• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 389 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. 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.
  2. 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 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 AgentI 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 Collapse
  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-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 theWow, 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
  4. Mar 7, 2013
    4
    I loved the premise of this show and anticipated its arrival. How quickly it failed. It can only continue if every character does the absurd. No one in law enforcement or government would ever consistently do so much wrong. No establish police or forensic procedures are followed. It just has become idiotic. Love Bacon! Amazing actor and the premise is still good, but please stop insultingI loved the premise of this show and anticipated its arrival. How quickly it failed. It can only continue if every character does the absurd. No one in law enforcement or government would ever consistently do so much wrong. No establish police or forensic procedures are followed. It just has become idiotic. Love Bacon! Amazing actor and the premise is still good, but please stop insulting our intelligence and make the police and FBI into bumbling idiots. OH, the lawyer no one noticed or asked how she suddenly lost fingers!! Come on. I give the show two more episodes and I am done if they don't get smarter. Expand
  5. Apr 10, 2013
    1
    I gave the show an honest chance but it's just too ridiculous. As others have mentioned the FBI agents in the show are ridiculously foolish, and as someone involved in law enforcement I can see all the procedural mistakes that really shouldn't be made. Basically for Carroll and his cult to succeed it requires everyone working for the FBI to be dumb. Plus I'm not seeing exactly whatI gave the show an honest chance but it's just too ridiculous. As others have mentioned the FBI agents in the show are ridiculously foolish, and as someone involved in law enforcement I can see all the procedural mistakes that really shouldn't be made. Basically for Carroll and his cult to succeed it requires everyone working for the FBI to be dumb. Plus I'm not seeing exactly what it is about Carroll that has caused so many people to join his cult of killers. Sure, James Purefoy is a charismatic actor and one I normally like, but there is nothing about his character that is so compelling that it seems realistic for all these people to suddenly go "Hey, I think I'll kill people now for him." It just feels like the writers of the show are so impressed with their villain that they've written everything to automatically work for him, instead of really thinking through their premise to make it plausible. In other words, the whole thing is filled with plot holes that are too noticeable for me to be able to enjoy the show, and a villain who wins simply because he's the villain and that's what the writers want. Expand
  6. Mar 25, 2013
    2
    Really tailing off now after a good start. Dream sequences are scraping the barrel, and a week before Easter, it's actually getting implausible to the point of meh, whatever...
  7. 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. ThisLike 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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  8. 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 makesSo, 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
  9. Apr 15, 2013
    2
    Please!!! What is it with the FBI and the Keystone Cops who are constantly stumbling through stakeouts, getting killed by amateur criminals, and surrounding buildings like idiots? Its silly how inept they make the FBI out to be. I really wanted to like this show, but the writing is beyond horrible.
    Fire all the writers and start over or cancel this mess.
  10. Apr 30, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When I 1st heard of this show, I was quite excited, I thought FOX might
    come up with a new, innovated crime drama that pushes the edges of what
    we have seen so far. Suffice to say this was far far far from that.

    Right from the 1st episode you know this show is stupid. This
    situations presented are so far fetched that they at times just make
    you laugh rather than anything else. A serial killer who manages to
    charm 100+ followers into organising themselves and carrying out
    coordinated attacks......all while being locked up in jail. If that's
    hard to swallow the police response to this will leave you gagging.

    You would think that a nation wide band of crazy serial killers would
    warrant some sort of elite task force or something of that sort, but
    instead we have a small group of barely 5 people who seem to be
    managing everything.....badly. They are assisted by Kevin Bacon's
    character, your standard bad-ass do-gooder who is the center of
    attention and has a bunch of 1-liners. Together they manage to
    accomplish next to nothing.

    As the story progresses the plot gets sketcher and sketcher, characters
    start dying like flies. You would think that would add a sense of
    realism to the show, but honestly it is just annoying. You find that a
    character you liked and who's story you wanted to keep watching just
    ends up getting murdered rather casually. By the end of the show most
    of the characters are dead and you feel like you've just seen a crappy
    slasher flick.

    All that being said, the show is still entertaining, in the absolute
    basic sense of that word, like how watching watching clowns shoot
    plastic arrows at each other is entertaining.

    To sum up, don't expect much from this show, however if you want to
    kill some time, it'll do that for you.

    (Season 1 review)
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  11. 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
  12. Apr 28, 2013
    4
    This show started off with great promise. I really liked how they set it up and Kevin Bacon is a great lead. Then after a few episodes it started going downhill with the frustrating scenarios and development.

    Every episode after the 2nd it was like, "Now i'm a part of the cult! No! i'm a part of the cult." Kind of got ridiculous. Every time some development would happen the writers
    This show started off with great promise. I really liked how they set it up and Kevin Bacon is a great lead. Then after a few episodes it started going downhill with the frustrating scenarios and development.

    Every episode after the 2nd it was like, "Now i'm a part of the cult! No! i'm a part of the cult." Kind of got ridiculous. Every time some development would happen the writers would cop-out saying "Well too bad! I'm a part of the cult too!"

    Then after that, Joe's character just didn't develop at all. How is this guy a leader of so many people when he's so self serving and continually making idiotic decisions. To me, i think the writer's just didn't follow through with the story development as well as they could have with the premise.

    Just the situations the cops put themselves in is ridiculous. How in the heck do you go off by yourself when there is a massive manhunt for a single person? No backup? Just go off by yourself? really?? i mean that stuff is just dumb and very unrealistic.

    The 2nd to last episode was much better until the end where yet again a detective wanders off by herself. I basically just want the last episode to air since i've stuck with it this long, i might as well finish it out.
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  13. Mar 14, 2013
    0
    Not even Kevin Bacon can carry this utterly predictable and diabolical script. The acting is at best, shocking. Exceptionally poor on all counts. The main lead is as plastic as the storyline with equally plastic supporting actors. So far an incredibly painful show to watch and yet with so much promise.
  14. Apr 5, 2013
    1
    Omg, this show is soooo edgy! I mean, a show about a serial killer? We've never seen that before! Oh wait, I guess we have. So let's put in a twist this serial killer is bad! Oh, they've done that already? Well, what if I tell you there are bad people, pretending to be good people, hidden throughout the cast so you never know who's truly good or bad? Well that element has been used sinceOmg, this show is soooo edgy! I mean, a show about a serial killer? We've never seen that before! Oh wait, I guess we have. So let's put in a twist this serial killer is bad! Oh, they've done that already? Well, what if I tell you there are bad people, pretending to be good people, hidden throughout the cast so you never know who's truly good or bad? Well that element has been used since ancient Greece, but what do these all have in common? They bring in the ratings. So throw them all in the pot, slap a big name on the lead character, throw in some hard bodies for people to drool over and a little sex, and you have The Following. I really wanted this to be good. I'm actually not much of a TV snob; I'll watch pretty much anything that involves badges and mind games when it comes to action shows. I don't even need realism, so let's set aside the whole issue of the implausibility of the premise. We'll pretend that could happen. (Isn’t that what TV’s about?) But this is basically a patchwork show, borrowing elements from everything that has gotten successful ratings without involving song and dance. The plot is basically waiting for the next follower to be revealed with the unraveling of the love story on the sidelines. Every character is cookie cutter and could easily be swapped between all the movies and shows that have used them before. From the brilliant but troubled lead who is involved in [saving the world stopping the bad guy diagnosing patients] against his will because he's the only one on the planet who can solve this problem despite his questionable character due to past tragic events, to the entirely predictable horror genre surprise moments and cop show plot twists, nothing in the show feels new. (Like literally predictable. I called every twist in the premiere at least a couple scenes out. Foreshadowing and telling details are awesome when you use a little subtlety! I want the type of plot twist that has all sorts of clues that I miss and then jump off the couch and shout about when I watch the reruns during the summer, not the type I see coming like a city bus down the street.) The actors are good, the effects are great, and the directing is fine (hence 2 stars instead of 1). But the show comes off to me like a kid in junior high dropping new swear words they learned the day before and trying to smoke cigarettes. It's just trying too hard, and I'd bet money "edginess" has been a primary topic for the producers. Like I said, I'm easy. I get hooked on nearly every cop or law show that comes out, many of them with some of the same issues. But it seems the only effort they've actually put into the show is trying so hard for shock value that I just can't stomach it. Oh, all the disturbing violence scenes are fine; I just can't take the utter blandness of the plot and characters the things which should be the true foundation of any decent show. The bright side to all this? The premiere to Hannibal was the Shawshank Redemption of TV shows by comparison. I’ll stick to that instead. Expand
  15. Apr 29, 2013
    3
    The first couple of episodes started out really well, the characters are interesting, the background story seemed to be though out and the plot seemed plausible.
    However after episode five it just all starts to get so unbelievable, especially after it was labeled as a thriller suspense series.
    If you want to keep people interested I would suggest, to spend some of the budget on bringing
    The first couple of episodes started out really well, the characters are interesting, the background story seemed to be though out and the plot seemed plausible.
    However after episode five it just all starts to get so unbelievable, especially after it was labeled as a thriller suspense series.
    If you want to keep people interested I would suggest, to spend some of the budget on bringing in some expert's who will advice you how FBI agents or any law enforcement officer might react in certain situations and write the scene accordingly.
    The whole show is lacking thought out dialogs and professional input and gets just to unbelievable the more the show continues.
    You want to see how a Profiler reacts when being pressured? Watch the original TV series "Profiler" 1996-2000 on NBC. That was a great series.
    Or watch the BBC series "Luther" to see how a man reacts when walking on the edge, both highly recommended and you can find them on the internet.
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  16. 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.
  17. 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 withThis 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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  18. Jun 20, 2013
    0
    This show is a disaster. Kevin Bacon was okay, but there was some really bad acting all around him. The guy playing Joe Carroll put on a master class in hackery. He was basically just an accent and a smirk. The acolytes are pretty much universally terrible. Even worse than the acting was the script. A disgusting display of paper-thin shocks that wore thin early on in the season. ReallyThis show is a disaster. Kevin Bacon was okay, but there was some really bad acting all around him. The guy playing Joe Carroll put on a master class in hackery. He was basically just an accent and a smirk. The acolytes are pretty much universally terrible. Even worse than the acting was the script. A disgusting display of paper-thin shocks that wore thin early on in the season. Really nothing redeeming about this show. No true suspense, ridiculous plot developments and violence that served no real purpose other than to appeal to a prurient interest. For an example of a show that uses violence and gore in service of a superb story, check out Hannibal. Expand
  19. Feb 18, 2013
    3
    When I saw Kevin Bacon was one of the stars, I had to check it... a real disappointment on the whole, Hollywood writers cranking out the same cliche fearporn... I watched hoping for some unexpected thing, some grabber.. but the predictability of writers cranking out reams of script under the direction of the same bunch of people in LA... what a shame they [the 3 letter corp that aired itWhen I saw Kevin Bacon was one of the stars, I had to check it... a real disappointment on the whole, Hollywood writers cranking out the same cliche fearporn... I watched hoping for some unexpected thing, some grabber.. but the predictability of writers cranking out reams of script under the direction of the same bunch of people in LA... what a shame they [the 3 letter corp that aired it and really all TV] are still a part of the propaganda front of the wealthy... who all but finished gaining control of the internet... Thank Good people for the ART that makes it out..... Expand
  20. Mar 19, 2013
    2
    I really wanted to like this show, but I can not. So many simple editing mistakes. I do visit our local jail and my friend is allowed 11 people on the list; and it's hard to get on that list. A person must prove that they knew the person being jailed before sentence started. My friend is not on death row where I can only think rules are even more strick. I do like the acting, but theI really wanted to like this show, but I can not. So many simple editing mistakes. I do visit our local jail and my friend is allowed 11 people on the list; and it's hard to get on that list. A person must prove that they knew the person being jailed before sentence started. My friend is not on death row where I can only think rules are even more strick. I do like the acting, but the script sucks/are humans really so hopeless At least in criminal minds it raps up in a episode or 2... Expand
  21. Apr 17, 2013
    2
    One more thing...the cult guy who pretended to be gay then smothered his pretend gay partner to death with a pillow in a mercy killing thing all of a sudden became a hardcore killer...not only is he now a ruthless killer but he can outsmart the effing FBI in the dark woods AND get back to the mansion!!! Lastly, thank the Heavens above that the FBI in this show is fake!
  22. Apr 22, 2013
    4
    Of course there is some suspending of reality while watching anything on tv. However, this show takes the cake! As could be seen by way happened in Boston, this fool and his cohorts would have experienced so many more setbacks and most likely be dead or arrested after the first episode. That said, the premise is interesting, just very lazy writing. Huge lack of creativity beyondOf course there is some suspending of reality while watching anything on tv. However, this show takes the cake! As could be seen by way happened in Boston, this fool and his cohorts would have experienced so many more setbacks and most likely be dead or arrested after the first episode. That said, the premise is interesting, just very lazy writing. Huge lack of creativity beyond that base premise. Expand
  23. Apr 23, 2013
    3
    This was an interesting show for the first few episodes but now it has gotten predictable and formulaic. The villain Joe Carroll is pretentious and I don't buy him as a criminal mastermind. Kevin Bacon is great like always, but he can only do so much. I like a show with some balance and this show lacks it. I don't find it believable that the good guys can ever win since they areThis was an interesting show for the first few episodes but now it has gotten predictable and formulaic. The villain Joe Carroll is pretentious and I don't buy him as a criminal mastermind. Kevin Bacon is great like always, but he can only do so much. I like a show with some balance and this show lacks it. I don't find it believable that the good guys can ever win since they are portrayed as such goofball screw ups. It also seems far fetched that there are so many followers. The show has spent too long stacking the deck in the villains favor that a happy ending is now not practical. Expand
  24. Apr 26, 2013
    2
    As a clinical forensic shrink it baffles me that the complex motivations driving cult behaviour and psychopathy are not better developed. The penal/justice system and its representatives are completely misconstrued. The level of gore is disturbing! The script is terrible and plot ridiculous.
  25. Apr 26, 2013
    0
    This show is EVIL and stunningly preposterous in its plotting. The characters are morons. I hate this show. If one psychopath commits a crime imitating this contemptible series Fox should be sued into oblivion. Does that network have NO standards and practices department?
  26. Apr 28, 2013
    1
    This show gets worse by the week. I find myself fast forwarding through many of the never ending filler scenes. May have been OK if there had only been 6 or 8 episodes but 60% of the show is filler. I only have kept watching to see Joe finally get what he should have gotten long ago. And have you ever seen dumber police work? Ever episode contains at least one instance in which either dumbThis show gets worse by the week. I find myself fast forwarding through many of the never ending filler scenes. May have been OK if there had only been 6 or 8 episodes but 60% of the show is filler. I only have kept watching to see Joe finally get what he should have gotten long ago. And have you ever seen dumber police work? Ever episode contains at least one instance in which either dumb or sloppy work leads to disaster. Pleeeeeeease don't keep this story line going into another season. I'm sure I'm not the only one who won't tune in any more. Kevin Bacon is the only thing thing that makes the show even half watchable. Expand
  27. May 2, 2013
    0
    I am so sick of this show, writers really think we believe all the nonsense they write??? Come on! All the FBI is trying to catch Joe Carrol, but it really seems that Hardy is all the time absolutely alone... We do have brains people! where is the common sense? I feel offended by this production.
  28. May 14, 2013
    2
    The writing is poor, the story is unrealistic and uninteresting. A decent cast and acting, however; the suspension of disbelief required makes The Following is completely unwatchable. Hannibal and Bates Motel are far better in the thiller/horror genre. I can't believe a show this poor was renewed.
  29. May 14, 2013
    1
    Unconvincing and utterly silly. This would have worked for 2 maybe 3 episodes at best, but a whole season of lunacy?

    Bacon is good, but he can't save the show from the absurdity of the story.
  30. May 16, 2013
    1
    The biggest load of crap I have ever seen. How many times will this fool have the prison doors opened for him. By series end the whole planet will be a signed up following member.
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.