Sunday, April 14, 2013

Which network serial murderers are making a killing?

This year, four high profile shows about serial killers all debuted at different times – although all late in the season (pun intended).

No one thought all of them would make it – and one has already essentially bitten the dust – but how are the other three stacking up?

The first to debut was FOX’s ‘The Following.’

Now, ‘The Following’ had a great pedigree because it starred Kevin Bacon, was being billed as a limited run show and it had the guts to kill off a big name like Maggie Grace in the first episode.

Things imploded pretty quickly, though, at least from a storytelling point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘The Following’ is a lot of gory goodness – but there are enough implausibilities on this show to drive a truck through.

It’s bad enough that a serial killer managed to escape from jail not once – but twice – but when you
compound that with the fact that this specific serial killer had enough “followers” to actually thwart a police operation at a cabin in the woods – when said cabin was surrounded by various law enforcement agencies – and fans were crying foul pretty quickly.

Still, ‘The Following’ has a lot of interesting aspects – including the downward spiral of the central serial killer, the introduction of the captivating Roderick and the ongoing backstory of Annie Parisse’s cult survivor (who I have a feeling is part of the serial killer cult).

There are three episodes left – and the show has already been picked up for a second season .

The second show to debut was the CW’s ‘Cult’ – which had such a ludicrous premise that it had no chance of surviving. I watched one episode and couldn’t stomach hanging on for the second episode. The show was yanked from the schedule last week. That’s not an outright cancellation, but there really isn’t any hope.

The third show to debut was A&E’s ‘Bates Motel.’ Now, this show is a prequel to ‘Psycho’ – but it’s set in modern times? Got that?

The show stars the talented Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore as Norma and Norman Bates, respectively, and the supporting cast is really starting to round things out well – especially Max Thierot as the confused and belligerent Dylan.

‘Bates Motel’ has horror movie promise – but it really is a character study about people. Really,
really screwed up people. We know how this story ends up. Norman Bates becomes a killer – and his mother becomes a mummy in a rocking chair.

That doesn’t make the journey to that reveal any less interesting.

Norma Bates is a creepy lady that clearly favors one son over the other – and has some co-dependence issues that she’s passed on to her youngest child.

‘Bates Motel’ has already been picked up for a second season – and I can’t wait to learn more about the creepy cop running a human trafficking ring or the town’s pot field which is being guarded by armed men.

That brings us to NBC’s ‘Hannibal.’ This is another prequel, this time to ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and it focuses on Hannibal Lecter and his diabolical nature – before anyone realizes he is a serial killer.
The show really is pretty interesting – and I have to admit the human bodies growing mushrooms last week was both disgusting and weirdly interesting.

‘Hannibal’ isn’t doing stellar in the ratings – and I have to wonder why NBC put it on crowded

NBC is struggling – and I do mean struggling.

They have like three quality shows – and their ratings are so pathetic even the CW is laughing at them. Since Hannibal has some buzz, I think that’s going to garner it a second season.

If NBC wants it to flourish, though, it needs to move it out of that Thursday death slot. Quite frankly, I think it would do well on Tuesdays.

What do you think, what is your favorite new “serial killer” drama this season?


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