My wife and I are always searching for new and better television to watch as the drain of reality television has become more affecting. Two weeks ago we found something rather surprising--a show starring a well-know yet past-his-prime actor, Kevin Bacon--and a surprisingly intelligent and literary plot, one in which a serial murderer/cult leader is inspired to create "games" through the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
The Following chronicles a down-and-out alcoholic (read: Poe) detective who earlier in his career tracked down and stopped a serial killer, and who now must once again solve the happenings of the serial killer's cult-like followers as they wreak destruction. I'm sure it will make it to a second season.
The imagery of Poe's visage, the allusions to his work and his famous macabre aura are ubiquitous enough to appease even the most hardened Poe fanatics and it's this kind of television-literature connection that hopefully will cause people, especially younger people, to become interested enough in Poe again to begin re-reading his works. Anything that can attract a student to a book is a win for our society.
Bottom line: The 5 degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and literary nerd status has narrowed.