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Reviews Comments: Starts very effectively, but... The Following season review by Dark Literati

Dark. Gruesome. Deadly. Dangerous. Gory. And whatever other shadowy adjectives you can think of.

For once, the Viewer Discretion Advised warning must be taken seriously. Nothing nearly as terrifying as this show has ever blackened America's broadcast airwaves with its presence before. Not even American Horror Story, which is at times too campy to be genuinely scary.

Trigger warnings abound throughout the pilot alone: eyes are gouged out, throats slit, blood spilled on everything, the thud of a damaged heart echoing over everything else, and overall lack of humor and/or comic relief. Even the sun seemed too afraid to show itself on the days the pilot was being shot.

That said, though, it's a great start. Unfortunately, I found that the show started suffering from what I now call the 666 Park Avenue effect. I tend to hate it when people criticize a show by saying it had a good premise but poor execution, but as with 666PA, I ended up gradually losing interest in the show because while the pilot was great, the subsequent episodes didn't add very much to the story, if at all, and was starting to settle into a bit of a more-of-the-same pattern. I kept going with this show for three more episodes, but only because of the fact that each episode ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, usually involving some minor character(s). The EGREGIOUS use of Villain Sue (my least favorite character type, and for good reason) doesn't help matters at all. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this; the show's ratings have already dropped 25% since the pilot. And with Fox's other shows crashing, this one probably ain't going anywhere soon.


  • Uldihaa
  • 4th Mar 13
I have to agree. At this point, it's like the Villain is somehow immune to Murphy. EVERYTHING hinges on a ridiculous series of meetings that no one noticed or were somehow covered up (with no one noticing THAT), and ever meeting shown to date has gone exactly as planned for the Villain. This whole series hangs from a thread of increasingly unbelievable situations, with the Villain's henchmen in the right place at the right time EVERY SINGLE TIME.

The series has broken my ability to suspend my disbelief for the events happening in this show.
  • DarkLiterati
  • 5th Mar 13
"The series has broken my ability to suspend my disbelief for the events happening in this show."

I know, right? Based on Wikipedia's synopsis (which suggested "special technology" would be used by Carroll), I was expecting something on the sci-fi side, like the so-called "'bot brains" used in Witch And Wizard. And when I found out it's just super-secret social networking, I was very disappointed. This more mundane explanation for the cult's presence really detracts from the show's appeal.
  • tublecane
  • 9th Mar 13
If nothing else, this show at least proves Kevin Bacon is a good actor, as he's the only one who shines through the material. The rest are goshawful.

One odd little thing about the show that bothered me was how once they found out the "gay neighbors" were killers they automatically assumed they were only pretending to be gay. Leave aside for a second how stupid the plot was. I'll swallow fir entertainment's sake that they needed to pretend to be gay to put the victim at ease. I'll also swallow that they had to wait long enough for it to be psychologically damaging to Kevin Bacon. Forget, too, how they could've just used the chick, who apparently cannot possibly fail at anything she tries. Or maybe she was busy pulling off some similar needlessly complicated scheme.

My problem is why they didn't think they were actually gay (one of them appears to be legitimately so, or at least bisexual). Bacon eased the bother by showing surprise at their having faked it. But still, right after it happened everyone seemed to come to the same conclusion summarily and independently. "Ah, they must have been fakers." Turns out that was the correct assumption, but who knew at the time Hannibal's schemes were so ridiculous?
  • DarkLiterati
  • 9th Mar 13
Yes, Bacon is a great actor. That much is indisputable. It's also evidence of the unfortunately erratic quality of Williamson's work overall. It's funny how the same guy who wrote Scream could produce such Narm-heavy crap like Dawsons Creek.

The whole implausibility of the show is why I prefer Cult. Because Cult is so heavily meta, Willing Suspension Of Disbelief comes much more easily. After all, this show is extremely dark and violent, like the cable crime shows (example: The Wire) that are often hailed for their realism. The realistic, bleak atmosphere doesn't mesh well with the premise that has all the realism of the best genre-film summer blockbusters. It's also the reason why I hated the novel Hannibal (did you intend to say "Hannibal" in your comment?), mostly because of the incredibly boneheaded ending that completely went against the grain of the rest of the story (thankfully it was averted in the Ridley Scott film.)
  • tublecane
  • 11th Mar 13
"did you intend to say "Hannibal" in your comment?"

Yeah. I couldn't remember the character's name, and can't now, either. So I call him what he is: a Hannibal Lecter type. I fully expect him to try to eat Kevin Bacon's liver.
  • DarkLiterati
  • 11th Mar 13
With some fava beans and a nice Chianti? Tch-tch-tch-tch-tch...(don't really know how to accurately replicate that sound effect, which is a shame because that's about the only part of Silence I actually liked.)

For future reference, the Big Bad's name is Joe Carroll. Yeah, it's not nearly as memorable as Hannibal Lecter, now is it?

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