The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Enjoy

March 29, 2013

Joe Hadsall: "The Following," "Revolution" hold attention until something better comes

JOPLIN, Mo. — Cable One and AMC figured out their contract dispute in time, so I didn't miss an episode of "The Walking Dead," and I read on Tuesday that the final season of "Breaking Bad" wrapped up shooting this week.

I will be glued to the TV next Sunday for the "Dead" finale, and will withhold all my thoughts about the current season until then. I might even organize something publicly and meet with a few fellow fans to break down the impending disaster. And that will tide me over until "Breaking Bad" starts this summer, and the next season of "Dead" resumes in the fall.

But that doesn't mean there's not decent TV on in between. Note that I said "decent," not great. I'm following two shows specifically -- "The Following" and "Revolution" -- and, while good, neither has risen to the level of quality that "Dead" hits during its bad, boring, Laurie-is-a-bad-mother, why-do-Rick-and-the-Governor-keep-talking-so-much, where-are-all-the-zombies-in-season-two episodes. I imagine that the first episode alone of "Breaking Bad" will outdrama and outintensify the entire season of "The Following."

Still, the shows aren't bad. Plenty of spoilers about the two shows follow, so beware:

 

'The Following'

A long time ago, an FBI agent puts a Poe-obsessed serial killer behind bars, writes a best-seller about him and sleeps with his wife. So, when killer Joe Carroll manages to escape, he exacts a slow form of revenge against agent Ryan Hardy. And part of Carroll's plan is to write his own book -- in the form of a bunch of new murders.

First off: There are a lot of murders. This show is downright messy.

We're 10 episodes into this series, and so far Carroll has demonstrated that he can maintain a network cult of fellow murderers, who help enact his master plan. He has been captured, escaped again and joined up with his followers in a mystery house. His lackeys have managed to kidnap his son and wife -- and proven surprisingly savvy at advanced criminal techniques. They count a sheriff among their numbers and have a lot of mercenary-like experts at their disposal -- enough to make the FBI look like bumbling idiots.

Their numbers are so prolific that it seems the entire country was full of Carrollites. Every episode's revelation of a new acolyte, prisoner or blackmail recipient got tiring pretty quick.

In spite of their proficiency at infiltrating law enforcement, the cultists are a hot mess. None more so than the characters of Emma, Jacob and Paul, a disturbing love triangle with a lot of romance and trust issues.

But Kevin Bacon, as Ryan, is pretty awesome, even when the actors around him are floundering. He plays Ryan with a great amount of emotional baggage, balanced with the apathy of someone who is just sick of all the crap.

And finally, the show is giving some victories to the good guys -- more so than the first seven episodes. Ryan and the FBI were able to take out several of Carroll's followers. One agent resisted torture and kept the location of Carroll's wife, Claire Matthews, secret. And in Monday's episode, agents were also able to deduce that they had been hacked by the cult early in the game, so that they had actual advance warning to move Matthews to safety.

One of Ryan's better moments happened at an outdoor masquerade festival. In pursuit of a cultist who had an innocent victim, Ryan is stopped by another cultist and holds her at gunpoint with the whole "stop or I'll shoot" bit. The cultist, a particularly annoying character named Louise, gets that smarmy eyebrow going and says, "I don't think you have the guts to ... " She's interrupted by Ryan shooting her dead. Nice.

Overall, the show's mystery is compelling enough. I'm watching because Ryan channels "24"'s Jack Bauer without the irritating exclamations. His character has real damage and real personality.

And the specifics of how Joe has worked so many people to his side are interesting and curious enough. The show has five more episodes this season and has been renewed for a second season. The big question: What will happen in the finale?

Will Carroll get away in a "The Killing" style bombshell, ticking off viewers? Or will he get got, leaving writers to think up a more improbable, messed-up cult story?

As long as Bacon signs on, I'm in.

 

'Revolution'

On the same night but on a different channel, "Revolution" has started the second half of its first season.

In a nutshell, the power is off. Most of it, anyway. A few select smarties have these little silver things that provide enough power to fire up iPhones or rocket launchers -- you know, whatever is handy.

Charlotte Matheson, who watched her father get killed, rescues her brother from the captivity of the Monroe Militia and finds her mother is still alive. She is helped by her uncle, Miles Matheson, who turns out to be Monroe's former partner in wartime.

Charlotte's mom made an amplifier for one of the pendants, so now Monroe has two working helicopters and a notion of taking over the entire former U.S.

Back in September, I wrote about the show and its tendency to reveal way too much too quickly. I stuck with the show for two reasons: Giancarlo Esposito is awesome, and the plot slowed down with its meta crap and focused on the relationships of the characters and the lives they had before the power went out.

The season resumed Monday, and it kept up the same slow pace. The gang of rebels found a bigger group of rebels. Miles and Charlotte's mom stole a rocket launcher and a pendant from another guy, who is tied to a new bad guy named Randall, a creepy old spook who wants to help Monroe.

The rebels took out the two helicopters with one rocket -- more plausible in the show than it sounds -- and lost Charlie's brother to gunfire. Afterward, Charlotte's mom -- played by "Lost" alum Elizabeth Mitchell -- mourned the loss of her son, then carved a chunk of him open and pulled out a little blue blinky gadget.

Yeah. Eww.

So, I'm hooked for now. The story is moving at a good pace and isn't terrible. I'll keep watching.

 

 

1
Text Only
Enjoy
  • Wichita.jpg Going Western: Indie film 'Wichita' to show tonight at MSSU

    Nicholas Burton isn't exactly raising a cash cow on his livestock ranch. But the Wichita, Kan.-based filmmaker has an advantage over other film producers: Westerns are in high demand, and he's in the perfect spot to make them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041114_pajama game.jpg Love, labor liven up JHS musical 'Pajama Game'

    The spring musical put on by the Joplin High School Theatre Department deals with a labor of love among a labor dispute.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • MSSU choir, orchestra combines for performance of legendary 'Carmina Burana'

    The free performance is a joint effort between the Southern Symphonic Chorus, which is composed of the MSSU Concert Chorale and volunteer singers, and the orchestra, which is made up of Missouri Southern students, faculty and professionals from the community.

    April 11, 2014

  • 1520face.JPG Globe Phone Test: Nokia Lumia 1520's outstanding camera offset by frustrating OS

    On Monday, news broke that flight attendants aboard Delta Airlines flights would receive Nokia Lumia 1520 devices in October. The devices will have flight manuals, support on-board sales, allow attendants to process credit card payments and crapcan heavy 500-page manuals they used have to bring.

    The move is similar to how American Airlines attendants were give Galaxy Note phablets. Because Delta already gave attendants similar smartphones, it's reasonable to assume that the company places a lot of faith in the Windows Phone system.

    But Delta's choice of device is puzzling because the 1520 is better suited to take photos and videos of people on board an airplane, not take their drink and meal orders. And because the device is so big, I'm not sure how flight attendants would feel carrying it around in a cramped flight.

     

    As the iOS and Android systems struggle for the top smartphone operating system, Microsoft's Windows Phone has scratched its way into the No. 3 spot, pushing past BlackBerry. Nokia, once one of the top names in devices, is pairing with Microsoft to make a device that features an incredible camera. The company already made the Lumia 1020, which features a humongous 41-megapixel camera that does amazing things.

    The Lumia 1520 is its biggest offering to date. The device, available exclusively from AT&T, is one of the biggest phablet-style phones on the market today. For about 10 days, I tested out a black-colored device provided by AT&T.



     

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jermiah-Tucker-020812.jpg Jeremiah Tucker: Kurt Cobain likely would have thrived in today's music scene

    I have no memory of the day he died. A friend asked me about this recently, and I said at that age -- I would've been 13 -- I was probably still rocking my cassingle of the Escape Club's "Wild Wild West." Needless to say, my middle school years were rough.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_108172906 Benji Tunnell: 'Winter Soldier' sets a high bar for summer movie season

    If a film was truly great, it would be held until June or July. Or so the thinking might have been before the release last week of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marta-mug.jpg Marta Churchwell: Joplin mural part of Benton's larger message

    Recently, I received information on Joplin's celebration of one of its native sons, Thomas Hart Benton. In observance of the artist's 125th birthday, City Hall will host a collection of his works alongside his mural that honors Joplin history.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 040814 Worldfest.jpg World Fest pairs well with Celebrate America

    The Slinkerds think Silver Dollar City's World Fest is a great opportunity to show their young children other cultures and introduce them to people from around the world.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ka-Pow! New attraction offers free-fall plunge

    On May 17, two brave souls willing to whether mid-May¹s unpredictable weather will climb into the two drop-floor aqua-launch capsules atop KaPau Plummet.

    April 11, 2014 1 Slideshow

  • Jermiah-Tucker-020812.jpg Jeremiah Tucker: Letterman performance gives deserved boost to Future Islands

    It's hard to believe an appearance on a late-night talk show can still make a band's career. It's such a common occurrence and the cultural currency of the late-night format has dropped so much in recent years that, short of literally setting the stage ablaze or stabbing the host, the most a band could hope for is a couple of polite blog notices.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Poll

In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

A. Yes.
N. No.
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers