Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:49 PM
First ep now out in the wild.
What I found most jarring, was that Robert Knepper sounds like a real person, and an intelligent one to boot. I should not have, but I sort of expected T-Bag's southern drawl to come lilting out, instead of Laurence Olivier. Oh well, Damian Lewis and a bunch of other brits and aussies still throw me for a loop when they break character, and I'm probably not alone.
The cast seems strong. The production seems cheap and amateurish, even cheesy like a mid-90's Canadian import. And that is probably what will kill this Cult. The writing is above average, possibly enough to keep me interested. The show-within-a-show aspect is interesting, but confusing and unoriginal. It feels like the show has little budget, and that shows.
But guess what, even with its faults it is still a much better show in many ways than the other "cult" show, The Following. I think by coincidence there are more "cult" shows coming, and soon. I think Cult has a chance, as it is somewhat original, just not all that much of one. It kind of has a FreakyLinks vibe to it, which was a similar show on FOX about a dozen years ago.
I give them points on the music, which unless I miss my guess, is composed by the lead actor in the series, something not seen since J. J. Abrams. At least they are trying to be Trent Reznor; too bad they don't have anywhere near the talent or ability of Trent Reznor. Still a step above the conventional yawn of theme music for The Following, which generates no mood whatsoever.
They also are not resorting to slasher-film shock moments like TF. More points for that, more taken away from TF. The "man in the wall" moment showed that they could handle a dramatic high point tastefully and without sinking to the level of TF, which tries to do that by artificially enhancing the drama (not to mention goosing the sound track), which seems to have the opposite effect of making it fall on its face. Spine-chilling on Cult, douche-chills on TF.
Less is more; if you have a dramatic moment, let it breathe on its own; don't try to hit us over the head with it. Cult did it correctly, TF never could find that basic capability. I don't want to make this a bash fest against TF, but they probably deserve it, and it's probably too late; It's also not my fault they tried to do a cult show and screwed the pooch, while at about the same point in time Cult, with probably one-tenth the budget, pulls it off with ease.
I don't see it catching on, but it's probably too early to tell.
It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.