Sticking: Cult

Posted on March 13, 2013



I have to be honest: I am not the target audience for the CW or its marketing. I had no plans to watch Cult.

Then, one of my fellow contributors to Forces of Geek reviewed the first episode, and I was intrigued. I found it OnDemand and started watching.

I Watched It

Cult is a TV show within a TV show.

In the series, there is a TV show called Cult. A charismatic group leader named Billy Grimm (played by Roger Reeves, who in turn is played by real life actor Robert Knepper) is suspected of getting his cult to commit all kinds of terrible crimes. He’s being investigated by the police, including a former cult-member named Kelly (played by Marty, who in turn is played by real life actor Alona Tal, who we loved on our other CW obsession, Supernatural).

In the series (still), the Cult show has a huge fan following. One of the fans contacts his brother, panicking. He then disappears. The brother, Jeff Sefton (Matthew Davis) is initially skeptical. The missing brother has a history of obsessive behavior, drug use, and paranoia. Then he finds that his brother’s apartment has been ransacked and there is blood all over a chair.

Jeff meets a producer from the show-within-the-show, Skye (Jessica Lucas). She tells him about the show’s writer, Stephen Rae, who is an eccentric recluse. The two of them start digging in to fan activity and the show, trying to find Jeff’s brother, and whatever Skye’s investigative reporter father was looking into before he disappeared.



Sometimes a show that seems multi-layered is like an onion – you peel away layers, and there’s nothing at the center. After all the time and tears, there is nothing left. Cult may turn out that way.

I hope it won’t. Rockne S. O’Bannon has done some great TV – The Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories, SeaQuest 2032, and FarScape, and got better each time.

Right now Cult is very effective at manipulating suspense, tension, and conspiracy. Is there really a cult led by Stephen Rae? Or is everything a game played out by obsessed fans, with Stephen Rae just an eccentric character?

I kind of want to know.



So, my biggest complaint has nothing to do with the content of the show and everything to do with scheduling and marketing. I actually have no idea how frequently Cult airs. It seems like sometimes it goes a week or two between episodes for no reason. I am only just now watching the third episode.

It may be that DVRs and OnDemand have disconnected me so much from schedules that I don’t bother to keep track anymore. It may be that I watch so little CW that I cannot use the advertising for other CW shoes to pinpoint which night Cult is on.

Most recently, I went looking for the third episode. For the record: Cult airs Friday nights, according to Yet, it wasn’t available OnDemand until the following Wednesday. If you want to build a fan following, shouldn’t you make sure they know when to watch, and make the show available in all mediums as soon as possible?


What shows about TV shows have you enjoyed?

Posted in: television