The CW likes giving its young audience a steady diet of darkness, and that tradition continues with 'Cult' (9 tonight, the CW), a creepy, high-concept drama that isn't as confusing as it sounds.
Basically it's a show within a show. Jeff (Matt Davis), is a disgraced newspaper reporter with a brother who has had issues with drugs and maybe with paranoia. The brother is a super fan of 'Cult,' a hit show on the CW that has devotees that don't just watch; they search for clues on websites, create their own sites, re-enact scenes and dress like character. The show's creator is a mystery man no one sees.
'Cult' as the title implies, is about a cult led by charismatic/creepy leader Billy Grimm (Robert Knepper) who taunts cop Kelly (Alona Tal), who was also once a member of the group.
When Jeff's brother tries to tell him the show is coming to life, Jeff is naturally skeptical. But then Jeff's brother disappears. So Jeff begins investigating the show, pulling in Skye (Jessica Lucas), a researcher on 'Cult' who has concerns about the fanaticism surrounding it.
As Jeff's investigation begins, people start to kill themselves and come up missing. There are cult members everywhere. The cult, it seems, has come to life.
If you're confused by my words, in the viewing it's much clearer. And it's a great comment on the depth and breadth of social media, reality vs fantasy, and the power of media. In the hands of say, Joss Whedon, there would probably be more humor, which would be nice.
Still there's lots to build on. Skye has a back story concerning her father, and press notes say the show will explore the effects of the fans' craziness on the actors playing Billy Grimm and Kelly, which sounds promising.
"Cult" is an inventive idea that could lure some true devotees.