By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gory crime drama swimming in blood, dead bodies, suspense.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The tone is extremely dark, painting the world as a violent and dangerous place with an overarching sense of distrust and foreboding.
Positive Role Models
Although he's clearly fighting evil, the main character is bit of an antihero whose own troubled past makes him an iffy role model.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is shocking and surprisingly gory, with sudden stabbings, hangings, and plenty of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some suggestions of nudity and sexual activity, but nothing graphic.
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Characters use words like "damn," "hell," "ass," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character has a drinking problem. In one scene, he fills a water bottle with vodka, etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Following is a prime-time crime drama that plays like a horror film, with sudden jolts and gory scenes that are extremely disturbing. Viewers will see dead bodies and plenty of blood, plus violent acts like a woman stabbing herself in the eye. Sexual content and language are tame by comparison, but there's some adult-oriented innuendo and regular use of words like "damn," "hell," and "ass." The main character also struggles with alcoholism and psychological issues.
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Based on 9 parent reviews
Other Reviews are Ludicrous
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Season 2 is a different story
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What's the Story?
Nine years after former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) put cunning serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) behind bars, Carroll mounts an unlikely escape and pulls Hardy back into the game -- and out of retirement -- to secure his capture. The killer is swiftly returned to death row. But it doesn't take long for Hardy to uncover a dizzying network of "followers" who are prepared to do Carroll's bidding on the outside.
Is It Any Good?
If a script can lure longtime movie actor Kevin Bacon to series television, logic follows that it must be good. And while this darkly violent crime drama -- a thematic blend of creator Kevin Williamson's Scream franchise and The Silence of the Lambs -- at times threatens to derail itself with corny dialogue and overblown characters, it ultimately proves watchable and compelling.
It's also genuinely unnerving, thanks to well-placed "gotcha" moments that literally make you jump, which is precisely why The Following will be way too intense for most kids. On the plus side, older teens who watch will be exposed to the work of Edgar Allan Poe, whose macabre writings figure prominently in the plot and may even spur them on to further reading.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how The Following's level of violence compares to other crime dramas on television. Is it too violent for TV? Who decides how much is too much?
Writer Edgar Allan Poe is central to the plot of The Following. What do you know about Poe and his work? How have Poe's writings influenced other types of media, whether it be books, movies, or music?
Does The Following take a position when it comes to good vs. evil? Is the outlook generally positive or negative?
- Premiere date: January 21, 2013
- Cast: James Purefoy, Kevin Bacon, Maggie Grace
- Network: Fox
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
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