Recommended: Become a follower of “The Following”

New show “The Following” brings home the Bacon – and one seriously bad egg.

Pitchforks: 5/5

Release: Jan. 21

Airing Jan. 21 at 9 p.m. EST on Fox, new primetime show “The Following” offers a new venture for actor Kevin Bacon and an experience at which viewers may just cringe.

“It’s a gritty, kind of real show. …I think it’s scary as hell,” Bacon said in an “Inside The Following” special.

With it’s dark and fast-moving cinematography, “The Following” views more like a movie than primetime shows of today and provides endless unsettling shots. Main character Ryan Hardy, played by Bacon, is a distraught, physically and emotionally scarred ex-FBI agent who is called in by the agency again to assist with the criminal that sparked his troubles – Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). This manipulative mastermind is a mass murderer and was investigated and arrested by Hardy years earlier for the murder of 14 female college students.

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Photo courtesy of IMZ O'Clock

It is when Carroll escapes from prison, killing a handful of guards in his exit, that FBI agents call in Hardy with the hopes that his knowledge of the murderer’s inner-workings can help them find him before he kills again.

Set in Virginia, Carroll was a literary professor who specialized in the romantic period. He is completely consumed by the works of Edgar Allen Poe. It is through Poe’s work that Carroll draws inspiration for his crimes, and in his psychotic state, he sees his murders as a form of art.

“You don’t know if he’s going to kiss you, or kill you,” creator and executive producer Kevin Williamson said of Carroll.

An attractive, captivating, sultry and manipulative character, Carroll is extremely dangerous, because he has the ability to effortlessly control others’ beliefs and actions. It is these qualities that lead FBI agents to a seriously scary possibility – that Carroll has attracted a following that is more than willing to carry out his biddings.

With Hardy’s innate insight, FBI cult specialist Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) and agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) work to put together the cult-like connections that begin to form.

The investigation only becomes more complicated when a love triangle involving Hardy and Carroll’s ex-wife Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea) starts taking effect. As Hardy is forced to return to his painful past and previous love interest, flashback scenes help tie together the loose ends for viewers.

Those who choose to plug into “The Following” are guaranteed to cover their mouth in horror, gasp in unbelief and become locked into the mystery with the show’s twists, turns and intense drama.

And yes, there will be blood.

Created and produced by Williamson, he and his team put a considerable amount of research into actual FBI work and organization to create a true representation. This, along with the complexity of characters and scenes – and a dash of absolute evil thrown in – showcases “The Following” as something bound to become more and more insane as the plot unfolds.

As an Emmy award-winning actor, Bacon brings the same, if not enhanced, talent to this exploration into primetime television.

Reach the reporter at kylie.gumpert@asu.edu.