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.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
JK Rowling announces Harry Potter's son is starting at Hogwarts
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
Akram Khan: Choreographer says dance is 'as important as maths and being a doctor'
Common words you're probably misusing: From 'enormity' to 'ultimately', 'gambit' to 'fortuitous'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up