21 January 2013 12:30 PM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Is the serial-killer genre played out? You might think so from watching tonight’s debut of The Following (Fox, Mondays, 9 p.m.). It slots the usual clichés into place: a genius serial killer named Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) who quotes classic literature; a disgraced, depressed, alcoholic ex-fbi profiler named Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) who’s re-called to service to catch Carroll; gory murders reconfigured in the killer’s mind as art; kidnappings and disfigurements, lairs and labs, choppers fluttering toward Quantico. Within fifteen minutes, I scribbled “Thomas Harris has a lot to answer for” on my notepad.There are exceptions to rules, though, and I was pleasantly surprised when The Following, created by Kevin Williamson (of Scream, Dawson’s Creek, and The Vampire Diaries fame) turned out to be one of them. If you can stick with the show through the end of its second episode, you’ll see what I’m getting at. »


- Matt Zoller Seitz

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