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
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
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
‘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
‘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?