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149 of 157 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Following - great, but not for everyone
The premise of The Following involves Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), a former university professor with a specialism in, and fanatical adoration of, Edgar Allen Poe who, as the series opens, has just broken out of prison where he was serving a sentence for multiple, gruesome murders. Cue the FBI turning to the man who was responsible for putting him behind bars in the...
Published on 14 April 2013 by Gareth Butler

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original idea, slightly daft execution.
Given the Americans’ almost reverential obsession with their serial killers, it was only a matter of time before the standard cat-and-mouse tussle between the killer and the FBI became the basis for a TV series.

James Purefoy plays Joe Carroll the urbane, intelligent, Hannibal Lecter’ish professor of English serial killer while Kevin Bacon is the...
Published 12 months ago by Willy Eckerslike


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149 of 157 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Following - great, but not for everyone, 14 April 2013
This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The premise of The Following involves Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), a former university professor with a specialism in, and fanatical adoration of, Edgar Allen Poe who, as the series opens, has just broken out of prison where he was serving a sentence for multiple, gruesome murders. Cue the FBI turning to the man who was responsible for putting him behind bars in the first place: former agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon). As a tiny spoiler (the clue, after all, is in the title), it quickly transpires that, during his time in prison, Carroll has succeeded in building up a legion of loyal disciples, all of whom espouse his mantra of death.

The Following could best be described as 24 without the time limit and where terrorists have been replaced with a murderous cult led by a convicted serial killer. The series is utterly captivating whilst being an exercise in frustration; like 24, progress is often one-step-forwards-two-steps-back. Most episodes contain some sort of twist which leaves you constantly guessing, and the anonymity of the cult members leads you to distrust almost all but the best-established characters.

What The Following does well is the depth it gives not only the leading characters, but also a large part of the supporting cast. Unlike 24, the timeline is not completely linear and a lot of the characterisation is built up through flashbacks, which works very effectively. Backstories add to the twists as well as the character development. Bacon is excellent as the troubled hero, dealing with Hardy's physical ailments (a hangover from his first capture of Carroll) and his emotional trauma and deficiencies. Purefoy is also highly convincing as the charming, charismatic, cold-blooded, sadistic killer; you don't struggle to believe that he could inspire the devotion of his army of murderers.

I should say that this may not be a show for everyone. If you're the type of viewer who likes total realism in your tv series then you may need to look elsewhere; whilst I wouldn't describe it as completely far-fetched, it does need to be watched with a partial suspension of disbelief. All too often, in order that the story isn't over after only a few episodes, the main characters appear to have had their commonsense glands temporarily removed. You will find yourself screaming in frustration at the screen when an agent refuses to pull their trigger (well, I was anyway), and shaking your head in disbelief when one or two agents go alone on a mission that requires an army (are we to believe that the FBI, in the hunt for a cult of unknown size, can't spare the manpower?). Equally, this is not for the fainthearted; the gore factor is set to `high' from the outset and the violence is graphic. However, if you can get past these points then I would highly recommend this as a compelling, gripping drama that fans of thrillers and/or 24 should enjoy greatly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original idea, slightly daft execution., 18 Jun. 2014
By 
Willy Eckerslike (France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Given the Americans’ almost reverential obsession with their serial killers, it was only a matter of time before the standard cat-and-mouse tussle between the killer and the FBI became the basis for a TV series.

James Purefoy plays Joe Carroll the urbane, intelligent, Hannibal Lecter’ish professor of English serial killer while Kevin Bacon is the somewhat dishevelled ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy called back as a consultant following Carroll’s escape from prison. It all looks to conform to the standard formula but the presence of Carroll’s eponymous cult ‘following ‘ is a unique twist. Although the main plot thread is the hunt for Carroll, the gradual revealing of cultists drives the narrative while the relationship between Carroll, his ex-wife, son and Hardy adds a human dimension and allows some character development.

It is a well put together, violent, sometimes creepy & disturbing TV series which bowls along at a cracking pace but there are, unfortunately, some incredibly contrived plot devices which stretch the necessary suspension of disbelief more than a little. By the season finale it all seemed a bit improbable and silly but remained entertaining throughout. All-in-all, not as clever or intricately plotted as it could have been but not bad nonetheless.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think Edgar Allan Poe himself would have been proud!, 16 April 2014
This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I bought season 1 and am only five episodes in but already I am hooked! It starts
with former F.B.I agent Ryan Hardy (played by a miserable looking Kevin Bacon!)
hot on the case of serial killer Joe Carroll (played brilliantly played by James
Purefoy!). Not only is Joe on the loose but it turns out in prison he has formed a
sort of cult, a "Following" of murderers who are willing to kill at his command!

James Purefoy makes it worth watching. His character Joe Carroll is as charming,
eccentric and charismatic as he is cold blooded, calm and utterly ruthless! The
only thing that doesn't appear to fit is Kevin Bacon. His character is not given a lot
of development and Kevin looks well.... Lost! Like he is trying find the `Footloose 2`
set... I don't think the recent `EE` adverts have helped his career either.

That being said I am sucked in to this... Each episode gets darker... If you enjoyed `Dexter`
then I would recommend giving this show a go!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant nail biting series, 22 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Brilliant nail biting series. Be warned, you'll want to watch the episodes back to back ...addictive viewing. James Purefoy is delectably devious and alluring as the manipulative serial killer and cult leader, Joe Carroll. Kevin Bacon is fantastic and utterly convincing as the relentless and courageous criminologist, battling his way through every twisted challenge in his pursuit of Joe until the season's dynamite finale.

This series redefines the term 'suspense thriller'. This is the new 'Hitchcock' for the 21st Century!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Bacon Kicks A**, 25 Jan. 2015
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I honestly cannot say good enough things about this series!! the casting is fantastic!! all the people your supposed to hate you really do wish the worst on and the ones your supposed to like you are literally on the edge of your seat rooting for them! there are a lot of twists and turns in this season to keep you guessing and with no spoilers given out here by god what an ending!!! put it this way finished this season in a matter of 3 days and the first thing I have done was get on amazon and ordered season 2!! Also its got Kevin Bacon in it!!!! what more do you need to know??
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not too be missed, 3 Mar. 2015
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I have never left a review before but after reading the most recent reviews for this programme I had to write my own. I was in two minds wether to watch this as it had so many bad reviews but the rating was high. I decided to watch it and make up my own mind. I was hooked from the beginning.

Instead of letting other people make your mind up just give it a chance. I do not think you will be dissapointed. The story line is good, actioned packed, gripping, so many good actors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Stuff, 16 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Tense, gripping and yes, gruesome. This is one of the best new shows I have seen recently, it reminded me of the first season of Prison Break in so much as I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Bacon is great as the troubled ex detective and Purefoy on excellent form as usual playing the charismatic cult leader.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars drivel, 27 Feb. 2015
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This is ridiculous - if real life FBI agents are this stupid the world is doomed - just risible cliched rubbish
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks promising and could run long and well., 30 Jan. 2014
By 
robert stirling (tarn,s.w.france) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The subject matter of this 1st season,a Hannibal Lecteresque serial killer inspiring a group of potential killers from his prison cell,is the core of the plot;its a simple idea borrowed from the Thomas Harris novel 'Red Dragon' and expanded into several hours of drama,action and killings(mainly by stabbings as noted by many reviewers).

Serial killer James Purefoy does escape,as Lecter did in 'Silence Of The Lambs,' another Harris novel,and conducts a campaign of revenge against the FBI agent who captured him,Kevin Bacon,and uses his followers as the means to bring him down.

I liked the performance of Purefoy having seen him excel in the excellent 'Rome' and in several poor action movies that didn't help his career.Here he has a meaty role and uses it to create a clever,manipulative 'teacher' who goads his followers to commit the crimes that start the manhunt by law enforcement agencies including the FBI of course.

Bacon becomes instrumental in the hunt for Purefoy and his cult, members of which start comming out of the woodwork;herin lies part of the success of this series:you don't know whom has come under the influence of Purefoy and will 'stab' the good guys in the back as the episodes unravel.

It makes for entertaining viewing if you put aside the stabbings.There has been a good build up of the characters on the FBI side and augers well for season 2 I hope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The acting is good. I started to, 13 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The acting is good. I started to watch this show because I like Kevin Bacon.
However, FBI is too dumb. The criminal cult is much more organized than FBI. Could this be real?
FBI stepping into enemy territory with no backup, no earwig, unable to communicate, .... , all this is impossible.
FBI doesn't even surveil suspects.
If the FBI hadn't been so negligent, this show would have ended in three episodes.
The producers had to make the FBI so incompetent just to prolong the show.
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The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013]
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