5 October 2014 | pontram
Missed its own potential nicely
Cult was a solid conspiracy show, which had the potential to be great. It could be great in all manners. But instead of taking the risk and create a mystic dark humored allegory about TV, Fandom and hysteria during a time where nobody can imagine where all those artificially created hypes are socially and emotionally leading people to, instead of trying to follow the potential the show's own initial plot could lead itself to, the creators decided to let the wave of the show's first arrival fade out very unspectacular.
In fact, Cult could have been so much groundbreaking, controversial, intelligent and funny in a very dark way, that it is a real shame, and also a bit unbelievable, that it truly hadn't any of those advantages at all.
I understand that the creators did try something like that, but had to handle demands for compatibility with a bigger audience. That did not go so well, because the great mystery, in time, doesn't seem that great mystery anyway, and the big conspiracy is not such a big conspiracy that keeps us interested, like in the classic X-files.
With this, the story flows gently from one small anchor point to the next, with never reaching nail-biting levels, and never being surprising, but as a solid standard riddle solving case elongated over 12 episodes, which could have taken four or five to be concluded.
And yes, everything is very serious and any humor that could save the sinking ship is absent.
The two parallel stories of Cult and "Cult in Cult" never snapped, to use a term of Cult itself, and while it is constantly told, that they do snap for the reality of the show, we were not able to believe it, they did not snap for us. We were simply not able to follow all those hidden hints.
So the show, basically imaginative, interesting and promising, drowned more or less, while fresh thought in the beginning, from lack of further imagination and plot development. It seems like the authors had lost interest in their child after they realized that they had taken the wrong path with it, and so did the audience then.
The only continuously bright spot is Robert Kneppers part in the fictional Cult Series. While it doesn't bring the show much further, it is always a fresh breeze. In fact, he is, more ore less, the main actor of both the fictional and the "real" Cult show, and he is very sardonically gifted. For him alone, the show is worth watching.