If you watched the psychological thriller The Following in its final season and found yourself very disappointed with the quality of this show, you weren’t alone. Many fans of The Following in its first year, found the show completely unbearable to watch by the third year. The writing was never stellar, but it was absolutely terrible when the show ended. If you want to see the show at its best, you have to start from the beginning.
The Following starts out by introducing you to former FBI agent Ryan Hardy. Hardy is suffering from serious physical and emotional problems when the FBI calls on him to return to service. A famous serial killer named Joe Carroll has escaped from death row. Since he was put there by agent Hardy, the FBI hopes Hardy can put Carroll back in prison once again. While Hardy may have found it easy to capture Carroll after killing 14 women, he is in for a real surprise in his current quest to get the dangerous man off the street. While Carroll was in prison, he spent his time and intelligence gathering a large group of cult followers. His followers aren’t just strange serial killer groupies, their followers willing to commit murder, abductions and even kill themselves to further Carroll’s “cause.” The followers also have an obsession with Edgar Allen Poe much like their leader Carroll so, their strange actions almost always have something to do with the macabre author. The more you watch The Following, the more you feel like it is a story Poe may have attempted to write himself. Why is Carroll causing all this commotion and bloodshed: because he wants to get revenge against Ryan Hardy for putting him away.
I absolutely loved this show in its first season as the twists and turns kept coming and were more and more shocking with each big reveal. It was sometimes a bit annoying to see the cops portrayed as being stupid over and over again. Joe Carroll was always getting the upper hand on them and it soon became pretty unbelievable. However, like a lot of things on television, if you can just suspend belief for a little while this show was actually a lot of fun. While Kevin Bacon turned in a strong performance as a fragile cop doing his best to make things right, it’s James Purefoy who really steals the show as the evil genius killer.
If you like dark and twisted thrillers, this is a show you need to add to your Netflix queue right away. If you find yourself growing bored with the show in the middle of season 2, don’t worry season 1 is as great as it gets. You can currently stream this show on Netflix where there are 45 episodes that are 45 minutes each.