I struggle with quitting TV shows. I’ve rarely done it. I even watched all four seasons of Prison Break for some reason.

The Following is another show I can’t seem to quit and it seems like FOX can’t seem to quit airing it. It’s not a show you necessarily hate-watch — though I’m sure there are plenty of folks that do watch it for that reason. It’s also not a show you watch for the blood and the gore since you can either turn to Hannibal for the high quality version of that type of show or to Stalker for the other end of that spectrum.

Perhaps it’s just a show that you watch because it’s on television. Nothing more. And going into the third season, you might even say it’s a show much improved now that Joe Carroll has been pushed to the sidelines. (While mentioned quite a bit in the first two episodes available for critics, he has not been physically seen thus far.)

So while it’s hard to outright recommend the third season of The Following as a “must watch” or even with a lukewarm and tepid “It’s somewhat, kind of, slightly better than last season,” there are still four reasons why you should consider watching season 3.

The Following Interview: Shawn Ashmore Says Mike is “Out for Blood” in season 3 >>>

The Show isn’t All Doom and Gloom Anymore (Until Episode 2)

While the second episode ends on a really depressing and sad note for Ryan, he at least begins the season without continuing to be the king of self-loathing.

Instead, the new season opens with a wedding for a character I completely forgot, or didn’t realize, was gay. And Ryan even has a new girlfriend named Gwen and has thoughts about leaving his job one day. While the will-they-or-won’t-they-couple of the show is currently in the not-right-now stage, we all know they’ll be back together by the end of the season.

The Show Seems to Acknowledge That Its Heroes are Killers Too

For about 15 minutes, I was super excited by the new season of The Following because it seems producers are finally acknowledging that Ryan and Mike, among others, have also committed their own murders — if I might be so blunt as to use that term.

The idea that Ryan and Mike in particular have to face the “crimes” they’ve committed is a great one to hang a season on. Unfortunately, the show wimps out when it reveals who is actually pulling the strings, but it seems at the very least to have possibly stirred up something in Gina, who is now officially suspicious of her team members.

If the show follows through on the idea that members of the FBI have also committed terrible acts, and aren’t being “shamed” by murderous thugs but actual good people like Gina, then that could be a fascinating idea to explore for the rest of the season.

The Following Interview: Kevin Bacon Says Ryan “Will Smile a Lot” in Season 3 Premiere >>>

None of This Season’s Bad Guys Are as Useless as Micah

As dynamic and interesting as Emma was, Micah the cult leader was the boring opposite during season 2 of The Following. While none of this season’s new characters, including Andrew, Daisy or Kyle, seem vaguely interesting enough to be a true threat, they also are a vast improvement over Micah.

That said, what I could do with less of, however, is Mark talking to himself as his dead brother in the mirror.

Michael Ealy was announced late last year as this season’s main bad guy. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown up in the first two episodes, but it’ll be interesting to see what he adds to the mix.

At the End of the Day, If You’re Going to Watch, Just Go with It

If you decide to watch The Following this season, you just need to accept what the show is and, more importantly, what it isn’t. Embrace the insanity and over-the-top acting, plot twists and the killers’ motives and you might enjoy it for the popcorn slasher show it truly is.

Here’s just a few sneak peeks at some of the craziness you’ll see on The Following in just the first two episodes:

— While it’s only been one year since the events of season 2, Joe Carroll is due to be executed within a month. Yes, someone in this universe will be killed by the death penalty in just about a year.

— There are still plenty of lame fake-outs of who’s the killer and who’s not. If you don’t know who is going to die during an aborted threesome (yes, of course, there’s one in the first episode), then you haven’t been paying attention to these kinds of shows enough.

— One of the killers we meet loves to use torture devices like electric chairs, while also talking about how he can break every bone in your body so he can fit you inside a box … then he also goes home and takes car of his father suffering from dementia.

The Following season 3 premieres Monday, March 2 at 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Alan Danzis

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV