TV and its “Cult” Following

CultA Review of the CW’s “Cult” by Tiffany A. White

Basically, Cult is a CW show about a CW show within a CW show. Is anyone lost yet? Don’t worry; the pilot episode is just about as confusing, but it gets better.

Cult follows journalist Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis, aka Alaric from The Vampire Diaries) as he investigates the disappearance of his brother. His brother had rambled on and on to Jeff about how one of his favorite TV shows—a show about the cat and mouse game between a cult’s leader and his ex-lover/detective chasing him—was out to get him, but Jeff wrote it off as paranoia. TV shows don’t come after people, right? But when his brother goes missing, Jeff learns that the television series (also titled “Cult”) his brother talked about does indeed have a rabid fan base who might just be committing the crimes as shown on the series.

Jeff is not alone… working alongside him, and hoping to unravel the secrets behind the “Cult” TV show and its fan base, is Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas, Melrose Place and Cloverfield). Skye works as a production assistant for “Cult”; but like Jeff, she thinks something just isn’t quite right about the television series, the fans, or its creator/writer… which is why she accepted the position on the production staff to do research for the show in the first place—to investigate.

They can’t trust the police; the lead investigator into Jeff’s brother’s disappearance has the “Cult” symbol tattooed on her inner wrist. Additionally, anyone they find to question about the TV show or Jeff’s brother either kills themselves or talks in circles, not making much sense. And if that’s not bad enough, we, the viewers know that Jeff and Skye need to be very careful during this investigation because anyone who supports or suggests change to the writer’s direction (script/character development) or the fan base finds themselves at the mercy of the “Cult” cult members and/or its tribal leaders.

Clues keep falling into place, leading Jeff and Skye to fear the worst—something sinister is definitely going on surrounding the show and its fans. Somehow and someway, these clues will reveal the answers, but will Jeff and Skye figure it all out before it’s too late?

Because of the unique premise of a show about a show within a show, Cult has some very witty dialogue about what TV programs need to do today in order to be successful. I like that. And speaking of dialogue, there is a super-creepy message all of the characters repeat just before dying (both on the show and on the show within the show):

“Well, hey, these things just snap right off…”

At first I didn’t have a clue what this meant, other than its creepy context in the show. I’ve since learned that this quote comes from “The Far Side” cartoon by Gary Larson. Supposedly two bears realized their muzzles could snap off before they attacked their trainers. This in itself is eerie, and it leaves me wondering what Cult has in store for us if the “Cult” members and fans are willing to kill themselves rather than attack their leader.

As with any new show, sometimes the casting helps to attract viewers. In addition to Matt Davis and Jessica Lucas, the new CW series also stars: Alona Tal (Cane and Supernatural) as Marti, an actress playing Kelly on “Cult”—a former member of the cult and ex-lover of the leader; Roger Knepper (Heroes and Prison Break) as Roger Reeves, an actor playing Billy Grimm on “Cult”—the leader of the cult; and a few some might recognize in recurring roles from the teen television series The Inbetweeners (Marie Avgeropoulos) and Degrassi: The Next Generation (Stacey Farber and Ben Hollingsworth).

So how does Cult rank? I’ve been anxiously awaiting this new series, and while the pilot episode confused me more than anything else, the second episode redeemed itself. Not to mention, I need to know more; I must know more. The CW has definitely intrigued me with its latest drama. However, there’s really nothing about the show that is all that beneficial to us, kind of like that bag of greasy potato chips we continuously dig into, but it sucks us in… like a cult.

Oh, and the CW recently moved Cult from its Tuesday night slot to Fridays… maybe that was the plan all along, or maybe this is the kiss of death. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

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