Initially aired in America by ‘Fox’in 2013, The Following has made its way onto British television and is now well into its second season on Sky Atlantic, broadcasting every Tuesday at 10pm. Many may be put off by the man-hours and dedication that it will now take to catch up on one and half season’s worth of prime student television. How will the student body work this new series into their scheduled daily catch up of Breaking Bad and House of Cards? The addition of the highly anticipated new season of Game of Thrones, which is back on Sky Atlantic on April 1st,could pose another challenge to your viewing schedule. The Following, however, is a series that could be worth changing your viewing diary for.

Admittedly, The Following is on the gory side of television dramas, even challenging the recently concluded Dexter for the production of graphic brutality and copious amounts of fake blood – USA today labelled it “one of the most violent, and certainly the most frightening series ever made by a commercial broadcast network”, a quote which coming from within America is particularly noteworthy. However, don’t let this vivid description put you off. The psychological thriller provides us with a spectacle to behold, with the characters of Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) interlocking in a battle of wits and smarts that you will grow to relish, along with the additional bout of cold blooded murder.

This series encompasses everything a good series should – tension, suspense and two main characters offering two very contrasting worlds, yet somehow appearing essentially similar; Hardy, a member of the FBI, is dedicated to pursuing Carroll – the serial killer under the guise of a college professor. This dedication of Hardy’s verges on the obsessive, a personality trait that is reflected by his alcohol dependence that plagues him during season one. Carroll’s obsession is on a more sinister note, a passion to kill. These passions for murder extend to a sociopathic select that hang on the every word of the most wanted criminal. Carroll develops a cult that plagues the US and the troubled Hardy.

The notion of creating a personal relationship with the characters on screen, with the exception of Carroll and Hardy, is limited somewhat by the trigger-happy nature of Carroll’s cult and the FBI, which is reflected by the short lifespan of the majority of the cast. This brazen concept of murderous cults and psychopathic killers is on a slightly far-fetched note, but so is Game of Thrones, which the majority indulge in and love. The Following will continue to keep you surprised, shocked and in a complete state of disbelief, which surely can’t be a bad thing.

Ollie Parsons


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