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latimes.com

Love it or hate it, 'The Following' is back

By Mary McNamara

7:51 PM PST, January 26, 2014

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Joe Carroll is not dead, Ryan Hardy is not “done” and the baby-serial-killer demo is growing faster than Netflix. But still, we have to wonder: Is anyone still following “The Following"?

When the grisly Fox drama premiered last year, the buzz centered on Kevin Bacon, whose decision to play FBI Agent Hardy on a broadcast network procedural added bling to TV’s new Golden Age. Also a fount of arterial-spray. After a premiere bathed in blood, the conversation changed. So much blood! So much torture! And why is the FBI so stupid?

The gruesome satire that creator Kevin Williamson brought to his “Scream” franchise began peeking through at the oddest moments, and viewers couldn’t quite be sure if the humor was intentional, never mind appropriate.

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The second season began on surer footing, its ratings boosted to record-breaking numbers by its NFL lead-in, its satire a bit more obvious (Hardy’s “secret” room! Joe’s “Dexter” beard!). But it was still relentlessly gruesome — did we really need to see the crazy twin dancing and snuggling with a corpse?

Will “The Following” right itself to become the hit Fox so clearly thought it would be?

Join Mary McNamara, Greg Braxton and Stacey Leasca at noon to discuss the pros and cons of “The Following” and its various partners in crime (the return of NBC’s “Hannibal” is not far behind.) Tweet your questions and comments to #asklatimes. See you there!

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