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Fox's "The Following" has power, but will the rising body count make it a grim series to stick with
Film vet Kevin Bacon (right) stretches his legs on prime-time television with 'The Following.' This dark and psychological series stars James Purefoy as the criminal to watch.
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By Rob Hedelt
WITH accomplished actor Kevin Bacon and a premise about a mastermind manipulating ranks of serial killers, there's little chance Fox's "The Following" was going to be anything typical.
The question, even after seeing the first outing, is whether this series is going to be unique in an interesting, creative way.
Or simply different in a overly bloody, overdone way.
The jury's still out for this reviewer, who after Newtown is taking a closer look at how much mayhem he wants to regularly consume in the name of entertainment.
Of course, if you take murder off the TV menu, more than half the shows many of us regularly DVR would go by the wayside.
More and more, I'm more comfortable with shows that focus on the search for the bad guys and not the bloody mess the criminals make of their victims.
Which is why "The Following" might be problematic, because the criminal show's website calls a "brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic" killer is all about hacking people up.
Yes, the notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) likes to cut out eyes or have people jam an ice pick into an eye socket.
While at other times, hacking them up with a knife or simply arranging the bloody bodies of slashed young women as some sort of artistic display.
OK, I get having the extreme, scary guy as the criminal so there's more of a challenge for the good guys to catch him.
But this one won't work like that.
The guy who caught
When the shaken former agent apprehends Carroll by the end of the show's first hour, we know this is about more than just the mayhem the killer accomplishes himself.
Through the show's first hour, as he worked with current FBI agents and reconnects with those touched by Carroll's earlier murders, we see that this detail-oriented psychopath has recruited or trained a following of others like him.
WANT TO WATCH?What: "The Following" When: Mondays at 9 p.m. Where: Fox