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The first three episodes of The Following's second season have aired, and I have to say that it seems to be much of the same that made the first season sink into the morass that reduced it to "How Dumb Is This Thing Going to Become?" status. I am issuing early warning here that I will be saying some spoilery things from these episodes, so if you haven't watched them... close out of this piece now.
Let's review what has exactly happened. A new cult, or a splinter of the old one, has come to New York on the anniversary of Joe Carroll's (James Purefoy) death to try to lure him out of hiding. He apparently survived the explosion from last season's finale. They wear really creepy masks of Carroll. This is a fact that has escaped the totally annoying Emma (Valorie Curry), the one cult member that survived that whole season-ending bloodbath despite her BEING THE ONE I WANTED DEAD THE MOST. She's no longer wearing a pixie cut, instead going with a Lisbeth Salander goth look. The ones trying to get Carroll include a pair of French twins who like to kill people and then talk to them after their death, with one of them looking exactly like Christian Bale's character in American Psycho. In fact, I expect him to suddenly start talking about Genesis' Invisible Touch album.
Yeah, Carroll's alive. He's been livingin some rural town with a hooker (Carrie Preston) and her daughter, sporting a beard and baseball cap in the world's worst homage to Robert De Niro's Deer Hunter, replete with the most horrifying attempt at a southern accent. Of course, the show nudges Carroll to come out of hiding to New York. To me, it doesn't feel surprising when Carroll finally roars (or does his best imitation of roaring), "I. AM. INEVITABLE!" and then mercifully kills a priest who had discovered Carroll's real identity. No, he doesn't kill him by talking him to death, which is surprising, since Carroll loves the sound of his voice and talks and talks and talks and makes me glad I have a hearing aid to turn off to mute him. The show tries to make the killing a moral gray area, since the priest actually isn't that great of a guy because he keeps sleeping with the prostitute and leers at her daughter. But Carroll's first kill in a year doesn't make us feel anything, because we were all waiting for him to do that. A pacifistic Joe Carroll makes this show even more mundane than ever.
In the third episode, Carroll kills his hooker girlfriend after she finds the dead body of the priest. Actually, no, her daughter does it, since she is smitten with him despite his track record of, you know, KILLING WOMEN. They torch the place while Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" plays in the background, one of the most ludicrous background songs I think I've ever heard given the context. I love that song. I think this severely hurt that.
Let's not forget the the tired trope of Lily Gray, one of the first victims of the subway attack in the first episode, played by Connie Nielsen, turning out to be a follower herself. Add the fact that it had one of those aggravating chases, you know, where a pursuee (Hardy) is chasing someone (Gray) at full speed while the other person walks at an ambling gait a mere 20 feet ahead on a street and STILL DOESN'T CATCH HER. Yes, that happens here. Oh... and she's the mother of those two psycho twins. Of course.
Oh yes, how can we forget Kevin Bacon and his character of Ryan Hardy. You see, he's still obsessed with Joe Carroll, even going as far as to enlist his niece to help him out. But he's not revealing anything to law enforcement, including his former partner last season, Ice. His refusal to do so put quite a few people at risk, but he's just so tortured that he keeps all the info to himself. Bacon seems to be doing all the filming with a "I'm being paid by direct deposit, RIGHT?" expression. It's amazing he's gone three episodes thus far and hasn't been punched by someone.
I admit that I am already slipping back into my hate-watching mood when watching. Relax, dude. It's just a show. Just be entertained. The thing is, there has to be even a semblance of intelligence to even do that. When I see how sloppy the FBI seems to be in corralling these criminals, I shake my head. If they were this bad in real life, the United States would be taken over by another country in five minutes. So all I can do now is watch more and see if the show continues yet another downward spiral. Then we may be spared a third season.
Also, I'm sure that Bacon knows that his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, would have solved all this in two episodes of The Closer.
And the Comic-Con news just keeps on coming!
Vampires, werewolves, geeks, serial killers, secret agents and more are set to dazzle fans at the 2013 Comic-Con in San Diego. Warner Bros. has just unveiled their lineup, and it's looking like 17 of their fan-favorite series will be in attendance. Take a look at the full lineup below to find out when stars from The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, and more will be taking the stage.
Wendesday, July 17:– Pilot screenings of Almost Human, The Tomorrow People, and The 100, as well as a special presentation of The Originals featuring never-before-seen footage.
Thursday, July 18:- MAD: Producers Kevin Shinick and Mark Marek.
Friday, July 19:- Almost Human: Stars Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, and executive producer J.H. Wyman. - The Big Bang Theory: Executive producers Steven Molaro and Bill Prady and the writers- Childrens Hospital: Creator/star Rob Corddry and executive producers David Wain and Jonathan Stern join cast members Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Ken Marino and Rob Huebel. - The Following: Kevin Bacon, Shawn Ashmore, and Valorie Curry join executive producers Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega. - Nikita: Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Devon Sawa, and Noah Bean join executive producer Craig Silverstein. - The 100: Series stars Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Marie Avgeropoulos, and Henry Ian Cusick join executive producers Matthew Miller and Jason Rothenberg. - The Paranormal and Extraterrestrial Squad: Producers Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff and creators/stars John Dale and Michael Hobert.
Saturday, July 20:- Arrow: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes joining executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. - The Originals: Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, and Charles Michael Davis join executive producer Julie Plec. - Person of Interest: Executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman join members of the cast for their third visit to Comic-Con. - Revolution: Series stars and creator/executive producer Eric Kripke. - The Tomorrow People: Series stars Robbie Amell, Mark Pellegrino, and Peyton List with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Phil Klemmer and Danny Cannon. - The Vampire Diaries: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham and Candice Accola join executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries.
Sunday, July 21:- Supernatural: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Mark A. Sheppard with executive producers Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer. - Beware the Batman: Producers Glen Murakami and Mitch Watson. - Teen Titans Go!: Producer Aaron Horvath joins members of the voice cast, including Greg Cipes and Scott Menville.
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Major spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Monday night's season finale of The Following!
Just when you thought Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) won against the evil Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) and was safe at home with his lady love Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea), all hell broke loose... again. The Following's Season 1 finale was filled with shocking twists, major deaths (RIP Agent Parker), and one serious cliffhanger.
Ryan and Claire got shivved by Ryan's ex-girlfriend in his kitchen! Are they gone for good? What will Emma do now that her leader (and lover) is dead? Hollywood.com caught up with the cast and creators at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a special screening of the finale, and they dished on where the show will go from here.
"Season 2 will be different than Season 1 and at the same time it’s going to make perfect sense as to why it’s different," executive producer Marcos Siega tells Hollywood.com. How charmingly vague! One thing he's planning on improving — how he deals with major character deaths.
"I become too invested, that’s my problem," Siega says. "I fell in love with Adan [Canto] who played Paul, and I fell in love with the Paul/Jacob [Nico Tortorella] storyline," Siega says. "I knew exactly what was going to happen, I knew when it was going to happen, but I didn’t expect it to have that effect on me. And then when we got to that moment [where both Paul and Jacob died] I was like, 'I wish we could continue this.' So what I’ve learned from that is that I’m going to think more about these big decisions."
When it comes to those big decisions of who will die on the show, executive producer Kevin Williamson knows that it is no small matter. "That’s a tough decision. Sometimes the actor and cast start surprising you and you want to keep the character on so you have to figure it out," Williamson tells Hollywood.com. "You’re only plotting out 15 episodes and I have so much story to pack in that I feel like I short-changed some characters, whereas some may have overstayed their welcome. There are so many characters and so many moving pieces, it’s a tough puzzle to put together. I will tell you, I was sad to see Jacob go and I was super sad to see Rodrick go. I would have loved to explore them more."
While Jacob and Rodrick won't be seeing Season 2 thanks to their unfortunate demises, Williamson is already planning out how Season 1 will transition into Season 2. " I always planned for a Season 2. You have to plan for that," Williamson says. "Tonight’s ending is also a beginning. It’s that metaphorical ending where everything that was set up in the pilot tries to play out in the final chapter."
The final chapter ended with serial killer Joe dying in a fire after trying to kill Ryan and Claire. Follower #1 Emma (Valorie Curry) was last seen hiding out in Alabama crying over Joe's death, and her grief might propel her to become the next big bad.
"She thinks that Ryan is responsible for [Joe's] death, and for everyone’s death," Curry tells Hollywood.com. "Everything’s personal now. Before, her beef with Ryan was really about Joe. She hated him because Joe did, and she loved him because Joe did. Now she’s got her own vendetta against him because he’s the reason that everything has gone so awry, and why she’s had to do unspeakable things."
And even though Joe was confirmed dead at the end of the finale, we might not have seen the last of Purefoy on The Following. "I believe so, but that's no guarantee," Purefoy says of the chances that he'll stick around for Season 2. "Honestly, it's a show about serial killers. There will be a high body count and we all knew that going in."
A show about murderers also contains plenty of disturbing imagery, and Bacon's toughest moments from Season 1 were all in Monday's finale. "Just in general the idea that the Parker character gets buried and we’re trying to find her," Bacon says. "The outcome of that and a couple of things in this finale were tough."
There's no word yet on whether or not Ryan Hardy will live through his stabbing, but there's a high probablity he will. Besides, Bacon has already begun to contemplate Season 2. "I wouldn’t want the show to become in any way a procedural. That would be a drag," Bacon says. "In other words, if every week, Hardy finds a killer. I wouldn’t want the show to not explore new territory for the characters. The reason you do a television show is you either morph as a character or uncover things in the past; that’s what is exciting about it. It’s all about character for me."
However Season 2 turns out, we're sure Hardy could use a vacation first. He's certainly earned one.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy's dark, twisted, body-count-heavy history is the central relationship explored on Kevin Williamson's Fox thriller The Following — but ever since the show's premiere, fans have been increasingly won over by the sick, enthralling relationship between Followers Emma (Valorie Curry), and former quote-unquote gay couple Jacob (Nico Tortorella) and Paul (Adan Canto). A lot of this is thanks to Paul, who lost whatever "it" a serial killer still has two episodes ago, then went off-course and kidnapped a local shopgirl — an offering that would ultimately show Emma that Jacob (gasp!) had never actually killed anyone. What a tool.
RELATED: 'The Following' Recap: Hardy's Sister is Kidnapped
Due to Jacob's fondness for not murdering people, that shopgirl was still alive at the end of last week's episode — but our gut tells us it's not for long. And Canto's teasing gives us little hope that things will get better. "All I can say is, do not be surprised by this guy's rage," he says. "You will see disturbing, and very interesting things coming from Paul."
A lot of these things will come to pass because of the threesome dynamic between the characters — something that was touched upon last week. But apparently, we haven't even begun to scratch the surface. "The [resentment towards Jacob] goes further than jealousy," Canto says. "Paul feels abandoned. It's definitely something that the audience will be understanding, in time, through flashbacks. They'll see Paul's origins, and Jacob's origins."
RELATED: 'The Following': James Purefoy on Serial Killers and '70s Porn
Apparently, we'll also be seeing scenes between Canto and his vicious leader, Joe Carroll (Purefoy). We've seen Emma's disturbing backstory, and Paul's will be explored in weeks to come. "[The Following] is a sanctuary for Paul," Canto says. "It's a safe-house. He feels a deep sense of belonging with all of [the Followers]. And there is always love between Paul and Joe."
Not so much, however, with Paul and Jacob — Canto says that that relationship will continue on its downward spiral. "When you trust someone entirely, and you feel like you're the only person that knows you in the world, then all of the sudden that person gives you their back... you can't help but to feel betrayed," he says. "[Paul and Jacob] start lying, and then continue this lie… Jacob's pretending to be this guy, when Paul knows [the truth]. And on top of that, he's fully neglecting [Paul]. There might be some [romantic] feelings involved. There are always feelings involved. There are very passionate emotions with this cult."
Well, the passionate emotions have certainly become very obvious during weeks 1 through 4 of this deeply disturbing (yet addictive) show. Will things ever let up? You know — maybe they can give us an episode or two without any stab wounds? According to Canto, don't count on it.
"In every episode, something very messed up happens," he says. Eek.
Be prepared for even more "messed up" (and be sure the kids are in bed) when The Following airs tonight at 9PM on Fox.
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Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/FOX
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If there's a cinematic alchemy award to be given this year director Bill Condon deserves to take it home after magically turning the tedious Twilight franchise into entertainment gold. 2011's Part 1 was a horror camp romp that turned the supernatural love triangle — the naval gazing trio of Bella Edward and Jacob — on its head. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 continues the madcap exploration of a world populated by vampires and werewolves mining even more comedy thrills and genuine character moments out of conceit than ever before. The film occasionally sidesteps back into Edward and Bella's meandering romance (an evident hurdle of author Stephenie Meyer's source material) but the duller moments are overshadowed by the movie's nimble pace and playful attitude. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will elicit laughs aplenty — but thankfully they're all on purpose.
Part 2 picks up immediately following the events of the first film Bella (Kristen Stewart) having been turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save her life after the torturous delivery of her half-human half-vampire child Renesmee. She awakes to discover super senses heightened agility increased strength… and a thirst for blood. One dead cougar later Bella and the gang are able to focus on the real troubles ahead: Renesmee is rapidly growing (think Jack) and vampiric overlords The Volturi perceive her a threat to vampiric secrecy. Knowing the Volturi will travel to Forks WA to kill the young girl (a 10-year-old just a month after being born) The Cullens amass an army of bloodsucking friends to end the oppression once and for all.
Packed with an absurd amount of backstory and mythology-twisting plot points (some vampires can shoot lightning now?) Condon and series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg mine revel in the beefed up ensemble of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and thanks to a wildly funny cast it never feels like pointless deviation. Along with the usual suspects Lee Pace adds swagger to the series as a grungy alt-rock vampire Noel Fisher appears as a hilarious over-the-top battle-ready Russian coven member and Michael Sheen returns has Volturi head honcho Aro and steels the show. Flamboyant diabolical and a steady stream of maniacal laughter Sheen owns Condon's high camp vision for Twilight and he lights up the screen. There are a few throw away nations of vampires — the oddly stereotypical Egyptian and Amazonians sects are there mostly there to off-set the extreme whiteness — but the actors involved bring liveliness to a franchise known for being soulless. Even Stewart Pattinson and Taylor Lautner give personal bests in this installment — a scene between Bella and her dad Charlie (Billy Burke) is genuinely heartfelt while Jacob's overprotective hero schtick finally lands.
Whereas Breaking Dawn - Part 1 stuck mostly to the personal story relying on the intimate moments as Bella and Edward took the big plunge into marriage and sex Part 2 paints with broader strokes and Condon has a ball. Delving into the history of the vampires and the vampire world outside Forks is Pandora's Box for the director. One scene where we learn why kids scare the heck of the Volturi captures a scope of medieval epics — along with the bloodshed. Twilight might be known for its sexual moments but Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will go down for its abundance of decapitations. The big set piece in the finale is something to behold both in the craftsmanship of the spectacle and in its bizarre nature.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had the audience hooting hollering and even gasping as it twisted and turned to the final moments. There's little doubt that even the biggest naysayer of the franchise would do the same. No irony here: the conclusion of Twilight is a blast.