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115 of 122 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 20 months ago by Gareth Butler

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Totally overblown
I was given this as a present as I dont have the TV channel. It was intimated to me that this was one of the best series recently - what a massive disappointment. After the promising start in the first couple of episodes, the storyline degenerates into an implausible and incredible set of circumstances. Kevin Bacons character - a former FBI man - seems to have forgotten...
Published 9 months ago by Big Bear


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115 of 122 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Following - great, but not for everyone, 14 April 2013
By 
Gareth Butler (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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3 of 3 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant nail biting series, 22 Aug 2014
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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3 of 3 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)   
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
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping from the start .., 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
so i only recently finished this series and i must say as im not.much of a kevin bacon fan i was impressed .i think the concept of a huge cult type worshipping a serial killer does come off a little far fetched but hey ho its tv and watchable tv too .The first episode was terrific and pulls you in straight away .it does go below the standard of the first couple episodes after up untill the cliffhanger finale i look forward to finding out what happens when season 2 is released
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Totally overblown, 3 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I was given this as a present as I dont have the TV channel. It was intimated to me that this was one of the best series recently - what a massive disappointment. After the promising start in the first couple of episodes, the storyline degenerates into an implausible and incredible set of circumstances. Kevin Bacons character - a former FBI man - seems to have forgotten all he would have been trained in and subsequently does all the wrong things during the action. For me a series must have some credibility to work, and this loses all credibility the more episodes one watches. Holes bigger than the proverbial stagecoach appear and are left unattended, and when the plot looks like providing a sane answer, whoops- lets just invent a new set of circumstances. Sorry but I would have liked this to be a real attention grabbing series - as it is I have asked not to be given the next ones to be released as it just drives you up the wall due to sloppy script writing and ludicrous scenarios that just wouldnt happen. A big no no...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Started off with great promise. Good premise for an exciting thriller, 10 Dec 2014
Started off with great promise. Good premise for an exciting thriller, but drawn out with over complicated plot twists. It simply becomes unbelievable. Its unfortunate that US screen writer's have a habit of doing this. 6-8 episodes would have been adequate to tell a compelling story. Maybe the power of the buck carries more weight than artistic merit. Gave up half way through found myself no caring anymore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly dreadful. Don't waste your money., 23 Nov 2014
This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This is truly AWFUL! Don't even think about buying this. Hammy, unbelievable, not credible, incoherent. The acting is just so bad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Turgid Mess, 11 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Started with a strong first episose - then descends into ridiculous panto before ending as a banal, preposterous turgid mess.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring death obsession...?, 20 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
College literature professor kills 14 girls and is convicted; while incarcerated he summons a following of mindless killers (allegedly, in abundant quantities throughout the entire US population); he then escapes max security prison and sets up a semi-cult community (they actually dare compare themselves to Waco). He wants to be re-united with his divorced wife and child...
Concurrently there are constant knifings, shootings, axings, strangulations, immolations, beatings, torturing, etc. driven by purported death obsession/fascination based on Edgar Allan Poe's short stories (cited lavishly on any occasion).
In order to enrich the obvious plot misery, TV switching quota generators such as paramilitary militia, promiscuity in all forms, cult-like community insights, sadomasochistic milieu implications, and other trash TV hits are imported in an attempt to shock the audience and make it wonder if any prosaic clichés actually escaped the (lack of) fantasy of the show makers.
FBI, CIA, police, US marshal's office, NASA, you name it - are incapable of tying their shoelaces, throughout the entire duration of 10 episodes.
Series ends with the usual "season one" finale promising more such nonsense to come in the seasons "to follow"...
Closer to the end of this first season Kevin Bacon ("former FBI agent with alcohol problem") tells James Purefoy ("snobistic college professor/killer") something like: "...I am so tired of you and Edgar Allan Poe...". Touché...
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The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013]
The Following - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] by Kevin Bacon (DVD - 2013)
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