Why he let Fox induce him to cross that boundary is something of a mystery... perhaps he read the zeros of the check they dangled more closely than the script.
Or maybe Mrs. Bacon, who last August concluded a seven year run headlining cable TNT's "The Closer," convinced him that it was easy money and light lifting.
Based on tonight's pilot episode, her wifely advice should be "Honey, flee! Save yourself while you can."
Written by series creator Kevin Williamson, he doesn't seem to have moved past his earliest (mid-'90s) successes, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and the "Scream" series, updates of the "dead teenager/slasher" genre.
It's not writing so much as it's a recycling of cheap shock moments, sudden movements accompanied by an intrusice loud noise, designed to jolt the viewer, so what we wind up with is less "Silence of the Lambs" or "Criminal Minds," and more "Friday the 13th, Part XIX."
Yes, the maniac (and his minions) use knives and ice picks instead of chainsaws, but this is primetime television... there was more gore and violence in the pilot episode than I used to see Friday nights at the old Shirley Twin when I was reviewing movies for WRCN 35 years ago.
With the hue and cry across the land following the shocking school shooting last month, and accusations leveled against television and film producers (in addition to firearms owners and video games) for the levels of violence on the large and small screens, "The Following" is Fox TV's gob of spittle in the eye of those who would consider imposing regulations on the entertainment industry.
Does Williamson really think that the myriad references to the works of Edgar Allen Poe will assuage the harshest critics? He should have watched some early '60s Roger Corman movies and learned how to do it.
Kevin Bacon and TV viewers deserve better... much better!
Or he could take a page from Michael Mann ("Manhunter") and realize you can do it with psychologically messing with the audience instead of total gore. Of course, that requires directing talent....
While I am an enormous Michael Mann fan, I've never gotten over that scene of the climactic confrontation between "Will Graham" and "Francis Dollarhyde" in which we see blood spatter on the wall behind "Dollarhyde" from the exiting Glaser Safety Slugs... which are, of course, engineered to only penetrate and never perforate. (And as we both know, Mann had a pretty knowledgable firearms expert attached to the production.)
It's ironic that the 1986 film was not at all popular when it was first released, but now enjoys a very good reputation after the three subsequent "Hannibal Lector" movies, including a remake in 2002 under the source material's original title, "Red Dragon."