Kevin Williamson

The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.01: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” sets the show off in some interesting new directions

The series premiere of The Vampire Diaries came amidst a slew of vampire stories in movies and books, facing an uphill battle in attracting an audience already wary of another spin on the supernatural creatures. The show soon set itself apart however, with compelling characters and a quick pace to its storylines as it expanded its universe. With its success leading to a spinoff this season in the form of The Originals, the show heads into its fifth season with major changes underway, as Bonnie Bennett’s death opens a major weakness among the crew of Mystic Falls, a weakness compounded by the absence of Stefan, replaced by Silas, and the departure of Elena and Caroline to college. Fortunately, the show starts off the new season on a strong step, with the introduction of some interesting new foes for the show’s core group.

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The Following, Ep. 1.12, “The Curse”: Comic Book Heroes and Villains

Still, we can’t really blame The Following for at least being what it is. It’s been a long road with many melodramatic detours to even get to this point. So, when we get an episode that deals with the show’s actual preoccupations—the cult itself and Ryan and Joe’s past/present/history—we have to be thankful. It’s not good, but it’s not like last week’s actively bad, and no character comes off like a complete dunce for the sake of tension in the episode (well, except Parker, but they’ve been dumbing her down for a while now).

The Following, Ep. 1.11, “Whips and Regret”: No there there

So far, there are three major types of episodes in The Following: the big conflict episodes where the main characters face off, the psycho-of-the-week episodes to fill FOX’s “x-treme” body count quota, and the table setting episodes for those previous two types—by far the worst of them all.

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