Just checked out Cult (2013), the new horror/mystery show on CW about a journalist who’s brother, a fan of a fictional CW show called Cult, goes missing. Talk about meta. Talk about vanity. Before shows like Lost and Heroes, this would be okay, now it’s just not up to muster. I fell asleep halfway through the first episode (though I do this a lot anyway). Not for lack of acting talent either, Robert Knepper (scary bloke from Prison Break and Heroes) is Roger Reeves, an actor playing Billy
Graham Grimm the cult leader and lovely Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield and Evil Dead (2013)) is Skye Yarrow, a production assistant. Cult is written an created by Rockne S. O’Bannon whose best work was Alien Nation (1988), an excellent SciFi movie that spawned a long-running show that I watched religiously back in the days of the Cathode Ray Tube.
One simple thing they could have done to make the show more gripping was to tweak the colouring, because there’s something too candy-coloured youth TV, Smallvillesy and comfortable about a show where people die, commit suicide are brainwashed and go missing! The normally clichéd and over-used colour-code could have worked well for the show. It just doesn’t have the gritty look it deserves. Colour tones similar to that found in movies like Seven would help.
I also think that the show would have been better as a short, three-part mini-series. I just don’t think that it has the legs for several seasons worth of content. But to end on a positive note, I liked the plot device of having to use 3D glasses to search for clues. Much as I hate 3D specs, I remember a similar situation in the SciFi movie They Live (1988), where the aliens could only be seen through special lenses.