Have you ever seen Farscape? It was this lovely little show in which some of the characters were played by people and the others were played by puppets. It was basically awesome in a really weird sort of way. Cult, created by the same man who created Farscape, is awesome too. Actually, it’s the most awesome show I’ve seen on television in five years (or maybe ever. Time will tell).
Cult is a show within a show. You see, Cult is about the fans of a television show named Cult. (Meta, right?) The fans are obsessed with finding secrets hidden within the show. They go on websites and find links which take them to underground fansites. Those who get in that deep often are scared by what they find. Some disappear. Some even die.
Jeff, the hero of the show, is pulled into the fandom when his brother disappears. His brother had previously claimed that people connected with the show were following him. Jeff, knowing it seems crazy, suspects that somehow fans of Cult are involved with his brother’s disappearance. He visits the production lot and begins asking to see the showrunner. This is impossible because the showrunner, Steven Rae, is mysterious and reclusive. A research assistant on Cult, however, has been looking into these underground sites. She takes Jeff to a fandom cafe (I KNOW!), and they learn that Jeff’s brother and some woman cosplay the main characters of the show. At this point, things in our Cult begin to eerily mirror things happening on Cult’s Cult (the lines they say, the things that happen, and the people coming into play). Cult begins to look like it’s not just a television show, and Jeff begins to question what is fiction and what is reality.
Oh my gosh! If ever a show were written for me, this would be it. I love meta television, and this is the most meta-y-ish thing I’ve ever seen. It’s about television and fans and television productions. There are tons of little in jokes (the Fox/Joss line is the most fabulous thing ever), and it’s just a great and slightly frightening depiction of fandom gone wrong. I haven’t been this excited about a television show since Dollhouse. The cast is wonderful (T-Bag, Alaric, and Jo!) and the writing is clever and tight. Tonally, it’s very similar to Supernatural and X-Files, but it’s more intricate than either of those shows. Oh gosh, this is a really, really smart show with tons of layers. I can’t wait to watch it again. I will definitely be tuning in Tuesday, and you all should too. The previews are a bit vague and dark, but this isn’t some gory slaughterfest. This is an intelligent, highly addictive show. I love it and especially recommend it to fans of X-Files, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Joss Whedon, and Life on Mars.