibal Lecter as serial killers go, Shawn Ashmore, Natalie Zea and Annie Parisse, all of whom contribute willingly.

    The season ended on the up, if slightly predictably, and I dare say I will be tuning in to see how the events of the season finale are carried forward.
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  12. 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's predictable, routine and stale material.Bad writing, over-acting round off the mix.
  13. Mar 24, 2014
    9
    You would think how far can a story line go with a serial killer and followers and not run out of story lines,(meaning stabbing, shooting, strangling etc..) but I am impressed every week how the show has grown and I love the acting it is phenomenal!
  14. Sep 6, 2013
    7
    Aside from making the Kevin Bacon game that much easier by establishing a direct connection between Edgar Allan Poe and Kevin Bacon, the plot is always interesting, there are lots of twists and turns without seeming forced. I am eager for season 2.
  15. Feb 15, 2013
    1
    This is one of the worst shows ever on television and will probably appeal to most Americans. It is like watching a two hour movie expanded to fit 12 hours. I have watched four episodes and I am done. The writing is pedestrian at best. The violence is sadistic and mostly unnecessary. Much of the time is spent prolonging the violence to fill in empty time. Not one character is multi-layered. There are more holes in the story than a wheel of Swiss cheese. Just one example,of so many, that shows how bad this show is: Bacon and his partner go to rescue his sister. He tells his partner that he will leave the side door open for him. Bacon goes in, gets knocked unconscious, is picked up and put on a table and tied up by a the girl villain, tortured with batteries and threatened with a knife before his partner comes in to rescue Bacon and his sister. WHAAAAAAT!!! Maybe his partner went to dinner, saw a movie and then came to the rescue. Really? Do the producers think we are that stupid or maybe they are just hoping. Expand
  16. Jan 26, 2013
    8
    Dark, crazy, and surprisingly predictable. Following (excuse the terrible pun) Williamson's history with "The Vampire Diaries" and "Dawson's Creek", it's surprising that "The Following" is such a dark, insane show.
  17. Apr 11, 2013
    6
    The problem with this show isn't that it's not entertaining, it is. It's just that it so lacks any real imagination. It falls back on the cheating premise that out of nowhere anyone can suddenly be a villain if the plot so requires it. Also there are far too many flashbacks which are actually quite redundant most of the time.This is still a watchable show, but an easy target for cynics like myself. Also what is going on with tv shows these days that requires they all have to be over 20 episodes long! Please!!!!!!!! Expand
  18. Jan 30, 2013
    9
    The Following delivers.........interesting plot, great performance by Kevin Bacon and Jeremy Purefoy, awesome suspense and good twists at the end, make the pilot one of the best episodes I watched this year so far.
  19. Mar 7, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What makes the following so great is the character development. Every character has a story. It's unlike any show I have ever seen. The suspense is never ending. I will admit the story is getting a little out of control, the following is a bit larger than we thought it was, but you can't help but be intrigued. I have no clue how they are going to pull off a second season but fox has already ordered it. Excited! As long as they keep the suspense up, I'm a fan! Expand
  20. Feb 17, 2013
    9
    "The Following" by Kevin Williamson has a premise that is a recycled one no doubt. For example, Kevin's signature death is by being stabbed by a knife which has been consistently overused through his other movies such as Scream. However, what breathes new air into the show is the characters and the cast. Even, the relative newcomers like Adan Canto and Nico Tortorella play extremely convincing roles as tortured souls being manipulated by Joe Carroll. Overall, the show is enjoyable and the plot continues to build each week while still maintaining to delve deeper into each characters past. Expand
  21. Feb 3, 2013
    7
    The Following is definitely darker in tone than the average network TV show, which is a fact that Fox tried to capitalize on when advertising it ("You won't believe it's not on cable!"). While it's not as ambitious as some of the shows you'll see on FX or AMC, it is a solid crime drama. The Following benefits from a strong cast portraying an interesting set of characters. Obviously, Kevin Bacon gives a stellar performance, but I'm equally impressed by Natalie Zea and James Purefoy, as well as some of the actors portraying secondary characters. So far, the story line has been fun and entertaining, but I'm not sure it goes deep enough to really be engaging for several years. I suppose if The Following does go for more than a season or two, the writers will cross that bridge when they come to it. Overall, I'm enjoying The Following, and feel that it's worth checking out. Expand
  22. Mar 22, 2014
    0
    Some of the worst writing. The dialogue is ridiculously dumb, and destroys any chance at this show being watchable. Sad, because Kevin Bacon is fun to watch.
  23. May 25, 2013
    1
    This honestly could have been one of the greatest shows in modern TV. It has a perfect, unusual theme. A serial killer with serial killer followers forming a blood thirsty cult. However, after a few episodes, the show becomes exhausting. Nothing is believable anymore. Absolutely nothing. The bad guys are inexplicably smarter than well-trained FBI agents and they outsmart them at every turn in every episode. Even the foundation of the show is weak; it is really hard to believe or understand why so many people would follow Joe Carroll, much less kill for him. What a waste of concept. Shame! Expand
  24. Mar 21, 2014
    2
    This show is the epitome of lazy and offensively stupid writing. Step 1: come up with something shocking to put on the screen: people gouging their own eyes out, dismembered cats, Rob Ford descending from the ceiling of a sorority house to kill a bunch of young women, whatever. Step 2: say "it's a cult." As long as there's a cult involved, people don't need to have personalities or motivations. They just do whatever the writers need them to do that week, brainwashed by the cult's message that... murder is art, or something. I mean, really, who wouldn't want to give up a career in the FBI or local law enforcement to just settle down and gouge out people's eyes because... well, no reason. It's a cult. Expand
  25. May 7, 2014
    0
    ADHD TV. With the series "24" started it all. Series where each second / minute a new surprising twist occurs.

    It is believed "X" as an accomplice. But it is not. Not yet. Later maybe, but think about it then again different. At the end she turns he / she might still by, or is the / the smartest, the even pulling the strings.
    Anything can happen. Every moment. Just horrible. Unbearable
    illogical.
    Example: The poor kidnapped child would be totally stupid already, not to remember what happened. Alone dese fact is unreasonable for the spectator.

    Kevon Bacon overtakes my opinion the same fate as Christopher Lambert. A good movie (Lambert: Highlander 1) in the filmography, the rest then scrap. Which was actually the only good movie with Kevin Bacon? It does not matter.

    The Following is outstanding bad. Can be useful in the Film Academy, as a cautionary example of how not to do it.
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  26. Feb 7, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Excellent and STOOPID.

    The production value, direction, acting are all fine, etc. Kevin Bacon is excellent, and the supporting actors are mostly adequate (for Hollywood stuff).

    However, this program suffers "The Hollywood Writers' Guild" plague, namely, lazy writers who leave bus-sized holes in the plot, dialogue, and screen behaviour.

    I have watched 3 episodes now, and each of them presented at least 4-5 bits of stupidity, not at all like real human behaviour or actions. For example, from ONE episode only (jeez):

    (Spoilers follow)

    1. No one stops Poe-mask guy after he burns someone up in the street. He is otherwise non threatening, and America is chock full of true heroes, as well as inept do-gooders.

    2. The slow-guy cult member is left in the hospital bed eating his stuffing to choke himself. No one is watching him, the alarms don't sound on the medical monitors, etc.

    3. In the back yard, Bacon shoots the fire bug cult guy while his wife watches, but he doesn’t chase her. How far can she get really?

    4. The cult girl cuts her boyfriend's boyfriend's arm, but the boyfriend doesn’t notice or ask? He's clearly cut with blood on the bandage when he leaves. Duhhhhh

    5. The detective left with firebug's wife sees her phone ring, with a message "NOW". He helpfully reads this out to her without thinking. Duhhhhhhh

    6. When it's clear there are weird goings-on, that detective tells the guys in the car, but they both come to the front door? Duhhhhhhhh

    Holy carp, what a mess. The Writers' Guild insult us decade after decade.
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  27. Mar 4, 2013
    4
    After seven episodes of The Following it has occurred to me that it could be really made into a suspense thriller if they put the cast in a locked room and made them read the script.
  28. Jan 31, 2013
    10
    This show is very good. Interesting, suspenseful, and well written. Kevin Bacon does a great job as lead. Leaves you waiting for the next episode each week.
  29. Mar 18, 2013
    2
    "Serial Killer Babysitters". "Occasional Serial Killers, Babysitting". If neither of those is clear enough, how about "Negligent Borderline-Incompetent, Misses-Every-Shot, Wimp Seeks Small Boy". True, the pilot was action packed and depraved with quite a high level of violence for people like me (who enjoy shows like that). Also true, the show immediately degenerated into a program consisting of a failed FBI agent missing or misinterpreting nearly every clue while the writers dangle in front of our faces the correct answer so the FBI agent appears even more foolish when he doesn't get it, which is nearly always, and a little boy who is missing. Every episode is about a missing little boy. It is a show about a serial killer (who didn't actually kill very many of the people he is in prison for killing, which basically makes him a pansy who rode on the coat tails of a younger, blond, serial killer who did the heavy lifting, as it were, so he could become the famous ex-college-professor serial killer, 'cause that is so very likely to happen to a professor of gothic and romantic literature, for whatever whacked out reason he has in his literature professor mind) and it is also about his serial killer following (losers and weirdos) who, oddly, also don't kill very many people. Mostly, they babysit and talk about the little boy they are babysitting, hence my correction of the title to what it should have been, "Occasional Serial Killers, Babysitting". The lead FBI agent is as offensive to me (Criminologist, among other things, because, yes, I'm that smart) as any portrayal I can recall. None of the agents I have ever known were this incompetent. Yes, I've known some local cops who could not shoot very well but this "agent", played as wimpilly and milk-toast, by Kevin Bacon, as he would have been had he been played by a cardboard cut-out, of Kevin Bacon, (who is actually a brilliant actor when the script isn't so terrible). This agent misses nearly every shot, save those approximately two feet in front of him. He doesn't explain to the lady in this scenario (also a college professor) that she might not want to believe the criminal mastermind when she is told to go with his little buddy to see her son, nor does he explain to her that pretty much any agent would have done a better job finding her stupid little ruiner of everything (her kid), even, well, let's see, perhaps the ATF agent I knew who had the job of sitting at a desk doing almost nothing because he'd gotten so gosh darn old and just wouldn't retire. The FBI has an entire unit in this series hunting down a crew of horrible killers who have abducted a little boy and occasionally, again occasionally, kill a guy, maybe, if they have time and feel like it and aren't hungry or tired or busy babysitting said little boy. Meanwhile, in the real world, I could name five who killed over twenty people, two who killed over fifty, one who killed over one-hundred people before being caught or going dormant, and my degree is pushing fifteen years old. So, we are, as the audience, supposed to believe that this killer, probably one of the weakest and least prolific in the history of the world, is the worst of the worst, meriting the involvement of an entire unit of really poor detectives and a cripple, or whatever you call someone whose pacemaker makes him cry all the time. This is among the least interesting, least thought provoking serial killer storylines I've ever seen and is clearly written by a team with little to no background in such things. One thing is clear, these writers really love their children which is probably how they ended up having nothing else to say through this magnificent medium we call television. Don't watch it unless you want to be annoyed or are eating and not really paying attention. (I watch it as my Monday night fall-asleep show... and Tuesday... and Wednesday... and part of Thursday.) I give it a Two for exceptional production values. Expand
  30. Feb 13, 2013
    10
    I absolutely love this show and have high hopes for the rest of the season. Kevin Bacon's acting is superb and he really makes the character believable. Although I have to agree with a previous reviewer that the basis on which the cult was started is unbelievable, I suppose it is not improbable as we have Scientologists amongst us who believe we are all aliens. However the only down side for me about this show is that it should be a mini series and not serialised because where can it go from here? They can only do so much with it as there is only about 5 followers and much more would be a stretch. Collapse
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: Tom Long
    Feb 1, 2013
    67
    [A] somewhat overheated but still fairly effective new thriller.