• Worst TV Show of the Week: The Following on Fox

    by  • April 9, 2015 • Broadcast Decency, Violence, Worst of the Week • 2 Comments

    For graphic and grisly violence, the Monday, April 6th episode of Fox’s The Following (9:00 p.m. ET/PT) is the Worst TV Show of the Week.  

    The Following continues to wallow in sadism and horrific levels of gore. In the most recent effort, FBI agents Ryan Hardy and Mike Weston face a new threat, while Ryan’s niece, NYPD officer Max Hardy, is cleared to rejoin the task force.

    In the show’s trademark queasy combination of violence and sexual content, victim Luis is in bed having sex with his girlfriend, when she sees a news report about his murdered associates. Luis hears a noise inside the house and immediately grabs his gun. He secures the house, but when he returns to the bedroom, he discovers his girlfriend covered in blood in the bed.

    But this horror is just the beginning. Elsewhere, Luis’ stalker interrupts a poker game of Luis’ friends, demanding information on where to find Luis. When one player refuses to divulge Luis’ whereabouts, the stalker chops off his hand with a meat cleaver. Later, Ryan and his team discover the gruesome crime scene where the poker players have been massacred. The walls are covered in blood and a severed hand rests on the table; dead bodies are strewn across the floor.

    It is, of course, entirely possible to make a crime drama that isn’t buried in sadistic violence and awash in blood. For fifty years, TV made hundreds of such shows. But today, producers of prime-time programming push totally unnecessary levels of such content into their shows. These producers claim that the violence makes their shows more “realistic”; but one cannot help but wonder whether that’s just an excuse,  and the gore is really there to distract from an inability to write intelligent characters and plot.

    Regardless, viewers are stuck with it – which is why Fox’s The Following is the Worst TV Show of the Week.


    McDonalds – the same company that sells your children “Happy Meals” — sponsored this program. To contact them with your concerns, click here.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    2 Responses to Worst TV Show of the Week: The Following on Fox

    1. Daniel Eakin
      April 16, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      I just avoid modern television shows for adults. I would much rather watch a show made in 1963 or beforehand.

    2. Carol
      April 15, 2015 at 10:30 am

      It really is a stupid show. It just gets repetitive.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *