Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Would you like a mint?"

I saw several movies this week but only tried one new TV show.  It watched like a movie though, and I am once more reminded that the shape of moving picture media is changing, lines are blurring, and I’m entering an industry in flux.

This is NOT Footloose.

The show was Kevin Bacon's "The Following" and we watched the pilot.  It was well acted.  The production style felt fresh and kept everything moving very quickly.  There's a scene of Kevin waking up that cuts three or four times with him shifting position or action just a little.  Very neat effect and you sort of knew how he felt before he stumbled to get water.  Lots of water.

The writing was top notch.  Dialogue was spot-on, the characters were very, very distinct.  The premise -- half of the premise, anyway -- was pretty good.  This episode was one of the best pilots I've ever seen, you want to know what comes next.  You have to know.  The twists and turns, in that one episode, were amazing and flowed logically, even though we were only just meeting everyone.

It was all too good.  Critically I would have to give it top marks.  Personally, it wasn't for me.  We don't watch Criminal Minds because of its well-written, well-filmed depiction of gruesome violence.  To us that's not entertainment, it's depressing.  I'm not sure exactly where the line is (we do like shows that venture in that direction) but wherever that line is, if you stood on it and looked, you'd only be able to see The Following on a clear day.  A very clear day.

It's brutal.  It's gruesome.  It's suspenseful.  People get hurt and you care.  I've seen enough of that in life, when I turn on the telly I want to be able to laugh, even if it's only once.  I can’t, in good conscience, recommend this show.  It might be for you, and the people who like it really like it a lot.  It’s just really disturbing.

Have you seen it?  What's your thought?  Should fans of The Following be confined in the mental wards of our maximum security prisons?

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