You have to be willing to completely suspend disbelief in order to enjoy The Following. Otherwise, don’t watch the show because from the very beginning there are plot holes so big they could form new galaxies. Once you start watching though you won’t be able to stop. The Following is as addictive as it is unbelievable.

The show centers on convicted serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) and the ex-FBI agent who put him away Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon.) Hardy, who wears a pacemaker as a result of his near deadly encounter with Carroll, has written a book about his experience and descended into the life of a lonely alcoholic. He’s roused from his self-destructive spiral when he’s called back into service after Carroll escapes from prison.

The first couple of episodes, which set up Carroll’s use of Edgar Allen Poe’s writings in his crimes, are the weakest. The agents act astounded when they hear the phrase “The eyes are the window to the soul” as if this observation, which has become a cliché were a novel idea. This is heavy-handed, paint by numbers Poe symbolism that a middle school student could easily decipher.   Continue reading »

LouieLouie presents a fully defined world-view that feels totally real and relatable. The show has a matter of fact honesty that is stripped of any showiness or self-aware hipness and that may be its strongest point and the reason for its appeal. If you’re looking for a comedy loaded with witty banter and pop culture references, keep on clicking because you won’t find it on Louie.

What you will find instead is a character based show rooted in the experiences of an everyday guy who isn’t part of the cool, attractive crowd but one of the masses who just happens to be a comedian. Louie is a divorced dad of 42 with two young daughters trying to do his best as a father and a human being while suffering indignities big and small and occasionally messing up as we all do.

While Louie does present a three dimensional flawed individual who is socially awkward and often bewildered by those around him including his own daughters it also gives audiences one of the most nuanced and raw portraits of an adult male on television. As the season goes on, Louie emerges as a man with a clear set of principles rooted in a common sense and fair-minded broad view that the world doesn’t owe anyone anything. Continue reading »

Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne on "Revenge"

I quickly became addicted to Revenge, a soapy thriller for the digital age. But, I had one misgiving when I reviewed the show back in November of 2011 and that was how far the revenge storyline could go. “Once Emily dispatches her list of victims or is found out, what’s left? Where do the characters and story go from there?” It seemed like my fears had been confirmed when the storyline took a dive for a couple of episodes toward the wind down of season one with Emily behaving uncharacteristically unninja-like, a boring murder trial, and the random appearance of a lover from Victoria Grayson’s past.

Not to worry. I’m happy to report the creative lull was short-lived and the writers have regained their senses. Revenge not only ended its freshman season in a literally explosive fashion but also delivered one of the best season endings ever with a closing montage set to Florence and the Machine’s “Seven Devils” that is a study in perfect leave them wanting more suspense. Continue reading »

Person of Interest, John opens his birthday gift

John’s past is the jump off for this week’s episode. It starts with an idyllic time with his girlfriend Jessica and then flashes to the moment he was shot by Stanton and later to him on a bus in New Rochelle, NY.

Cut to present day New York where John is waiting for Finch at the “office.” Finch greets John with the news that they don’t have a new person of interest and surprises him with a birthday gift. It looks like Finch has a secret of his own though as he pulls up a computer file on what looks like a new number, Karen Garner.

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“Everyone missed something that day,” says Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), a CIA operative in response to Carrie Mathison, the agent he recruited and trained played by Claire Danes. We all know the day he’s referring to is September 11, 2001.

Danes is completely absorbing as Carrie, a driven, highly intelligent woman who is single-mindedly obsessed with her work. She’s also suffered from a psychotic disorder since the age of 22 that she’s hiding from the agency.

Damian Lewis is the previously presumed dead marine and instant hero, Nicholas Brody returning home after eight years of captivity in Iraq. Carrie suspects he is the American prisoner of war an Iraqi source informed her has been turned. She may be out of her mind but in this case, she may also be right. Continue reading »

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