“THE FOLLOWING” creators talk the new season and violenceMovies/TV,News Michael Gingold
When Fox’s serial-killer series THE FOLLOWING premiered last year, it attracted quite a bit of attention for its extreme, brutal content. With the new season debuting in its regular timeslot next Monday, January 27 following a special preview last night, we asked the people behind the show if that controversy affected their approach to the 2014 episodes.
At last year’s New York Comic-Con, Fango put that question to both creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson and director Marcos Siega. The latter says all the brouhaha about THE FOLLOWING, which follows former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) as he tracks diabolical serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) and his minions, “hasn’t affected us at all. We probably answered that question 100 times last year: We’re telling a story, and whatever works for our story, we do. There’s only that sense of responsibility in terms of…as a real person, when I’m not at work and I go home, I have kids and I worry about violence, and I think people should watch the show responsibly as entertainment. That’s what they should be doing, but it hasn’t changed how we’re telling the story.”
Williamson agrees, and is even more blunt: “Oh, all that controversy—I just want to smack those people in the head! But, you know, last year I was very tight-lipped about it all, because I wanted to be respectful of the climate of the country. We are living in a very crazy time, but what a show like this does is mirror what’s going on in the real world. I’m not trying to push the envelope; I’m just trying to tell a very scary story, and it’s a violent story. It’s one of the shows where, if you have a problem with murder and crime and all that mayhem, you should probably turn the channel. And if you’re a parent, some good parenting should come into play on Monday nights at 9:00. I really think that’s what you have to do is monitor your children’s viewing habits, and if you don’t like violence? Turn it off, because yes, it is violent.
“We’re not trying to push the envelope,” he continues, “but we’re trying to tell a scary story, and it is about a bunch of people who are extremely violent. We’re also dealing with mental illness and a guy who is a psychopath—and one of the things we’re talking about this year is that up until just recently, psychopaths have been [seen as] void of empathy, but now there are all these new studies saying that psychopaths can actually feel empathy, that they can experience it, and it’s been fun to delve into Joe Carroll with that in mind.”