Originally published on Advocate.com January 21 2013 8:01 AM ET
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why should I watch The Following when Drag Race is on at the same time?” Well, for one, there’s DVR. Another, The Following just may be the gayest horror series that’s ever graced network television. Here are some reasons why:
1. The game between cop and killer can become stale at times, but when the two in question are Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy you realize there hasn’t been this much chemistry between a cat and a mouse since Tom and Jerry. Kevin Bacon plays Ryan Hardy, an FBI agent who was responsible for capturing serial killer Joe Carroll (played by Rome's James Purefoy), who escapes prison and alerts his cult of followers to do his bidding. There is so much eye-lingering during the prison interrogation scenes you wonder if the episode will turn into a deleted scene from Oz. Even if the kiss never happens on-screen, Bacon and Purefoy have already locked lips at least once recently.
Purefoy, Bacon, and Williamson
2. Kevin Williamson, the out creator behind Dawson’s Creek, the Scream franchise, and The Vampire Diaries, proves once again he is a master at the horror genre. Just when you think you know the story that lies ahead for the characters, it pulls the rug out from under you like such classics as Psycho and Williamson’s first Scream.
3. Speaking of Scream, there are plenty of nods to the movie franchise that changed horror forever. From sorority house murders (ala Scream 2) to a killer-defying heroine (i.e: Sydney Prescott), The Following will have you reminiscing about your favorite horror film from the ’90s that started with the simple “Do you like scary movies?”
4. In the pilot episode you are introduced to Sarah, the girl who escaped Joe Carroll’s killer clutches 10 years ago. She confides in her gay best friend neighbor and his boyfriend, who end up playing a surprising role in the overall mythology of the series. Aside from Jack in Dawson’s Creek, Williamson rarely includes gay characters in his stories, so this is significant since this couple looks to be pivotal players in the serial killer’s plans.
5. If you think Drag Race is over the top, Ru got nothin’ on Edgar Allan Poe! The writer, an obsession of Joe Carroll’s and an influence on his murders, had an eye for the outlandish. From The Masque of the Red Death’s fierce red costume to burying people behind walls (or under floorboards), Poe knew how to make a lasting impression. Just read a few of his stories before hitting the town tonight and maybe you won’t think those drag queens are so scary after all.