“The Following” is interesting because the television series, which just started its second season last night, is a mass-media, mass-culture representation of a cult with an authoritarian leader and a central text. The use of language figures prominently in fictitious cult’s dynamics — and then there’s the leader’s obsession with the works of Edgar Allan Poe. If you haven’t watched the program, please don’t let these analytical comments lead you to believe watching “The Following” is an academic exercise. It has genuine gumshoe detective elements. However, “The Following” is a psychological horror story far beyond the usual boundaries of television. It’s scarier than “Grimm” or “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” ever could be, because “The Following” seems plausible in our time of media-savvy terrorism and rapid-growth fanaticism.
On Jan. 19, the season premiere of ‘The Following’ definitely brought some twists — two huge ones, to be exact. Both of them made me realize why this show is one of the scariest on TV . . . and that season two will be even more disturbing as season one.
Spoiler alert — if you haven’t yet watched the season two premiere of The Following (shame on you), you may not want to continue reading. Or, if you like spoilers, click on in!
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