• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
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Mixed or average reviews- based on 326 Ratings

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  1. Jan 28, 2013
    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 Agent turned into a terrorist like what Homeland does. Oh well, spend your time watching something else Expand
  2. Jan 23, 2013
    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.
  3. Jan 31, 2013
    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
  4. Jan 22, 2013
    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
  5. Feb 15, 2013
    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
  6. ETS
    Mar 13, 2013
    I notice most of the positive reviews were after only a few episodes. I love Kevin Bacon and love seeing him but its clear others agree it is just getting exhausting. It's not believable. Even for a tv show. They did not develop the Joe Carroll character enough for the audience to see why anyone would want to follow him let alone so many people. Cops, soldiers, lawyers all these people are committing crimes for this dude? In the earlier eps when it was just a few loony tunes I was able to believe it but not anymore. And the cops never have enough back up? When one of the worst serial killers in history has escaped they can't get a few more feet on the ground or a helicopter? Frustrating. Expand
  7. Feb 25, 2013
    ok, this is just a very difficult premise and storyline to swallow. First off, criminals on death row are not allowed visitors, much less visits that are not recorded or video taped or watched off. Why does Claire just hop into a car, knowing you can't trust anything carrol does. While at the house where joey is being held, kevin bacon knows there are three followers on the premise, yet doesn't seem to pay any attention to his surroundings. Why does the lawyer not talk to the FBI and just go into hiding rather than helping a serial killer just because he got someone to cut her fingers off? And lastly, is everyone involved in carrols plans? Eveery episode has a surprise follower. whether its the babysitter, gay neighbors, wife of one of the cultists, local cop.... just so bad. I wanted to like it so badly too Expand
  8. Apr 29, 2013
    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
  9. Feb 2, 2013
    I adore Kevin Bacon and I REALLY wanted to love the show; however, the reality is that I don't love it or even really like it. As a matter of fact, I find myself getting super frustrated when I watch it. I had to ignore my critical thinking skills to get though the 1st 2nd episodes. What it lacks in intelligent dialogue it certainly makes up for with graphic murders. I do agree that it will revive the works of Poe. I studied 6 of his works in college-I guess anything can be turned into a religion/cult, but I'm not convinced. M is appointed but sill slightly intrigued. With all the other smart and riveting shows right now, the writers of this one need to step it up a bit. I hope they do. Expand
  10. Feb 2, 2013
    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.
  11. Feb 4, 2013
    Sure, understanding the reason for "The Following" is very hard to do in the first couple of episodes. I agree with other people who say the connections between characters are implausible, but then again the series sets a tone that strongly implies that the gaps will be bridged by flashbacks or other means. This however, is arguably the best new show on basic TV right now.
  12. Feb 19, 2013
    Shellview said it very well. This show is really, really bad. Everyone who is not a serial killer is an idiot. Police and FBI are portrayed as fools, other citizens are routinely killed because they are stupid. Maybe the writers could get together with the "Mentalist" writers who think the "Red John" storyline interests anyone and they could get this all out of their system this year, so we could have something new next year. I agree with shellview, it is like watching a painful 2 hour movie over 12 hours or so. I am done with it, too. Expand
  13. Mar 5, 2013
    How stupid naive do the writers think people are Nobody would do the things shown in this series. Common sense is totally missing by all law enforcement personnel. I find myself embarrassed for the characters actions at myself for watching this long.
  14. Jan 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Great acting by the two main actors Bacon and Purefoy. However, the plot is very weak with parts being unbelievable. I just didn't buy into Bacon running off to the B&B by himself, I certainly didn't buy some of "The Followers" being able to sneak into houses like they did. The "normal" FBI characters were two dimensional at best. Back to BBC for good, solid crime dramas. Expand
  15. Feb 8, 2013
    I don't think that Kevin Bacon can carry this show... It seems hurried and banal. I can't swallow half of the situations that come up on very episode. I think this one is destined to be cancelled. Shock and awe are not working in this second rate attempt to a televised Silence of the Lambs.
  16. Mar 7, 2013
    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 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. Collapse
  17. Mar 12, 2013
    I tried to like this show but finally gave up. It is simply an insult to my intelligence. How bad to the writers want to make the FBI look? (Not that they may not deserve it in reality...) At the end of the day why would I want to spend 98% of its showtime laughing at its faults in logic and sense. A good premise gone bad for lack of intelligent and realistic writing.
  18. Mar 13, 2013
    This show constantly has me rolling my eyes. The cops are complete idiots. Every time they get close to catching someone, they either skip procedure or basic common sense and the criminals slip away. It is as predictable as knowing that the survivors on Gilligans Island were going to fail in their latest escape attempt. Whenever there is a crisis you know that someone will be a secret agent, or sheer incompetence will destroy the situation. The show does not keep you guessing or have hidden ideas that surface over time. It is a show that persists on the idea that everyone is this madmans follower and the police are so dense and so unprofessional that they will muck up the situation allowing the criminals to continue their fiendish plan. This show is a horrible show. Expand
  19. Mar 5, 2013
    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
  20. Mar 1, 2013
    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
  21. Apr 24, 2013
    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
  22. Mar 4, 2013
    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.
  23. Feb 7, 2013
    I was waiting for this to come out for a while. And finally is here, but turns out is not as good as it promises to be. Kevin Bacon is great but the plot is just not convincing and it also comes out at times as pretentious and trying to hard. Better waste my time on something else than watch after episode 2.
  24. Mar 5, 2013
    Kevin Bacon should be ashamed that he has attached his name to this product. I remember the days when I used to look forward to anything containing Kevin Bacon. I gave this show way too much of the benefit of the doubt and somehow managed to watch the first six episodes when I had spare time and literally nothing better to do. I had heard good things. I seriously have to question the taste of the people who told me such good things. It is boring, over-the-top unrealistic, predictable and legitimately gets annoying at some points. Episode 7 is out now but I will gladly say I won't be wasting any more time. I wish I could get that time of my life back and maybe gain an extra hour of sleep for each episode. Expand
  25. Mar 12, 2013
    Im not worried about plot, entertainment and acting per se. However, The Following turns gratuitous violence into a cliche. After last nites episode where Carroll kills his acolyte who offers himself as a sacrifice I believe this show has no aspirations to make evil look bad. I am now seriously wondering what entertainment media is thinking. This show is on during prime time and probably being watched by our kids! Have we lost our minds along with our sensibilities? Expand
  26. Mar 21, 2013
    I enjoyed the first episode or two, then the implausibility of the plot and its characters became too much to handle. It's funny that such a notorious serial killer was allowed an unlimited number of visitors, never had a conversation taped, and had absolute ability to connect with the outside world not to mention the fact that he somehow has roped in hundreds of "followers" from inside a maximum security facility. The 2nd huge beef I have is in the form of a question: What's the end-game of this series? Will we see a resolution of the Joe Carroll situation by the end of this season, or are the writers planning to continue to string us along with a new twist every week for the entire run of this series? My wife still enjoys watching, but I can barely watch the inanities pile up each week. Expand
  27. Mar 23, 2013
    If it was shoot without the presumption of being a good movie it would be fine and maybe it would have some self irony in it however "the following" true mistake its his hard job to look like a serious drama....ok, the pilot was decent and intriguing, the editing is fast paced as it should be and the actors are good so whats the big problem here??? Well, the script:

    a) A mass murderer
    (Carroll) receives visits from tens of people in prison and no one is there to record them and check them. Even other serial killers!!!
    b) An obsessive, and some times ridiculous, abuse of flash backs maybe to imitate lost and manage to get a new season in if the show went well
    c) The use of a great actor in a stupid role (bacon) in which a cardiopatic alcoholic agent is sent alone to literally run through wood, bushes, entire cities without any sort of back up.
    d) An fbi force which seems made of mentally retarder people who send a cardiopatic alone to do the work of a team, who loose from radar an helicopter, who send alone officers at home of serial killers which manage (wow) to kill them, a mother so stupid to follow a serial killer and manages to elude retirement aged fbi officers outrunning them in high heals over a 100 mt run ....and the list goes on and on and on.
    c) Forcing situations in the script so that you can do 15 episodes instead of maybe ten or twelve and making the actors look like they are actually acting (and not natural) because the only purpose of that scene is to justify the next one but, in the end, it does not have any sense.

    So if you have a little pride in your wits and have little sense of humor do not watch it, its so stupid that it will make you angry (a woman is getting killed while on the phone with the fbi, they know exactly where she is but instead of calling the police force of the area they send a rookie and the cardiopatic to catch her. Fine but they are at least 30 miles away from there....of course she gets killed....). If you have sense of humor or are able to switch your brain off then its somewhat decent .

    Thumbs down on a missed good opportunity with a great cast.
  28. Mar 26, 2013
    I really, really want to like this show, but since the premiere episode, the story lines have become too outrageous. Are the FBI, local police, and US Marshals really that stupid? For example, in the most recent episode, two US Marshals who decide not to wear body armor walk nonchalantly into gunfire, while another stands behind a door only to get gun down when the followers shoot-up through the door. Most people with a half a brain would not be standing behind the door. Carrolls lawyer-- A smart person would contact the FBI authorities for protection from Carroll's followers, instead she agrees to Carroll's demands when her life is threatened? How in the world did the prison warden convince those responsible for Carroll's transfer (prison guards, camera operators) to turn a blind eye to his escape? Another example: Joe escapes in a helicopter leaving a large city. Are we to believe that the FBI, FAA, or other government entity lacks the resources to track a helicopter in the sky? The FBI, with all the resources, send only Ryan Hardy to supervise the transfer of Clare to another location. What they couldn't spare one or two FBI agents, or at least contact the local authorities to help with the relocation. There are just too many implausible scenarios to convince any intelligent viewer to just blindly accept what is happening on screen. Expand
  29. Feb 3, 2013
    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
  30. Feb 6, 2013
    Gratuitous Violence! Unbelievable that followers could be manipulated to murder (omigod) college girls.
    Maybe because I am older than the hills and remember Charlie Manson, Jones Town and the Dravidians in Wacko Waco I have less trouble accepting the psychology of the characters. From my perspective the twists and the motives, known and unknown, of the supporting cast are giving me plenty
    of fun and games for my entertainment dollar. There is a lot worse television...it is fiction folks, not "reality". Expand

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
    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
    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
    [A] somewhat overheated but still fairly effective new thriller.