What I'm Watching: The Following
Ahh, a little tv this time around, eh?
I'd been hearing about The Following for awhile, and it sounded more or less up my alley. I like the occasional mystery, especially a good murder mystery.
The use of the internet for the criminal mastermind to build his cult was also a uniquely fascinating idea, although I did have the fear that it would come across as something talking about the evils of the internet. Fortunately, they did NOT go that route, and in fact, the internet is a very small part of it. It's a tool that is used, nothing more. And that is exactly how it should be.
I've watched the first two episodes so far, but not the most recent. The show centers around a serial killer who was captured eight years ago after a murder spree inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. He escapes, but is quickly brought back to prison. But that's when everything starts to go wrong. While he was in prison, he established connections with various other like-minded individuals who want to be inspired by him like he was by Poe, and are his, yes, following.
They do some interesting tricks with storytelling, bouncing all around the timeline with pertinent information. They have their share of decent twists, and some good murders already in the first couple episodes. But it does have that vague feel of, "Well, we've seen all this before, haven't we?"
And yeah, we kinda have. There is very little new here, it's quite derivative, and yet, it's well done. The cast is great, headlined by Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and it's well made. So while it is a bit 'been there, done that', it is at least very well done that before.
I'm also a huge Poe fan, naturally, and I am totally geeking out over all the references and fun little touches. That brings a nice deal of unique voice to the show, and gives it that sense of being its own thing and not just "Seven: The Series". Also, having both of the leads being authors, and having that sense of storytelling and the hero's journey being used deliberately by the villain gives it a great metatextual feel that I hope continues through the series.
It is definitely worth checking out, and I hope this is the case of a single season story and we're done. I don't want to see this dragged out for years. This should be done as a rock solid miniseries, not an ongoing, never-ending series like everything else.
I don't love it, but I don't hate it, and there's enough here to keep me interested, so give it a shot yourselves!