I don’t watch television often. I might — might — see one or two shows a week. My favs currently are The Mentalist, NCIS, NCIS LA — you know, action, slight intrigue, a little mystery, but mostly adventure where you are reasonable certain the main characters will survive.
I’ve watched Bones also –a least until it got weird with the whole Booth and Bones finally becoming a couple with a kid. I actually enjoyed the show that spun off it last year, The Finder before the untimely death of one of the leading actors.
So I was interested in the latest attempt to find something to pick up where Bones is — hopefully– leaving off. It’s called The Following and features Kevin Bacon in the lead role. I had an opening the other night and thought I’d check it out.
I didn’t make it past the first twenty minutes.
I suppose the plot of the pilot was intriguing enough. A serial killer has escaped from prison. He created “art” in the fashion of Poe and the Romantics — by brutally murdering women. An alcohol dependant Kevin Bacon is awakened from his stupor to help find the killer. Apparently, Bacon’s character’s decline into depression was triggered by his past encounters with this killer.
Then there was the blood. Lots of it. I expected a little edgy violence and such, but The Following looked more like a slasher movie than a quality drama on network television. I know, I should watch more television and maybe I wouldn’t be so shocked. Come to think of it, that’s why id don’t watch CSI:NY. But if the gore on The Following is any indication of what’s on after 9 PM every night, then I’m not interested.
Here’s what I saw in twenty minutes: four guys with their throats and other stuff brutally slashed, blood splashed everywhere; dogs grotesquely killed with saws and other gut-wrenching equipment — one still barely alive; a naked woman plunging a foot-long ice pick into her eye and lying twitching on the floor in front of onlookers.
I confess I stopped watching at that point. Then I tried again to get through it, but when it became obvious that the main draw was going to be unbridled violence, I shut it down.
No thanks. The Following can find another following. Life is too short to fill my head with such images. Real news can be bad enough without my dwelling on such things. As a Christ-follower, I try by God’s grace to set my mind on whatever is pure, lovely, of good report, etc. The Following may be edgy and shocking, but I didn’t find it at all helpful.
Life’s just too short to waste on such efforts that degrade my soul. As James Joyce once said, “Your mind will give back exactly what you put into it.” Naked women gouging out their eyes is not what I’d like back anytime soon.
That’s why I won’t be watching The Following.