David Bianculli on the violence in the new series The Following starring Kevin Bacon:
I’m a big fan of Dexter, and Homeland, so TV violence in itself doesn’t throw me. But there’s something about The Following that pushes the envelope, especially for broadcast television, in a way that’s more than a little unsettling. Not only does it find ways to put children and young women into jeopardy at almost every opportunity, but it stages many scenes of torture and killing through the eyes of Joe Carroll’s eager followers.
These scenes show these young people enjoying the act of stabbing, or setting on fire, or otherwise murdering someone, almost like a how-to primer. Yes, they’re the villains — but the way these moments are acted, photographed and edited made me feel uneasy about the possible real-world consequences. The violence is overtly glamorized here.
Image via NPR