• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
The Following Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 361 Ratings

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  • Summary: Retired FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is pulled back into service to find escaped serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy).
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 21, 2013
    88
    Some plot twists seem implausible at best, others are overdone or gratuitous. But some implausibility comes with the horror/suspense genre, and there's no question Williamson has mastered it--just as there's no question that the match of wills between the wounded Bacon and malevolent Purefoy is exceedingly well played.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 21, 2013
    80
    If you can make it through Monday's first episode of Fox's much-anticipated new suspense drama 'The Following,' you have some intense, but high-quality, television ahead.
  3. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Jan 21, 2013
    75
    [Purefoy's and Bacon's] performances--and scenes that focus on Carroll's killer minions that I won't talk about lest I spoil things for readers--are the strongest parts of the series and overshadow the weaknesses. Those include numerous plot holes and some sketchy logic, plus Williamson's annoying habit of beating us over the head with the Poe references.
  4. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 18, 2013
    67
    This is a genuinely scary and unsettling series.
  5. 60
    Nothing in this pilot promises how fascinating the show will ultimately become, and unfortunately, the show is more efficient than truly good. ... The first four episodes contain no aesthetically pleasing shots or sequences, just tedious coverage of talk and action, and too many of its 'shocking' moments are dependent on visual/aural shortcuts. ... Nevertheless, The Following fascinates, thanks to soulful lead performances by Bacon and Justified's Natalie Zea (as Carroll's ex-wife) and the nervy way it develops and sustains its central flourish.
  6. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 18, 2013
    58
    The Following is a bummer of significant proportions. Not that it's bad--it's not--but it's bleak, sordid, blood-spattered and creepy (though not necessarily always "creepy" in a good way, like "The Walking Dead").
  7. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 21, 2013
    10
    Despite its dour atmospherics and some attempts at higher-caliber acting from Kevin Bacon and a large ensemble cast, The Following is a trite, gratuitously violent exercise in still more stylishly imagined American horror stories. It is filled with melodramatic sleuthing that you've seen over and over. Enough is enough, isn't it?

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 144
  2. Negative: 75 out of 144
  1. 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
  2. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    This show is absolutely awesome. Fast paced, unpredictable, and kind of creepy. For like 2 episodes straight nothing important happened and that was a problem. That's the only reason I didn't give this first season a 10. But that problem greatly improved in a short amount of time. After that, every episode kept your full attention and you were never bored again. Now all this season is, is heart pounding edge of your seat entertainment. Expand
  3. 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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  4. Feb 2, 2013
    3
    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
  5. Mar 12, 2013
    2
    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. Expand
  6. 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
  7. Apr 20, 2014
    0
    This show is quite possibly the biggest piece of **** ever to be shown on TV. Wow, Kevin Bacon must really need the money. I would rather have my fingernails pulled out than see another second of this trash. I can't believe anyone with a pulse would watch this silly rubbish! Whew what a turd! Expand

See all 144 User Reviews

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