Tonight I’ve decided to live blog The Following as it plays live on Fox for a couple reason.
1. I’m actually home tonight before 9 thanks to a flu, or cold, or sinus infection, or possibly pink eye. (seriously my left eye keeps filling up with gunk when ever i shut my eye for more than 3 minutes)
2. I hate myself. I seriously liked this show the first couple of weeks it was out, but with each passing week it gets more and more unrealistic and stupid. It’s kind of like how the 24 got embarrassingly bad at times when it came to the actions of its character, but only with The Following they accelerated that rate of decline ten fold. Currently I hate watch this show every Tuesday online.
3. I need to do something to take my mind of the bombing in Boston. Enough horrible things have happened in my lifetime that two horrifying things occur to me when a new terrible thing happens. The first is that when I first hear about it, I’m not shocked; just numb. The 2nd is that I almost immediately started to dread how something that should, and does temporarily, unite us, will quickly turn into something that depends the divide between many Americans.
Since I still have half an hour.. I think, till the show comes on I thought I should start by covering some other TV shows that I’ve watched recently that were interesting to one degree or another. Soooooo lets start with he most depressing and controversial one first
The Glee school shooting episode
I don’t watch Glee. I tried to watch the first episode but, I just couldn’t get into it even though I thought it was a nice premise. So when I heard all the uproar about Glee doing an episode in which there was a shooting at their school, I wanted to see how they handled it since some people were praising it, while others were condemning it. The difficult thing about judging the merits of an individual episode of a show you don’t regularly watch, is that you don’t get all the nuance and context that a regular viewer gets.
Lets just get the first half of the show out of the way by saying it had very little to do with the school shooting stuff, and was largely stupid as hell. I honestly don’t understand why the kids are singing all the time. I’m not joking when I say that. I would understand if they were singing their songs to get ready for a competition, which they do kind of mention, but half the singing they do is just … random, it’s like a musical where people sing important stuff to each other, even though if a realistic person was walking by, they would think: “Hey, what the fuck are those two women dancing around on that park bench doing? Are they singing about AIDS. Holy shit I think they are. Is this a street performance or is that just how they are choosing to communicate with each other?”
I just imagine there has to in the word of glee be a hundred times a year when a random student walks in on some of the glee kids singing, not as part of an actual organized class, and just stare in disbelief and then just walk out shaking their head. Oh there was also some storyline that revolved around cat fishing that I didn’t care about. Oh one more thing, this show has everybody in it. Seriously ever group of people possible, are on this show. There is a dumb guy, a smart guy, a gay guy, a dumb looking but smart girl, and autistic girl, a dude in a wheel chair, I think i even saw a transgender gym teacher. No shit, i’m not lying, I think the gym teach is a he she or something. I think there are probably even, you know what I was going to say something like “Peruvian cult members, and super hero Eskimos” but I think the one girl was or is in a cult, possibly of her own creation since she keeps talking about asteroids no one has ever seen and worships her cat.
Seriously this is a stupid show. I get that it means a lot to a “lot” of people, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is stupid. Look there’s nothing wrong with being different, but… you know, sometimes there actually is lets be honest. There are multiple degrees of different and sometimes you shouldn’t encourage people… like the crazy cat cult girl. Seriously if you know someone like that in real life you shouldn’t just accept them kind of like in Glee, you should probably try and get them help, cause if they don’t get help they are going to either going to get crazier and crazier as they get older and be one of those people who bring down ration public discourse with stupid stupid theories about stupid bull shit, or they are going to be shunned by normal rational adults and go off the deep end and starts murdering people.
So go ahead and be different, just not bat shit crazy different, where if people took what you said seriously it would be a determent to them and the rest of society. There’s nothing wrong with being normal.
Oh, so the shooting… ughhhh well the actual shooting part was well done i guess. It was sudden, there was lots of confusion, people were terrified, some people wanted to be heroes even though they should just try and stay safe. Granted you didn’t see the shooting, you only heard a shot go off, and (from how it seemed to me) then a minute or so later another shot go off. Then after a lot of intense moments the swat team shows up and everyone is safe. No one was actually shot it appears. The next part was good too where the teachers and students also were divided on how to respond to the situation and a lot of people didn’t feel safe for obvious and legitimate reasons.
But then this is where it got stupid for me, and let me preface it by saying that someone who regularly watches the show might be more qualified to speak on this part of the episode since they would know way more about the characters. Remember that autistic girl I mentioned before? Well, she was scared of graduating since she won’t be able to go to college and her life will get scary, and a bunch of other stuff that is truly heart breaking if you think about it. In fact it seems like the kind of topic that would make a great episode if it was devoted entirely to that narrative. But it almost seemed like they just shoe horned this into the story so that they could have a school shooting episode without having any actual bad guys or crazy people.
Maybe I should explain further; the autistic girl is the one who shot off the gun. If you are like me, reading that should give you pause. It is just one of those ideas that you hear and think “There’s no way that can not go badly and won’t offend people.” So the girl brought the gun to school so that she would feel more safe, then she was talking with Jane Lynch’s character about how scared she was and she showed her the gun. Lynch is like “Hey why don’t i hold on to that for a while, but before she can very slowly reach for the gun, the girl accidentally shoots it off and then since it scares her she drops it making it go off again. I hate to be that guy, but most guns are designed to not just fire off a round cause it was dropped, not all that hard or from that great a height. Yes it can happen but it probably wouldn’t have. Yes I am nit picking but i’m going to do a little bit more, when the girl is showing the gun to Jane Lynch, maybe at most 10 seconds .. no like 4 seconds or less is spaned between the first and 2nd shot, but earlier in the episode (before this whole scene is revealed) the shots are heard, minutes apart (maybe less, but way more than 10 seconds).
Lynch lies and tells everyone the gun was hers, and she is fired, but not before she talks about the general state of decay in the school system and how she taught a wide range of crazy successful people. Having never watched the show before the list of people she taught seemed very unrealistic, but maybe in the context of the show it would have made sense. Either way it was a minor point, and her firing i’m guessing was supposed to be very impactful, especially to long time fans of the show.
Now that I look at the episode as a whole, I think their heart was in the right place, but they either should have done the episode and devoted more time to this plot, maybe not announced it ahead of time that it was going to be the “school shooting” episode so it didn’t seem like a publicity thing, and had either someone really get shot, possibly die, or had a real bad person, or just a troubled person who wa actually planning to do mass harm. They should have done some or all of that or just not done the watered down version they did. Basically to me it’s like when you have some idiot on twitter that says something controversial, usually just a question like “how can a plane really bring down a sky scrapper”, and then just hide behind the idea that they are “just starting the conversation”.
If you don’t have anything of substance to add to the conversation, don’t start one. Instead of this episode really being about gun violence, it was instead about how people who have kids with autism should do a much better job of watching after their children.
GOT Oh shit moment
Ok the show is about to start, so just a couple of quick notes. Game of thrones ended this last episode with a totally HOLY SHIT moment. I like shows that aren’t afraid of doing something different or bold. You have a character that is a fan favorite, ok well you can keep putting them in dangerous situations, mostly life and death, and then just always have them escaped unscathed cause you fear loosing your audience, or you can trust that your show is bigger than one character. At the end of this episode there was something that happened that reminded me why this show is way better than something like SOA.
Greatest hand shake ever on mad men
I don’t know if this is the greatest handshake i’ve ever seen in a drama, but it had to at least be the best on mad men. It was epic. You’d have to see the whole episode to understand it, but it seemed like Don had in his own way gotten the prick from Jaguar back for his assholish behavior. Also, Don really is a shitty human being. You understand why as the show goes on, but if you just sat down and in one paragraph explained the major highlights that define Don Draper, he is a shitty person.
FOLLOWING LIVE BLOG
Previously on The following – lots of stuff happened that is kind of dumb. i’m not going to go into it.
Oh my god the sheriff who is a member of Joe Carol’s cult is helping all the FBI people and they are doing this cutesy thing where he walks out of the room just as the guy he beat the shit out of enters the room so that the FBI doesn’t see him and say “Holy shit, that is the cult guy that tried to kill me, everyone arrest him.” In fact there was a sketch artist picture of Roderick the sheriff hanging up on the wall right beside where Roderick was standing and talking to the FBI people.
Oh good, they didn’t drag that out for very long, and the guy that got beat up (Winston?) did notice him. aaannndd he got away since the FBI agent yelling “hey stop the sheriff” is tackled by other police instead, of you know, stopping the sheriff. They seriously all know that this cult has infiltrated all kinds of levels of police and government and these idiot cops are like “Oh some guy has a gun, we better not listen to anything being said and just tackle him, as the bad guy casual walks away. hmmmm I wonder if those initials F.B.I on his jacket and vest mean anything? I do seem to remember a meeting we had almost constantly over the past 12 hours where we were working hand in hand with a group of law enforcement agents with similar, if not identical, initials. Oh well, let’s arrest him, not listen to him, and see what the Sheriff thinks… wait where is the sheriff that was here a second ago.”
Ok Roderick gets back to the mansion of psychopaths, and the FBI agents plan how to find him… since once again a key bad guy just casually got away from them. Ryan looks like he has a plan though.
There is a power struggle going on between Roderick and Joe. It turns into an actual physical struggle but It is interrupted by the television broadcast of Ryan offering immunity to anyone who in the cult who gives up right now. The black guy who’s name i don’t remember is playing that “boss who wants control of the situation but only makes things worse by interfering” role to perfection.
Roderick just stole joey. Raylin Givens ex wife looses her shit as Roderick drives away in his totally low key sheriff’s police cruiser. No one will spot that.
First commercial break is probably a good time to discuss that this show is slowly becoming famous for having characters do random and stupid things just to help further the direction of the plot. I can easily imagine a scene where the writers write themselves into a corner and resolve it by having Ryan forget how to dial 911.
Ok Joe is coming unglued. “start with ryan hearty, if anyone knows how to find roderick, it will be him.” Really joe, that seems like one of the people least likely to know where he is. In fact if he did know how to find him, he would have found him a long ass time ago.
Ok roderick has a hostage and is having her drive as they pull up to a road block. The police ask for ID, where the photo on the ID looks exactly like roderick, cause it is him. The police ask him to step out of the car, cause, you know, its obviously him, they do not use their shoulder microphone things to tell base they might have him, instead they just stand there and get shot dead. Please remember that everyone should know by now that everyone in this cult is super dangerous.The fact that this guy was a sheriff means he had access to guns, so when you pull someone over who is, with out a doubt, the armed and dangerous person you are looking for, go ahead and radio for back up and get your gun ready.
Oh wow, The FBI actually did something well, and caught Roderick. If you are keeping score at home that mean the FBI has done 7 things well since this show started, and 327,144.7 things poorly. Sooooo maybe I was wrong, and Ryan was the best person to catch Roderick…. he’s not. I’m sure that one of the 50 or so crazy people he’s been living with for the past couple of years probably would have had a better idea how to find him, but, hey plot.
Roderick reveals to Ryan that he has joey hidden somewhere as a bargaining chip. There is some nice dick head stuff going on between Roderick and Winston in this scene. Ryan and Roderick call Joe and there’s lots of close ups of faces and slow menacing talking.
Ughhhhhh I hate this superior officer who always makes the wrong decision. Seriously if he was really that bad at decision making, wouldn’t he have been fired a long time ago, or at the very least not have been promoted at any point in his career. Is there another division of The FBI where all the competent people work? Like, because of stupid union rules it is just impossible to fire shitty agents, so they relagate them all to projects no one really cares about. I guess in the universe in which The Following exists, there must be some huge catastrophe going on that is monopolizing all of the FBI’s resources, and they just gave the left overs to the Joe Carrol cult.
We’re back from commercial and we have a shot of that shitty carrol apostle who had never killed anoyone before just sitting in a car. That guy is now amazing at killing and subduing people now that he has killed one person. This show is just dumb.
Speaking of dumb, it’s possible that Ryan Hearty is doing something stupid by springing Roderick, but i’m guessing during the commercial break the FBI worked out a way of staging the break out while still being able to follow Ryan and Roderick.
Emma and Joe talk by a fire. I understand there is probably a lot of sexual tension inside cults, but I could really care less. It’s like the final season of lost where they kept tyring to introduce new characters and mysterys, but the fans were just tired of that shit and just wanted some fucking answers. I don’t care about anything with this show, aside from just having the FBI find joey, the hot mom, and arresting joe. All this other relationship bull shit is ummm… bull shit i guess.
Roderick and Ryan pull up to an old abandoned house. AND BOOM I WAS RIGHT, Winston was riding in the trunk, and his calling in back up. See this was good. Buuuut you know they are going to fuck this up.
Well they got joey back but roderick got shot by.. someone? i’m guessing one of Joe’s guys is in the woods. I am going to scream if it is that wussy guy who hadn’t killed anyone, but is now like a more dangerous version of an emotionless Jet Li crossed with Rambo with a pinch of Hanibal added in.
Commercials on this show are just ways of putting a break immediately before or after something stupid happens, to allow rational people a moment or two to compose themselves. Yep I was right. That shitty guy is in charge of Joe’s people as they are trying to get joey back. Ryan and winston split up, since that is the easiest way for the writers to get the bad guys to win.. No I was wrong, the easiest way is forwinston to put joey in a room by himself so it is even easier for someone to get him.
AND that shitty guy got him. Even though his mom told him that Jacob is a bad guy, Joey doesn’t yell for help. Ryan and Jacob kind of get into a stand off. Where the fuck is Winston. Shouldn’t he be circling around. I mean there was a bunch of shots fired so he should have an idea of where to go despite it being dark outside. I guess we don’t need Winston since Jacob was able to either vanish or just teleport away, but he left the kid behind.. for no reason. Seriously the kid wasn’t big on yelling for help, and your a grown ass man. Just cover the kids mouth and escape with him if you are that much of a sneaky ninja. I’m just glad to see the FBI do like 3 or 4 things well in an episode for once.
Don’t get me wrong, something stupid will happen by the end of the episode to help extend the whole Joe Carol on the run with a hostage thing. Clair. Her name is clair.
There is some down time in the show with relationship bull shit, so now is a good time to mention that Ryan putting out that PSA that anyone who gives up from the cult will be given immunity, had zero barring on the outcome of the episode.
Clair is making an impassioned pitch to Joe asking him to let Joey go, and she’ll be Joes, he can do whatever he wants. I wonder if that includes anal. It better. If I’m giving up on my son, I would at least want anal in return, not to mention hot g/b/g three ways. He runs a cult so i’m sure he can set that up.
YEAH !!!!! she stabbed him. Good job Clair Maybe you should have stabbed him i the heart instead of in the side of the gut. I’m just saying, that the spare tire isn’t the place that causes the quickest death… or even a death all that often.
Joe is drinking, despite being heavily bandaged after his stabbing, Alcohol has a bunch of things to help with blood clotting right? Well i’m sure it doesn’t do the exact opposite. He is talking to Ryan and tells him that Clair has got to get got. Joe is totally unraveling, which is nice to see since it is such a stark contrast to the smug calm arrogance he showed at the beginning of this show.
A random skinny chick just showed up at the FBI saying she is a member of Joe’s cult and wants to help. She was already checked for weapons, but that doesn’t stop her from jumping on the terrible boss, who had finally done something right this episode, from getting stabbed in the eye with.. pins? I don’t know but the chick just jumped on him when his back was turned and stabbed the dude in they, probably making him a lame version of the Marvel universe’s Nick Fury. Why… why wasn’t she handcuffed immediately once she said she was part of the cult. She was part of a criminal organization/gang/cult/terrorist group. As soon as she said who she was, BAM, hand cuffs and cavity search. “Hi, i’m a member of Al Qaeda but don’t do anything to me yet, since I haven’t actually admitted to doing anything bad personally, I only belong to a group of people who’s only goal is to do horrible stuff. What’s that? No I don’t know what RICO is.”
And that’s the end of the episode, which, i’ll admit was one of the better episodes since it didn’t have as many stupid stupid things happening, or when they did, they were quickly rectified unlike in most other episodes. I will say that this show has this unique ability to put in something that seems out of place and just added in to get to a certain plot point, and then later resolve it so that it actually does make sense if you really think about it. Kind of like how in some comic books they bring in a really good writer who is able to take all the stupid stuff the previous writer did, and then they kind of massage the origin story so that it all kind of makes sense and the silliness is kind of forgotten.
Speaking of silliness, they just showed the previews for next week. Do people really need these? I know Mad men has perfected the art of showing scenes for the next episode without giving anything away, which is great cause this show totally ruined some surprises for next week. I mean, is there anyone out there who watched this episode and decided “Fuck this, no more episodes of this crap, i’ll never watch ano…what’s this? Oh so next week they have the compound surrounded, they arrest a bunch of people, the FBI have to kill some people in an auditorium where they don’t know who is or isn’t bad, and that chick Ryan use to date, that turned out to be a member of the cult is found out by Ryan since he has his hand around her throat and is trying to get answers out of her. Well I wasn’t going to watch anymore episodes, but now that I know all of that is going to happen, I’ll totally tune in next to watch all of that stuff i now already know, happen.”
Wait…. why should I watch next weeks episode?