I am a huge Kevin Bacon fan. I enjoy watching him act. He has given us some exceptionally fine performances (and some goofy performances I love just as much). I was really looking forward to watching "The Following" a new series from Kevin Williamson (creator/writer/executive producer) which premiered two weeks ago on Fox.
Now after seeing the second episode I'm ready to pack it in.
Maybe it's because I've been recovering from bronchitis for two weeks and haven't been outside and I'm a little stir crazy. Or maybe it's because I'm grumpy because I haven't seen or talked to anyone but Dick in all that time because when I do talk I start coughing. Or maybe I'm just grumpy.
But here's the thing. I'm not really big on conspiracy narratives.
Also cults are fine, but a cult around Edgar Allan Poe is like first-year grad school stuff—really, really, lame, unless you want to go deeper and darker than the writer has gone here (Williamson hasn't scratched the surface on Poe).
So lame in fact it reminds me of an idea someone tossed up late one night in graduate school (first year in fact) when Gordon got drunk and started reciting "Don Juan" and to keep him quiet Alan did an end run with "Romanticism," I did a slap down on Thoreau, and Steve started hyperventilating about Poe. (Only some of the names have been changed because not everyone was innocent.) It didn't hurt that for the third and final time in my life I'd had a little bit too much to drink—but hey, it was Pernod and that's just like drinking "Good and Plenty."
The point is, even a little silly from drink you can see Poe isn't where you want to go. Not in this direction.
With the poor tragic hero (who has been given a Hemingway wound—let's throw everything into the pot) like Ryan Hardy (Bacon) in this situation there isn't going to be much for him to do but stand around and look aggrieved. (Of course he'll look great doing it, but over time that isn't interesting.)
After episode 2 it seemed clear to me that 1. Everyone anywhere could be in the "cult" and so at any time for whatever convenience the writers needed we could have a new cult member pop up. Not too rigorous is it?
I'm putting my money on the killer's wife being still in cahoots with her ex-husband, Joe Carroll. I know we saw the new FBI team leader Parker give Joe the complete "stories and poems" of Poe. She could of course turn out to be in league with Joe (heck, the way Williamson has written it I could be in league with Joe), but I think she's just trying to stir the pot.
I'll still bet on the wife because she is too manipulative in "acceptable" circumstances and it would wound Ryan the most, which seems to be what Joe is after…
…but that's the problem. I don't care. They haven't given me any reason to care in the two hours they have asked me to invest. (And if they are going to groom the Mike Weston [actor Shawn Ashmore] character as a susceptible convert at some later date, because he's so eager and impressionable; or they are setting him up for an early death—I can't care about any of that either. I just find his character annoying.)
So I've knocked it off my list of TV to watch. I figure when it's all over someone who is an even more steadfast fan of Bacon's than I am, will be happy to give me a 3 paragraph précis of what happened and who all was in on it; or whether it was all just some sort of dream, heck why not. In the meantime I have all those hours to enjoy elsewhere.
But I am grumpy, because I was looking forward to seeing Bacon act every week.