Pop Culture

The Following: A Recap, of Sorts

The fabulous chief unicorn and I sometimes get together to live blog premiers of interesting looking shows. But Selena and I could not coordinate a good time for us to watch the new Kevin Bacon thriller, The Following. So instead of a live blog fueled by sweet wine and pull-n-peel Twizzlers, we’re going to share our individual impressions of the new series. Did you watch as well? Join us in the comments. Here thar be spoilers, you’ve been warned.

Promotional Image for The Following, with pictures of Kevin Bacon and a woman seen in profile whose skin is covered in writing

The Following airs Monday nights on Fox, at 9 p.m.

Selena (who watched first): Cover your eyes when they go to the apartment and tell Kevin Bacon he has to see something. You don’t.

Slay Belle: My dinner just finished. I will watch and eat and think about questions!

Slay Belle: Oh, hey Iceman. Your scruffy beard doesn’t hide the fact that you look like you’re twelve.

Selena: Heh.

Selena: Okay, question the first: Do we need another grizzled white dude former LEO with a monkey on his back?

Slay Belle: Do we think that the babysitter’s visual reference to Rosemary’s Baby was intentional?

Slay Belle: Ok, I was going to ask about the flawed drunken hero too. I’m slightly disappointed that’s the type KB’s character falls into. Its a trope I’m sick of. Its been done to death. I’m not against a flawed protagonist. But the disgruntled-ex-fbi-agent is expected. One of the other character even explicitly says he ‘doesn’t play well with others!’ KB makes good career choices so I’m willing to hold out hope that this is just the surface. But. Still.
The ex-wife on the other hand seems like she’ll be great. I just love her non-flustered approach. The preview clip of her from next week just staring down her ex husband and answering his questions made me like her a lot.

Slay Belle: So what do we think about Sarah being killed off in the first episode? She was obviously set up as a Final Girl and she’s dead before the end of the premier. I’m sure we’ll see her in flashbacks since that seems like it’ll play a big role. But she’s totes murdered.

Selena: Okay, my second question is easy, what would you list as the pros and cons of the show on a whole?

Selena: I was surprised they killed Sarah, and I felt bad for actress Maggie Grace, as some either kills or tries to kill her in every role she plays. I thought it was a bold-ish? move, but after so many years of watching Criminal Minds, I may have a higher shock threshold. I think she’s the only kill What’sHisKiller HAD to make on his own, though. I think the rest of the series is going to be chasing after the members of his cult. No one else could have killed Sarah, and What’sHisKiller couldn’t, I dunno, rest? until he finished the job.

Selena: Also, the kid is totally Kevin Bacon’s. I was unpleasantly surprised at how much plot spoon-feeding went on, under the guise of being Big Mysteries. The way they laid it out couldn’t have been more obvious if they CGI’d Kevin’s face on The Boy.

Selena: Is the ex-wife Penny from LOST?

Slay Belle: Other question while I’m thinking of it: Is the use of Poe as the serial killer’s inspiration just lazy? I love Poe. I was just the other day thinking about getting a Poe tattoo. But he’s mass culture short hand for ‘weird’. I thought maybe the setting would be in Baltimore or Philly to have a thematic tie in, but lol, nope.

Slay Belle: Pros: Several very arresting visuals. The women with the writing all over her body? There was a reason they used that in all the previews. It was very striking (and the previews obviously indicated she was going to come to bad end).

Pros: Cast – KB is no joke. I think he can really make the show something interesting.

Pros: I like that they want to explore the whole Manson family angle.

Pros: Being willing to kill off a big name in the first episode.

Cons: They are working with some tired tropes. The show has to do something interesting to distinguish this broken detective from the million other broken detectives on television.

Cons: So far, the writing isn’t fantastic. Like you said, they’re telegraphing some moves early on and there’s nothing in the premier that makes me think its set up smart enough that their tells are going in an unexpected way.

Slay Belle: CON: Its airing on Fox, which does not have a history of being willing to support their shows while they find their footing.

Selena: Yes, I did think Poe was lazy. Any other Romantic author/poet could work, and Poe is the low-hanging fruit. I like Poe, too, but I agree with your assessment of him being the universal symbol for weird and creepy.

Slay Belle: Tell-Tale Heart? I mean, that’s just like compounding lazy with lazy.

Selena: If any of the Cult Ladies are named Lenore or Annabelle Lee, I’m throwing things at the teevee.

Selena: OH, and I bet the twelve-year-old cop’s dad is a drinker, which is how he knows KB is drinking Vodka flavored Aquafina. He’ll confront him before the third episode.

Slay Belle: I actually barked a laugh out when he fished the bottle out of the trash and filled it with vodka.

Selena: HA! Me too.


Selena: And THE EYES THE EYES is more of a shout out to your aforementioned Rosemary’s Baby than Poe, but I don’t remember an eye reference in TTH.

Selena: So I could be wrong.

Selena: If they’ve gotta go with eyes, why not make him a Classical Greek scholar? Even Oedipus isn’t as ubiquitous as Poe. And most people remember the fucking his mother part more than the poking out his own eyes part.

Slay Belle: I don’t recall eye symbolism in TTH. But its got to be there, right? Because how lazy could the writers be?

Selena: My suspension of disbelief was pushed a bit that some of the plants had been undercover for so many years. That’s a longass con.

Selena: And when they said WhatsHisKiller maintained 1000 blogs. BULLSHIT. He couldn’t keep the spam out of 1000 blogs, even if he spent every single waking moment on the computer. You know, in prison, where he used his brains and apparently a paperclip to bypass government blocking software.

Selena: MAGICAL HACKER, trope number two. EVEEEEEL NANNY, trope number three.

Slay Belle: ‘This aging literature professor is obviously a top notch computer hacker. Because getting your masters in literature is simple, so fitting in ‘computer hacking’ between ‘killing 14 co-eds on the school you teach at’ is not a big deal.And let’s talk about *that*. He’s genius murderer, but he was killing people on his own campus?

Selena: Ha! Yes. Clearly, he’s arrogant, but I don’t know if arrogance is enough to make him be that stupid.

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

3 replies on “The Following: A Recap, of Sorts”

Yeah, I was wondering about the 1,000 blogs too and just figured they meant that his followers were running those blogs devoted to him or whatever.

And I knew as soon as the first gay neighbor walked in to comfort her (Sarah?) that they were in on it. But really did they have to make the gay characters evil psycho cult killers too?

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the Poe thing is played out. But I happen to love Poe so I’m okay with it.

It’s got a lot of cliches and tropes in it but it’s still really good and I’m excited to see where it goes.

I did!

Just in case this is necessary….SPOILER ALERT!!

I totally would have jumped on the creepy person in the Poe mask at the end. Out of all of those people that witnessed that, not ONE of them had the balls to just jump on him/her?

Also, I think FBI Lady, the one that brought him the book, is in on it. And fake-gay dude has issues. I predict he will either be killed or he will end up breaking away from this cult.

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