I was late coming to The Following and therefore watched the first four or five episodes in quick succession – and was immediately hooked.
An interest in criminology (I studied it as part of A Level psychology), a deep abiding love of all things Kevin Bacon and a hot new actor (Adan Canto) held my attention as the story unfolded. And when the show focused on the three leads – Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy and Natalie Zea – it was excellent.
Hardy is a kidnapper’s nightmare and manipulated the twisted love triangle between Emma, Jacob and Paul brilliantly in some of the best scenes of the season, and credit to Valorie Curry, Nico Tortorella and Adan Canto who carried the first half of the season brilliantly, alongside the leads.
But cavernous plot holes, silly mistakes and increasingly unbelievable storylines meant it often swung between the sublime and the deeply ridiculous.
Most shows like this follow a format, but the number of times Hardy was kidnapped/injured/held hostage in 15 episodes must be some kind of record! And don’t get me started on the ‘police work’ – they couldn’t find the mansion? let suspects walk into the station with weapons? couldn’t prevent Joey and Claire been kidnapped twice each? – I could go on.
The Following has been commissioned for a second season – I think they should have restrained themselves and told the story in one season, but I’ll still watch it – and that’s what Fox are banking on.
Yes the ‘twist’ was telegraphed, the most interesting followers bar Emma are dead and Joe, we’re supposed to believe, blew up in his lighthouse inferno – but come next season we’ll all tune in to see who survives and if The Following have to find a new leader.