This week on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, Tiffany and I take on the same show once again, this time taking me out of my comfort zone by making me spend time with the CW.
Generally I defer to Tiffany when it’s time to review anything on this network. I am not the audience they are writing for. As you all know, Tiffany and I tend to have very different tastes, so it works out that we rarely have to force the other person to watch something they would hate.
The last time I manned up and hit the CW, well, I didn’t HATE it, but I certainly wasn’t a fan.
But, I went over there (and by over there, I mean I queued up the sneak peek of the pilot on Hulu – I love Hulu) willingly this time.
Because the concept of the show intrigued me.
It was, dare I say it, original. Or at least as original as I’ve seen American TV get lately.
Cult, the show I watched, centers around a TV show called Cult. (Wait, you’ll get this. I promise.)
Cult, the fictional show within the real show, is also on the CW (a fictional one). The fictional show follows Kelly Collins (Alona Tal), a cop trying to find her missing sister. She believes her sister was snatched by a cult leader, Billy Grimm (Robert Knepper).
Why is she so obsessed with the idea that her sister was taken by this cult? Because she used to be a member.
The show has an obsessive fan base – something not unheard of nowadays with social media. (Can you imagine what would have happened to Firefly if we had Twitter then?)
Adding to the fervor are the hidden clues and interactive nature of the show.
Remember all the Easter Eggs in Lost? How people obsessed over the numbers and polar bears and smoke monsters? Or how fans of Once Upon a Time analyzed every obscure clue to figure out who the characters were in their fairy tale land lives?
(I do, because I am that kind of nerd.)
Cult, the fictional show, has that fan base. Times ten. They sit behind their computers trying to piece together clues. But where do the clues lead?
In the real world (not the real world WE live in, but the one in the show), journalist Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis) takes interest in the hysteria surrounding this show when his former addict brother frantically tells him he’s figured out some code in the show and then goes missing.
Helping Sefton in his investigation is Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), a research assistant who works for the show who has concerns about some of the talk on the unofficial fan sites.
Adding to the mystery is the show’s writer – he writes in seclusion and seems to have complete control of the show, and, well, let’s just say it’s a bad idea to disagree with his direction.
Conceptually, I have to admit that I kind of love what this show is doing. It has a very current feel, an area where a LOT of shows are missing the boat. The idea that a show could have so much control over masses, that fan obsession can turn into something much darker, doesn’t feel far-fetched.
I’m not a mainstream horror fan, so I was a little disappointed with a scene in the second episode that I felt could have been expressed a bit more…subtly.* My hope is that the show will do a killer job (no pun intended) with the psychological element, rather than focus on visual horror and gore.
Robert Knepper is perfectly creepy, and completely believable as a charismatic leader (remember him in Heroes?) and, and in my opinion, elevates the show beyond what I’m accustomed to on the CW.
While there are moments when the dialogue felt a bit clunky, overall, the concept, the clues (that I feel the real life viewers will start analyzing much like the fictional ones) all had me looking forward to another episode.
I’m giving this an SSTV. This is still very much a “pretty people” CW production, and I’m concerned that the show may go the easy route – a horror series that focuses more on violence and gore than the psychological aspect. But the overall concept and the real life creator (Farscape’s Rockne S. O’Bannon) give me hope.
Did you check out CW’s Cult? What did you think?
Head over to Tiffany’s and see what she thought of the CW’s latest offering.
Stay tuned for next week’s latest TV offering.
*I watched the Pilot and half of the second episode (I have no time!) and the scene I refer to in the second episode is not kid friendly. It may not even be adult friendly depending on the person.
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…