Abigail Raney saw the first episodes of The Following, Cult and 666 Park Avenue last night, and has a few words on each.
The Following is the story of an FBI agent, played by Kevin Bacon, who is called back into duty after the escape of as a literature professor turned serial killer who he originally put away. James Purefoy plays the killer.
If I were in the habit of liking serial killers, the ones I would like most would be ones with literary quirks. What I mean to say is, The Following had me at ‘Poe’. And it kept me with good characters and a premise that appears unexpectedly sustainable.
Whether the show’s more thematic elements – mainly the question of what makes people follow and the meta-commentary posed by a killer obsessed with telling stories – are equally sustainable remains to beseen. But the show has good writing, good acting, and isn’t afraid of the darker places a story like this can go.
An interesting pilot got this series off to a promising start, and this was by far my favourite show of the evening.
The second show of the evening to tackle followings and meta issues, Cult suffered by comparison.
The story line follows the twists and turns of a TV show within the show that seems to have too much of a connection to some of its fans, and the reporter and researcher who team up to try to unravel this mystery.
Taken on its own as much as it could be, it’s a nice enough show – nothing particularly compelling, nothing particularly disappointing. With it’s layers of mystery, the show might strike a chord with those who are fond of never quite knowing the full story and who like a huge cliffhanger every few weeks, at least.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of chemistry among the main cast, but perhaps the show will be so plot-driven that won’t matter entirely.
Claiming to be ‘scary and seductive’, 666 Park Avenue follows the lives of a young couple who become the residential managers of an old Manhattan building with a hint of the sinister beneath its gleaming floors.
The show doesn’t shy away from the more predictable elements of such a premise – in fact, it embraces the cheesiness full on, with Dutch angles, disappearing doors, and draconian secret societies. The show is soapily enjoyable and not completely predictable.
A good time will be had by all – excepting, of course, the poor souls who I suspect will be routinely sucked into hellish dimensions – and if over time the show deepens and progresses, even better.
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