1) Kevin Bacon: Oh Kevin, you twinkled toed fox, what do you do to me? I have always considered Kevin Bacon to be an interesting and commanding screen presence and he’s no different as tortured, ex-FBI agent, Ryan Hardy, on The Following, scowling up a storm and delivering some amazing one liners with superb precision.
2) Ryan and Claire: Everyone knows that the heart of a good drama is a good love story and The Following doesn’t disappoint. Bacon’s Hardy and Claire Matthews, played by Natalie Zea, have oodles of on screen chemistry and bring a softer dimension to the drama.
3) Joe Carroll: Slightly unconvinced at first at the gravitas of James Purefoy’s Joe Carroll, but nine episodes in and the sight of him gutting a poor woman on a make shift operating table, I’m sold. Purefoy is creepy and threatening and offers us up an atypical TV villain.
4) Insane body count: The writers of The Following definitely aren’t concerned about being conservative with the amount of blood shed week after week. Not only are we guaranteed a respectable body count each episode, the ways in which these killings occur are equally inventive as they are insane. I mean, come on, murdering a woman in a diner with a whale harpoon??!! What?!
5) The suspense is killing.. well everyone: The Following certainly isn’t short on suspense and I’m bloody loving it. The stand-off at the farm house, the kidnapping of Mike Weston and the capture of Hardy’s sister have been some of my highlights of the series so far.
6) Trust no one: It would appear that Carroll has managed to recruit himself a band of followers so loyal and so many in number that there is nothing that this serial killer can’t achieve. With cult followers seemingly placed in all walks of life and within the highest echelons of the law, the audience learns early on to trust no one. By the end of the first episode we’re as paranoid as Hardy himself and it works brilliantly.
7) But surely not?: The plot twists and turns in The Following have blown my fragile little mind. With psychopathic nannies, gay love triangles, a woman in a cage, self harming cult members, an arsonist Edgar Allan Poe and paedophile cults (to name a few) this series has stepped up to the plate with its cuckoo cap firmly in place.
8) Supporting cast: Shawn Aston as Mike Weston and Annie Parisse as Debra Parker are fantastic supporting cast for Bacon. All the cult members have been successful in conveying believable madness with Marin Ireland as Amanda, recently seen as Homeland’s Aileen, providing the series’ stand out performance so far.
9) Sexy as hell: Threesomes, shower scenes and lots of cult-on-cult member sex has meant that The Following has been damn sexy.. in a slightly disturbing, need a shower after watching kind of way..
10) Say whaaat??: The Following is bonkers. Absolutely bonkers. Unlike the heavily vocal web community, I have to say that’s what is keeping me coming back each week. Critics have been quick to jump on the implausibility of the ineptitude of the FBI and discard the set up as unforgivably far-fetched and I’m not going to argue as, well.. they sort of have a point, but I really don’t care. The top acting, well written script, constant suspense and brilliantly executed set pieces are enough to have me hooked.
The Following is unpredictable, violent, sadistic, sexy and isn’t pulling any punches and I, for one, can’t wait to see how this series plays out.