• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 356 Ratings

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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. May 10, 2013
    7
    corny dialogues, awkward scenes but its a horror slasher ride and its kevin bacon... so am in. the series feels pretentious in its twisted-mindness and i guess kevin bacon's character can use a darker psychological nuance if that makes sense
  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. Apr 22, 2013
    8
    It's a well-acted and entertaining series if you don't take it too seriously. While the plot becomes increasingly unrealistic and absurd at times, Kevin Bacon does do a great job leading the cast and his character's relationship with the villain has been fascinating through the season so far. Predictable at times but always draws you back each week to find out what will happen next.
  6. 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-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. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. Mar 5, 2013
    0
    The show had so much promise and Kevin Bacon is terrific but it didn't take long to jump the shark. I bowed out at Episode Six. The Following got "24" stupid (circa season 5 thru 8) real fast. I can understand why people were excited about this show at first, but I can't see how anyone could be hanging on after Episode Six; the most preposterous and idiotic 60 minutes I've ever sat thru. Giving it a one at this point is overly generous. Expand
  9. Mar 19, 2013
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First no off, I really wanted to like the show. First episode was pretty good and it just gets dumber and dumber each episode. A woman just spear gunned a lady in a restaurant and then walked away. walked. no one stopped her. last week they rescued the agent and could have GPSed the car. They didn't. The FBI might not be that good but they are not this bad. Expand
  10. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    Great Show, completely under rated. I don't understand a lot of the negative reviews...Are we watching the same show?? Fast paced, action packed and full of twists. I think the cast is great, Kevin Bacon was a great choice as a lead and James Purefoy nails the intellectual psychopath down to a tee. I think people are much to quick to write of shows before they've even had a chance to bloom. As i said, i don't understand all the negative reviews. Maybe it's just the "twilight" generation, so used to mediocrity when they see something with some actual merit they automatically write it off. Expand
  11. May 1, 2013
    3
    This show started with a pretty good premise, a serial killer-cult leader, but the idea quickly wore thin after about three episodes. After the fifth episode or so I lost interest because they ran out of surprises and the show was no longer entertaining. The characters, good guys and bad, were one-dimensional and not likeable. My wife wanted to keep watching so I continued to watch it with her.

    I had some hope that the finale might be good, but the dialogue and situations were completely ridiculous, and the violence was totally gratuitous. I will not watch next season, and my wife finally got turned off too.
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  12. 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
  13. Feb 2, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I love Kevin Bacon. Sorry, but this is a crapfest of a show. The first episode was moderately interesting. But by about the halfway mark of the second episode the plot falls apart. You can nitpick it to death with the holes. But there are 3 glaring issues with this show.

    1. How stupid is law enforcement on this show. And do they plan to have every episode be that Kevin Bacon figures everything out just a little late. And 2 episodes in and both times KB finds a way to be alone without backup. It's just so dumb that it bothers me.

    2. Really this Cult leader has sucked in Police, FBI agents, business men by writing a lackluster book and having an accent? I don't buy it. And I certainly don't believe that he has had this in the works for 2 years. And that these followers just waited and schemed. For what to kill people for this author. Why? What is the motivation? And are they all planning a big escape at the end?

    3. Speaking of ends, where is this one going? Am I to believe that either they never can stop this guy and his followers on every corner? Or am I to believe that there are cults and followers all over that need KB to track them down? Either way I'm just not interested.

    To anybody who has watched the crapfest called The Mentalist, Imagine Red John, being tracked in the setting of 7 and you get where this show is going. Nowhere.

    This is just an awful show. And I just cannot believe that with all the personality KB has in his usual roles that he chose the dead on arrival show to make his debut on tv.
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  14. Jan 30, 2014
    3
    As others have written; it is highly unbelievable that so many people would "worship" one man that was a lacklustre writer who had to quit that passion and become a teacher. That is some eal motivation for throwing away ones life away for the sake of one egotistically shallow twits schemes I must say (sarcasm be noted).
    The whole plot should have ended with the swat team storming the
    farmhouse. But the fact that the swat "team" only stormed the building with 3 people is laughable. What's even more laughable is that the swat team didn't have the entire area surrounded with no more than 5 swat members.
    There would have been an entire squad of around 12 people. Personally I think the writers halved the squad numbers in order to help keep the show going or the show would probably have ended there. Which it should have. It really should have.
    As for the lawyer, going on live news without consulting the FBI with what Joe Carroll (girl name by the way) had requested her to do. She would have had license suspended and the FBI would have held her "in for questioning" as she would probably have been placed under suspicion for the crap she pulled off.
    Now as for the woman, Claire Matthews, I'm glad she died in the end of the season. All that wondering off on her own was the most irrational part of all the story in this whole season. TWO TIMES she went away to "see her son" and both times she got totally screwed over. And when she tried to escape that cyber geeks lair just to be caught again by the same geek less than a minute later? Well if she closed the door behind her he would have been locked in and thus couldn't catch her. She has a horrible habit of not closing doors behind her. Must have been raised in a barn.
    What really bored me was the fact that there were so many followers. It was like a god damned union of murderous rejects all coming together under a single banner called Joe. I think the writers were aiming for "lets make people get surprised by having random people turn out to be followers!" ... only it wasn't surprising.. it was more... "oh look, another one loser..."
    This show gets 3 points and here are the reasons. Kevin Bacon, Kevin Bacon, and the fact that the series finally ended before it got too **** stupid...
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  15. 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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  16. 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.
  17. Apr 29, 2013
    0
    Like many, I watched the 1st episode or 2 and thought it was decent. But I have never seen a show fall off more than this. The writing is extremely amateurish. Did it ever occur to the people who made this show that the "good guys" are completely unlikable because they are absolute idiots who week in and week out make mistakes in the investigation that Roscoe P Coltrane wouldn't make. This is the FBI you are making a mockery of. I would be ok with them being outsmarted with extremely intricate plots, but this buffoonery? And then you have the ongoing story line, which is just simply not thought out at all. There are character that the "bad" guys try to kill early on who are a part of their future plans, which have already been mapped out. It's like they inserted a few murder attempts just to try to make the show have action without regard for the storyline.

    I actually like some of the actors and actresses in this show and hate what this shows cancellation is going to do to their careers. But its too late now, this show is horrendous.
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  18. 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
  19. Apr 24, 2013
    2
    Bacon works as hard as he can to save this show, but ultimately the writers are to blame. It moves from one clunky, contrived twist to the next, constantly insulting the viewers’ intelligence. Do they seriously expect us to believe that the FBI, especially post-911, would operate with such ineptitude?

    And it seems that every episode was written with the aim of engineering a scene where
    one or two of the show’s good guys end up on their own in the dark, being stalked by some random knife-wielding maniac. You can probably glean a small amount of entertainment, as I have, from approaching the show as a comedy. Expand
  20. Apr 22, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Everyone on the 'good' side of the law is incompetent. Cliche plot devices such as escaping from incarceration during unneeded transport and always being two steps behind the antagonist are constantly thrown at us. The dialogue is never particularly interesting or able to convey to the audience the charm and leader qualities that fuel the unparalleled cult lead by a professor turned serial killer.

    Episodes are generally fast paced, yet unsatisfying because they play out in the same way. X cult members with military training burst from hiding to kill X law enforcement and maybe the occasional civilian. Bacon then wards off the stragglers and returns to gather more disposable officers. It's like the battle of Gettysburg or some as officers and cultists die endlessly, yet no resolution is reached.

    As the first season draws to a close we find our hero and savior Bacon journeying to the castle to rescue the princess.

    I want to like this show, but it's decidedly unconvincing thus far. Poe wasn't that interesting of a guy, frankly, and I haven't felt an emotional attachment to any of the characters. One of the antagonists (who we're supposed to connect with?) was killed by his psycho girlfriend. Why is this surprising? I kind of wanted him to die before he was even revealed to be more than a gay neighbor.

    I wouldn't have so much of an inherent problem with a literature professor leading a cult that can out-perform modern task forces if the show wasn't so one dimensional.

    Bacon makes everything better but consistent with his character he can only do so much.
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  21. Mar 17, 2014
    1
    The acting is unbalanced. I feel like Kevin Bacon just took this role so he could have what passes for a regular job in Hollywood. The plot is just dumb. The writing is worse.
  22. Jan 23, 2013
    7
    So far so good as far as the pilot of The Following goes. Kevin Bacon makes a convincing stand as the troubled and retired FBI agent Ryan Hardy, who has been called out of retirement due to the prison escape of serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). The show has opened up on a safe note, they could have did several things differently but ultimately this was an enjoyable episode. Where the story goes is left to the writers, in terms of if they follow all other detective dramas or if they try and change it up.
    I't wont get a 10 from me simply because it was perhaps too safe, they are relying too much on blow-up exaggerations to emphasis pivotal scenes, and there was nothing that would convince you to be drooling at the mouth for more.
    The performances of Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy and Natalie Zea should be praised in particular, while the talented Maggie Grace also gave a convincing performance.
    There is potential here, but just one that needs to be acted upon, sooner rather than later.
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  23. 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.
  24. 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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  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. Mar 13, 2013
    0
    So, basicaly, everyone is working for Carroll, right? Hell, even the FBI works for him! The rest of the people who are actually trying to katch him are a bunch of incompetent morons! But questions above all the stupidity of this show that no one bothered to ask are: Why is Carroll killing people? Why are his followers killing people? What is their main motive in killing, the one that makes them organise on a hidden farm with computers and surveillance cameras? Some crazy religion? What? Expand
  29. 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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  30. 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
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.