HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Following: Season 3
HTS Overall Score:73
Looks like the ratings for “The Following” finally got so bad that they were forced to cancel. I’m actually not surprised in the slightest as the show started out with a bang but ended with decidedly soft whimper. The basic premise of the show is that there is a serial killer out there, ultimately famous for his kills (duh) who has formed a sort of serial killing “cult” around his persona. Think like Red John from “The Mentalist” in later seasons, but much more in depth and with less purpose than that cabal. This killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), has become a man of legend, almost a superhero in his actions. He kills without consequence and is worshipped by groups of psycho killers. Being in a law enforcement related family, I always find it chuckle worthy when you have scads of teenagers and college students and professionals who can somehow all work together and magically leave only enough traces for some superhero cop to follow. Reality is usually much different. Combine that with the increasingly unbelievable jump scares and weird killings and the show becomes a parody of its own plotline.
Joe Carroll is now on Death row and now ANOTHER set of copycats have sprung to the lime light. This time their kills are even less fine-tuned and the show has devolved from gory murders to just ridiculous flights of fancy where blood is strewn about the room like an artistic impressionist painting. The two main serial killers for this season are crude and unrefined, but even more annoying is that they decided that since ratings were tanking lets add in sex, sex and more sex. It’s broadcast television, so don’t go in expecting anything nasty or too obscene, it’s just that the two main characters are intimated, shown or semi shown in multiple acts…pretty much EVERY time they are given some screen time, it ends in sex. Now I’m not a prude, or offended that sex is put in films. It happens, most films have at least ONE scene per movie, or sometimes in a TV show, but when it happens multiple times an EPISODE it becomes really annoying. I guess blood and gore wasn’t cutting it.
The redeeming factor in the show happens to be the All-star cast. James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon really are the heart and soul of the series. Bacon is a bit over the top as his grungy and depressed officer self, but it works for the show as he’s been hunting a psychopath for this many years. Purefoy is unadulterated evil villain here and he plays it to the hilt. Carroll is almost mystical, and purely evil to the hilt, yet somehow manages to keep his emotions in check. Shawn Ashmore is always the down to earth “grounding” for Bacon and while he’s not a wildly charismatic actor, he does the job quite nicely and adds to the overall dynamics between the three main characters. If I have to say anything… it’s that the show stumbles more often than it truly works. Season 2 was the weakest of the three seasons, but only by the barest of margins. The entire premise of the show is fantastic on paper, and even works decently enough for the first season, but the show never evolves past that general pilot level premise. This ultimately leads to its demise as there is only so much rehashing you can do before even the general public is sick and tired of it.
The Episode Rundown is as follows.
A Hostile Witness
Flesh & Blood
Kill the Messenger
A Simple Trade
Dead or Alive
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=55946[/img]The 1.78:1 AVC encoded television series looks quite excellent on its Blu-ray debut, showcasing its standard dimly light imagery and the rather sallow skin tones that the show likes to put forth. This is very similar to every other season of "The Following" and as such most of this will sound very similar to previous seasons. Detail is excellent, showing off some nice digital photography, but sometimes the show gets a bit too dark as black crush starts to take over and rub out some shadow detail. However that’s really the shows only major flaw. Skin tones like a bit sallow as the color palette tends to lean towards a weird mix of yellow and blue that tends to sap some of the facial coloring. Colors are bright when needed to be, tend to be a bit muted in the dark surroundings, although I doubt the show could look any better on Blu-ray due to this being a seemingly stylistic choice.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=55954[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is also on that “quite good” pedestal as well. It tends to be rather front heavy and not one to suck you into that immersion level that other shows have done recently, but like I said in the video, not the fault of the encode as the TV broadcasts have that same front heavy sound to them. There is some nice bass with plenty of whallop to the jump scare moments and adding some weight to the gunshots and ambient noises like the slamming of a door or an explosion. Dialogue is crisp and clean, with some nice panning effects up in those front 3 speakers. I have no complaints with the dynamic range as it seems quite appropriate given the front heavy nature of the show. It does its job well and I have no complaints.
• When Heroes Lie
• Evil Has Many Faces
• The Art of the Crime Scene Photo
• Ryan and Romance
• The Following: Funny and Die
• New York Comic Con Panel 2014
• Severed Scenes
• Gag Reel
Season 3 of “The Following” has one really nice thing going for it. The series is over. The first season started out with a fantastic premise, but each subsequent season just cemented the fact that it ran out of steam very early on. The recycling of the “cult” every season just feels forced to the nth degree and lacking much imagination. The real saving grace is that Kevin Bacon has a lot of fun with his character and Purefoy is pure magic on screen. He reminds me of a poor man’s Thomas Jane, but with a more charming wit to him. The series writing went down steadily over time and this final season ends with a decent enough bang, but not enough to really give the series much accolade. Audio and video are on par for the previous seasons and leave me feeling rather satisfied in this department. I have been really happy that Warner has continued with a solid array of special features for this series, especially considering the declining market for special features on discs nowadays. Rental at best.
Starring: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore
Created by: Kevin Williamson
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 2.0
Runtime: 655 minutes
Own it on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD October 13, 2015
Buy The Following: Season 3 Blu-Ray on Amazon
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