In Fox's new drama "The Following," actor Kevin Bacon dons the role of an emotionally unavailable alcoholic and former FBI agent named Ryan Hardy.
In the past, Hardy was a lead agent on a slew of gruesome murders at the fictional Winslow College. After meeting Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) for the first time, he became one of many to fall under the spell of the empowering English professor, using him as an aid to finding out more about the literary clues left at the crime scenes.
Hardy eventually realized that Carroll was the perpetrator, which he was initially unaware of. Upon penning a book about the experience, Hardy found himself detached, unable to rebuild his life without the once strong relationship.
However, after he got a phone call that Carroll had escaped from prison, Hardy took on the FBI's request for help, feeling a combination of relief and stress.
According to The Los Angeles Times, "It's hardly a new story; two angels, bright and dark, battle for humanity. A similar thread was followed on the BBC's 'Sherlock.' "
Nonetheless, writer Kevin Williamson's show is built on narrative and a strong cast.
"If Bacon, and Purefoy, weren't enough of a draw, the urge to kill is framed within the rubric of Edgar Allan Poe's work, lending the whole enterprise an artistic gravitas usually reserved for period dramas," the Times review added.
If "The Following" had debuted in the fall as originally planned, its level of violence could've potentially lost viewers so close after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. However, Fox made the decision to give it a midseason premiere instead, making it the very first program to kick off since the Dec.14 tragedy.
"The Following" premieres Monday, Jan. 21, on Fox at 9 p.m. ET.