The series premiere of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, got off to solid ratings Monday night with 10.38 million viewers tuning in. It came within striking distance of knocking off the CBS comedy hits 2 Broke Girls with 11.47 million viewers and Mike & Molly with 10.85 million. Critics seemed to agree that the show was pretty successful at terrifying them. Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times called it, one of the most disturbing procedural dramas on television, in its own way creepier than similar network shows and even cable series like Dexter or Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead. It's hard to turn off and even harder to watch. Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times was one of several critics who noted that the show is the first of its kind (highly, at times disturbingly, violent) to debut following the Sandyhook killings. The shootings reignited a long-smoldering conversation about the culture of violence in America, during which the pro-gun lobby pointed fingers at Hollywood and Hollywood pointed fingers right back, she wrote. And Brian Lowry in Variety said, The Following is extremely well done, terrifically cinematic and, from a political standpoint, terribly ill timed. And Ellen Gray in the Philadelphia Inquirer remarked: We live in a world where our biggest fear may be that the kids are not, after all, all right. And The Following in the coming weeks will do what it can to feed that fear. If only it weren't so good at it.
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