I really kind of love Kevin Bacon. I think, for instance, that it’s cool that he seems to be aging at a relatively real-human rate and has been married to the same woman for over 25 years. I love the 6 degrees game that seems to never take more than 3 degrees to connect him to another Hollywood star. And, despite myself sometimes, I have loved watching him in Fox’s The Following.
Season one was a tour-de-force by Bacon as vulnerable, dogged, detached Agent Ryan Hardy in a chilling pas de deux with a serial killer and his cult of followers. They struck with flash-mob-like randomness and with all the queasiness-inducing vigor (remember that ice pick in the first episode?) of a John Carpenter film. As though they were reading my mind (or at least my blog) the series shed its Poe quoting pretensions by season two (an affectation of Hardy’s lit prof nemesis Dr. Joe Carroll) and even through the season’s weaker moments (like that other murder cult Joe co-opted. Really?), The Following proved its plot twists hard to predict and its dishing out of slasher-film-like gore unflinchingly reliable. If you dig horror, it has been hard not to follow along.
This season faces a steep challenge, however: swapping out the bad guy from Poe-obsessed professor cum psychopathic cult leader Joe Carroll (a truly creepy and compelling–even when his character stretched credulity–James Purefoy).
I’d forgotten how addictive this show is. How hard it is to not go through an entire season in a week or two. After seasons 2 and 3–at least in my view–struggled to do justice to the near impossibly well-paced and acted legacy of season 1, Showtime’s serial killer serial delivers back to back viewing satisfaction with seasons 4 and 5.