TV Show

The Following

A Beard to Be Feared

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Do you have ”beard growing” listed as a skill on your résumé? Because you should! It certainly is a lustrous beard. I was going for Duck Dynasty, but they wouldn’t let me go that far.

Whose idea was the beard? I had been growing a beard for another job I did on the hiatus…. [Creator Kevin Williamson] saw the pictures of it and he liked it, and we needed to do a certain manner of disguise work for the early episodes.

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The golden era of disappointment TV

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Last week, in the first-season cliff-hanger of Fox’s hit The Following, former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) finally went toe-to-toe with diabolical serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). All season, I had been awaiting this battle of wits. It turned out they were merely half-wits — two dim bulbs slugging it out in a lighthouse.

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Sound Bites: April 5, 2013

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”She was alive because she listened to her father and lived her life in routine and darkness and terror. So she was happy.” —Grug (Nicolas Cage), telling his daughter (Emma Stone) about a role-model kid, in The Croods

”If I wanted to wait on a rich man hand and foot, I would have gone to Dubai with that sheikh I met at Trader Joe’s.” —Britta (Gillian Jacobs), after refusing to wipe a spilled drink off a spoiled prospective Greendale student, on Community

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Spoiler Room

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Once: Two Big Reveals

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Feedback: March 1 2013

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Star Quality

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How we transformed into nitpick nation

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I love The Walking Dead. But there’s one thing that drives me crazy about that show: While the characters are careful to make sure they are not bitten by the undead, they pay no mind to all that zombie blood spraying like geysers. What if it gets in their eyes? Or mouths? Or seeps into a paper cut? (I don’t know how often people in a postapocalyptic wasteland are actually handling paper, but you get my point.) Wouldn’t that turn them into zombies as well? I know I should just let this go. But I can’t.

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Execs defend and debate TV violence

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Is TV too violent? That’s the decades-old question that received fresh scrutiny at last week’s Television Critics Association conference, where journalists pressed top network execs on whether brutal dramas like Dexter and Sons of Anarchy go too far in the wake of last month’s Connecticut school shooting.

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Editor's Note: Jan. 25 2013

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At the top of this week’s Must List is a new thriller on Fox called The Following. Created by Kevin Williamson and starring Kevin Bacon, it’s the story of an ex–FBI agent pitted against a serial killer with a cult of lethal followers. It could be, thrill for thrill, the scariest TV show ever made, and it’s great, gripping television.

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The Following

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Writer-Producer Kevin Williamson played horror for giggles in Scream, but the horrors of a serial killer get the grim treatment on The Following, a drama that makes the most of gaunt-faced star Kevin Bacon. The actor is ripe for a television series: He’s in his mid-50s, and he’s got the trim, wiry body of someone at least a decade younger; he’s become the Iggy Pop of soulful acting.

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9 hot new shows: 'The Following'

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Debuts: January 21, 9 PM, FOX

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