In My Humble Opinion: Fox’s The Following is a fresh new show that abandons the typically mundane procedural format that has become a network norm for many stations. The Following chronicles the relationship between ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Hardy Boy reference maybe?) played by Kevin Bacon and the enigmatic, Edgar Allen Poe wannabe Joe Carroll played by James Purefoy. Hardy captured Carroll once before and must do so again in the first episode when he’s called in as a consultant after Carroll escapes from prison. Carroll’s escape is stemmed from a need to finish something that Hardy previously prevented him from completing (as revealed in flashbacks) as well as a plan of vengeance. The big kicker of the show lending even more complexity to the relationship between the two characters SPOILER ALERT is that while Hardy was investigating Carroll, Hardy ended up having an affair with Carroll’s wife. Carroll’s wife Claire Matthews is played by Natalie Zea. To those of you that have seen the show…my money is that Matthews’ son Joey will end up actually being Hardy’s biological son and not Carroll’s (remember the letter, there’s more to it). The show’s first episode, to me was a nice mix of Silence of the Lambs and Seven. The cat and mouse element is there with Bacon’s character playing the tortured/broken cat to Purefoy’s sinister yet hypnotic mouse. About the only real beef I had with the Pilot episode is that Carroll escapes from a maximum security prison (no easy task) but is back in custody by episode’s end. I’m aware that the show is about Carroll’s “following” (which he recruited through various chat rooms, etc. while preparing for his third appeal) and Carroll explains that it was his plan to be caught all along, or at least eludes to that fact. However, now that’s he’s back in prison with his computer access privileges taken away (I’m assuming) his whole plan to get revenge on Hardy might seem a little far-fetched in some future episodes. I don’t care how much planning Carroll put into his plan, the people carrying out the plan itself are the ones that will ultimately decide whether the plan fails or succeeds; which is a pretty big thing to gamble on if you’re a man as intelligent and methodical as Carroll. Other than that, the show is pretty solid. Side Note: I got a kick out of seeing Billy Brown as part of the team; I’ve liked him ever since I first saw him on Dexter. Too bad from what I’ve read he only lasts about three episodes. Oh, and who else dug the transition from Marilyn Manson’s Sweet Dreams to Patsy Cline’s version in the opening minutes of the episode? Anyway, we’ll see where the show goes from here, I’ll have to make it a point to keep “following” it ha-ha.