HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

TV Review: Don’t Join Bizarre ‘Cult’ on The CW

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Man, “Cult,” premiering tonight on The CW at 8pm CST, is a weird, weird show. One can see the pitch that convinced producers to fund this misfire but it was never developed into anything entertaining or believable. Not unlike last week’s disastrous “Cult,” this show can’t decide if it’s camp or meant to be taken seriously, and so ends up in the chasm in between where shows go to die.

HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 1.5/5.0
Television Rating: 1.5/5.0

Hold tight for this plot description. “Cult” is the name of a show on The CW within a show called “Cult” on The CW. In the fictional show “Cult,” Billy Grimm (Robert Knepper of “Prison Break”) leads a group of followers who conform to his every need and follow his every order. Grimm is a Charles Manson-esque nutjob who stays one step ahead of LAPD detective Kelly Collins (Alona Tal) and proclaims his innocence, having his followers do his dirty work.

The fictional “Cult” has a huge following. People track the show’s every twist and turn a la “LOST” or “Breaking Bad,” developing a cult around “Cult.” But is the fictional show more than escapist entertainment? Is it purposefully creating its own cult? Is Billy Grimm real? And what about the hidden messages in the program that people claim to find and then disappear?

Cult
Cult
Photo credit: The CW

One such person is Nate Sefton, a guy who has had enough issues in his past that his journalist brother Jeff (Matt Davis) has started to ignore his paranoia. And then Nate disappears, drawing Jeff deeper into the cult of “Cult” with the assistance of a research assistant for the show named Skye (Jessica Lucas). Can Nate & Skye figure out the real story behind “Cult”?

Cult
Cult
Photo credit: The CW

The concept ain’t bad. As social media and internet presences continue to create cults around pop culture items, the idea of a show that takes this to extremes, building its own dangerous following, is actually kind of clever. But it’s also amazingly difficult to pull of tonally. This program might have worked with someone edgy like David Lynch or David Cronenberg to pull it off — the encroachment of new media in our daily lives has long obsessed both of them. But what they do is not easy. Finding the creepy factor beneath what we consider escapism takes a unique approach. We need to see something different when the curtain is lifted. “Cult” just gives us another curtain.

It is a show within a show and neither of them are interesting. The fictional “Cult” is nowhere near creative enough to believe that anyone would watch it longer than “Do No Harm” and Nate & Skye just aren’t interesting characters to give a damn what happens to them or what they discover. There are some atmospheric moments but they’re few and far between.

“Cult” needed to be totally strange to work and it feels like the producers weren’t willing to embrace its unique concept and run with it. Shows like the fictional “Cult” worked because they were completely fearless (“LOST” was one of the most daring shows in the history of television). One can sense the fear in the production of “Cult,” the desire to please. No one follows anyone or any show that begs to be followed.

“Cult” stars Matt David, Jessica Lucas, Alona Tal, and Robert Knepper. It premieres on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8pm CST on The CW.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker