The Following, TV review
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Wednesday 22 January 2014
Hands up who actually believed serial-killing cult leader Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) had burned to death in the boathouse at the end of the first season of The Following (Sky Atlantic)? In this first episode of series two, he was back, of course, but then if you've seen enough scary movies, you'll already have guessed that. Crazed murderers have a way of coming back from the dead.
Kevin Williamson, the show's creator, certainly has seen enough scary movies, which he proved when he kicked off the Nineties slasher movie revival with knowing, self-referential scripts for Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. The Following's dialogue rarely exhibits the wit which made Williamson's name, so thank goodness for Kevin number two, Kevin Bacon, who stars as Ryan Hardy, the FBI agent on Carroll's tail. It's easily forgotten, but when he's not flogging internet service providers, Bacon is a brilliantly watchable actor.
Two impressively creepy scenes stood out this episode. Early on, a knife-wielding gang stormed a New York Subway carriage wearing masks of Joe Carroll's face. Later, a pair of Patrick Bateman-wannabe twins romanced the corpse of a young woman. Hopefully, we'll see more of these two weirdos, because it's hard to imagine another compelling plot being wrung out of Joe Carroll's increasingly implausible survival. The Following is one of the most reliably gory shows on television, but it could still do with some new blood.
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Calvin Harris named highest-paid DJ in the world ahead of David Guetta and Avicii
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
Kate Bush: Previously unseen photographs reveal new side to comeback star
The funniest joke at Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Tim Vine wins for second time
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head