The Following: Season 1

The FollowingThe Following is possibly the MOST ridiculous show that I’ve seen this year, and I watch a lot of ridiculous shows. It’s even more ridiculous than Grey’s Anatomy’s “we own the hospital” storyline! When I watched The Following’s pilot I likened it to Criminal Minds, but it turned out to be the subject matter and brutality of Criminal Minds, applied to the kind of extreme villain and over the top plots more usually found in episodes of Scooby Doo.

I tried to sum up the plot but I found I really couldn’t do any better than Richard Vine’s Guardian piece that perfectly captures the utter insanity that the first season has been (spoilers in that piece for everything but the final episode). What I particularly love about Vine’s writing is that it exactly captures my attitude toward the series – weary eye rolling on one hand, but joyful abandon on the other.

The Following is just utterly ridiculous. It’s riddled with plot holes, character and institutional idiocy and an abundance of repetitive tropes – oh no, someone’s been captured again! Now someone’s escaped! But somehow rather than making the show frustrating and dull, it all combines into something that I really looked forward to each week. By being so ludicrous, it was also completely unpredictable, each episode had surprises and twists, killing off characters at a phenomenal rate and charging along with gleeful abandon.

How season 2 will work is anyone’s guess. I won’t spoil it, but elements of the final episode really did seem to close things off. I’m a little worried that this will turn into something that I’ll end up wishing had actually only been a one season wonder. But for that one season, what an absurdly enjoyable ride it has been.

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  1. It’s definitely been enjoyable, although I did find it getting rather repetitive after about the sixth episode. As you say, there was a constant chase/capture/escape motif that kept repeating itself. I think the series would have benefitted from running to perhaps a 10 or 12-episode length – like Homeland, say – rather than being strung out to 15, which definitely felt padded to me.

    Some nice twists in the final episode as a number of characters departed in surprising fashion, with some possible returning and others definitely not returning next time round – even if the conclusion of the main plot was cliched in the extreme.

  1. September 23rd, 2013
  2. August 9th, 2014
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