In today’s Ask Matt, he gives fans a juicy pre-review review of Fox’s new thriller series, The Following. Matt spoils that Kevin Williamson’s new brain child is nothing like other series’ Fox and mainstream networks have showcased in the past. The Following takes it’s own path from jump and Matt reveals that the show is not going to be for everyone.
The Following couldn’t be less similar to The Mentalist. I’m recommending The Following in a review that will be in this week’s issue of TV Guide Magazine (Kevin Bacon is the focus of the cover story) and posted online when the show premieres, but the show’s not going to be for everyone. Where The Mentalist is an agreeably escapist procedural befitting the CBS brand, with a charming if haunted hero and an over-arcing manhunt story that I agree has been teased and played out for too long, The Following is a total thriller, aiming more for a cable-weaned audience thirsting for extremes of violence and ghoulish plotting. (Think Dexter, the early years.) There is a cunning mastermind psychopath, but we know his identity immediately (played with creepy charisma by James Purefoy), and while like Red John he has minions carrying out his bloody bidding, this isn’t so much a manhunt as it is a cat-and-mouse dance of death that builds much of its suspense out of making us wonder who among us might be lying in wait to turn the tables on our damaged hero (Bacon, who’s also very good). Some of the villain’s deranged acolytes also become characters with their own subplots, and the show is much more serialized than the likes of The Mentalist. It’s a risky, gutsy, dark and sick and scary show. If that sounds like your sort of thing, you should at least check out the diabolical pilot. It’s been making noise for a reason.