Knepper as Grimm in CW Network Cult series

Review by C.J. Bunce

What hidden evil lurks in the hearts of TV producers?  There must be something going around in Hollywood about cults and serial killers.  That is, cults made up of serial killers.  Last month we reviewed the pilot of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as a has-been detective tracking down a recently escaped serial killer.  It’s four episodes in and so far, so good.  Starting Tuesday on the CW Network another new cult themed series debuts, titled Cult.  We at borg.com previewed the pilot and found both of these new series have enough differences, and enough going for them, to watch and keep watching them both.

CW’s Cult offers enough layers of creative theatrics that you’ll want to check it out just to see how the producers introduce a series-within-a-series.  That’s right–Cult is two shows in one.  The series centers on a fictional Warner Bros. production of a TV show called “Cult,” featuring an actor named Roger Reeves (Robert Knepper) who in turn is playing the character of Billy Grimm, a charismatic, religious, rural cult leader.   The fictional “Cult” also stars an actress named Marti Gerritsen (played in real life by Alona Tal) as LAPD detective Kelly Collins.   Formerly close to Grimm, Collins is trying to learn what happened to her sister and her sister’s son, somehow taken under the influence of Grimm’s cult.  Genre fans will instantly recognize Knepper from Heroes, Prison Break, and SGU Stargate Universe, as well as his guest roles on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, and Alona Tal as Veronica’s best pal Meg on Veronica Mars, Jo Harville from Supernatural, and notable guest roles on Monk and Leverage. 

Alona Tal in CW Network Cult series

This series-within-the-series is a quick-paced mystery with a horror twist and altogether pretty fun stuff.  Tal is tough and determined and Knepper brings in just the right amount of creepiness.  And he acts differently when seen outside the series as actor Roger Reeves.  In fact, we hope the producers break out of form at some point to show complete episodes of the inside show.  At times the show-within-the-show looks like it could quickly suck in viewers more than the main plot.  It even includes a bizarre and creepy catch-phrase likely to stick around in genre culture.

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