Cult "Being Billy" Review: Wanna Play a Game?

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Mar 09, 2013

Cult S01E03: “Being Billy”

Can we take a second to talk about that crazy chick calling the other, less-crazy chick a “poser?” That, my friends, was priceless. I’m pretty sure “poser” was a dated insult even back in my day, which only contributed to the weird edgy-but-not vibe Cult has going on. LOL, poser.  I’m pretty sure the last time I heard anyone utter that one out loud and with any kind of nonironic sincerity was at a Good Charlotte concert in ninth grade. 

Wow. Okay. I’m sorry. It just made me laugh. Cult always seems to manage one moment of unintentional humor per episode and that’s why I continue to love it in all of its dysfunctional glory. 

This week, the Nate/Jeff storyline stalled, but the goings-on behind the scenes at the Evil Bizzaro CW seemed to confirm an important point raised in last week’s glorious trainwreck of a second episode: Steven Rae really IS slipping secret signs and messages into episodes for obsessive fans/True Believers to find. This week, it was that same three-pronged symbol that fake Claudia Donovan enlarged for Jeff’s convenience and was subsequently (and conveniently) found behind the wallpaper at Dead Merriam’s place before it went BOOM. This raises a new question: coincidence, sloppy writing, or is Steve totally onto what Skye and Jeff are up to and totally just screwing with them? I’m crossing my fingers for option number three because those two are just begging to be messed with. I mean, they got lucky this time, but when Skye picked up the Nefarious-Looking External Hard Drive of Doom and Despair and just plugged it in, did anyone else just shake their head at the dum-dum duo’s inability to learn not to plug questionable hardware/load questionable software into anything near them ever? I was half expecting it to explode because why not? Making sense is entirely overrated. Crazypants Carey ran through a glass door and kept going. Jeff cut his hand in their struggle and we had to call off the whole chase so he could get a Band-Aid. Admittedly it was a big Band-Aid, but seriously, I don’t think this dude wants to taste victory bad enough. OR Carey’s crazy has turned her into a loony blonde Energizer Bunny of Kool-Aid chuggin’, party-girl murderin,’ starry-eyed True Believer noob. 

So Jeff lacks endurance and Skye is making a habit of asking painfully obvious nosy questions about the mysterious Steven Rae in what very well could be Skullcrusher Mountain in the heart of an alternate universe C-Dubs. Don’t come crying to me when you end up in the True Believer pedo-van, Skye. 

Nate continues to be elusive, with all signs initially pointing to him being behind some murder action at his old college, only to be redirected back at Crazy Carey by the end of “Being Billy.” There was some exposition about the Sefton brothers growing up after their parents died and Jeff essentially becoming a parent at eighteen and angsting because he thought he sucked at it and Nate angsting because he thought he was a giant screw-up who brought shame upon the family and spent his whole life looking for an elusive something that he apparently found in Cult. He also apparently performed a similar disappearing act on Jeff immediately after their parents kicked it, so even though he escaped the murderer label this time around, I’m still not entirely convinced that he’s totally innocent. Perhaps the strongest theory at the moment is that Nate went looking for his something, found it in the True Believers, and eventually realized that they were all out of their freaking minds. But, as Carey illustrated this week, one doesn’t simply knock on the clubhouse door and ask to come in. There are membership dues. And if Carey’s analysis of the secret messages hidden in fake Cult episodes is correct, True Believers don’t accept cash or credit. Payment is strictly in corpses. 

And then there’s Roger, fake Cult’s leading man. Alona Tal finally got to say more than five words as Marty, his co-star, and their apparent disdain for each other is beautiful, man. Can we please get some more Alona Tal action? Please? Roger’s fun and all, but Roger’s also kind of a smarmy dick. Let him serve as a cautionary tale for actors whose adoring fans seem to reside just beyond the line of sanity: When your number-one fan seems to have a serious inability to separate you from your character, you PROBABLY shouldn’t bang her on the set. I don’t care if she’s super-hot and super-slutty. Are super-crop-tops even “in” again? Or have we fallen through a time rift and landed in 1996? 

Did you follow
Cult to Fridays? What did you think of “Being Billy?”

Postcards from Crazy Town

– So, I get that the campus cops refused to help the poor innocent Being Billy kids on account of being burned by their pranks too many times, but shouldn’t the fact that whatsherface was killed in an apparent hit-and-run have drawn the attention of the city/state/higher-jurisdiction-of-your-choice cops? And shouldn’t anyone with half a brain cell be able to see the connection between the TV show, the creepy fans, and the death that seems to follow them EVERYWHERE?

– New Nate theories? Old Nate theories? Any Nate theories?

– There seems to be a serious misunderstanding regarding the sorts of things crazed fans like the fake Cult’s crazed fans obsess over. Replaying sound clips? Sure. Replaying them BACKWARDS? Not so much. Splicing intro and exit dialogue together? Maaaaybe? It just seems like a lot of work unless you know that it’s already there... which could be the point of Steven Rae’s subliminal messages. Subliminal messages to lead you to more subliminal messages? This is the worst scavenger hunt ever. 

– Any dumb Jeff moments this week? My frustration mostly concerned Skye and her insistence on asking her creepy coworkers really obvious questions about their creepy boss. You in danger, girl. Probably.

  • Comments (38)
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  • Whatsoever Mar 16, 2013

    mh.. I somehow think that Kelly is behind all of this...that she is the TRUE leader...?

  • Penelope2 Mar 17, 2013

    I like your thinking... I hope it's not true though!

  • agriope23 Mar 12, 2013

    I don't think the deaths are that obvious. Nate's a junky gone missing, Merriam supposedly didn't even watch the show and the third's a hit and run. Frankly, I've seen the weird things and I still wonder what's big enough to warrant all this killing and... believing.

    But I do have a Nate theory: he went missing for a while 10 years ago, around the time Skye's dad was writing a story. He found something and was looking for it ever since, until he found Cult. I really want to find out what it's all about but not sure if I can be bothered to watch the whole season/series to do it.

  • Alastor7800 Mar 12, 2013

    "When your number-one fan seems to have a serious inability to separate you from your character, you PROBABLY shouldn’t bang her on the set"

    But it makes sense considering that she is trying to prove a point here : that the actor is his character deep down and that just like Billy he wants to be followed and adored. There are many silly things in this episode but sometimes it feels like you're looking for incoherences where they're none. Same thing for the hard drive they plug-in. Sure it sounds dangerous to plug-in a mysterious device you don't know who it belongs to but the human mind loves mystery and one can hardly resist to discover what a mysterious hard-drive contains. It's like Colin Farrell answering a random phone in the street in Phone Game. He shouldn't, but it's too hard to resist the curiosity.

    As for the very stupid moment of the episode I wouldn't mention the "poser" insult (I actually heard that not that long ago) but the scene right after. Jumping throught a window (or let's say crashing into one) instead of using the door (which couldn't have been that far...) is ALWAYS dumb and the fact that breaking the window apparently gave her the power to disappear, even though there is no place to hide around, is just equally dumb.

  • FabianBogdan Mar 12, 2013

    Was anybody else excited to see Spencer Locke as Ms. Crazy? I don't think she has reached mainstream fanboy love yet, but she has in my eyes! Hope she returns!

  • KateSullivan Mar 11, 2013

    According to my own rules, this show has one more chance...but it is so DUMB!!!

  • Gully_Foyle Mar 11, 2013

    It is one of those shows that's bad but but enjoyablely bad, as someone else said total cheese-fest.
    The whole hidden messages thing is fun to watch, and I bet there are hidden messages in the 'real' show but can anybody be arsed to go look for them?

  • chuuuuck Mar 11, 2013

    I'm hoping this show can keep it's numbers up and at least punch out a full season. Although there are some barely watchable moments (the chick waltzing through that window somehow for one) this was a fairly decent episode and I'm still as hooked as I was in episode one. However, If i here "hey, these things just snap right off" one more time without any sort of context as to where this line has come from I'm going to go loco.

  • Anonymous_A Mar 11, 2013

    This is one of the most clever shows that I've ever watched what with its hidden messages disguised as jangled sounds in the real show as well as the fake show. More people shouldn't be understating this show's ability to entertain through inventive ways.

  • Penelope2 Mar 17, 2013

    Have you found any hidden messages of sound?? I have found some hidden visual messages but am not sure where to start looking for sound, and don't want to start if they don't exist :)

  • LalaDrake Mar 11, 2013

    most clever show >_> I'm not sure about that! not bad show though!

  • Anonymous_A Mar 12, 2013

    I said one of the most clever shows, not the cleverest.

  • Lefin Mar 10, 2013

    While I was hoping for more than the trainwreck this show has been, it still manages to be a rather entertaining and watchable trainwreck. More than I can say for something like Revolution, which just puts me to sleep with how bad it is.

  • radiumgirl Staff Mar 11, 2013

    I agree wholeheartedly. It's not a great show. I was hoping for more too. But it's definitely entertaining.

  • Uma Mar 10, 2013

    So the whole show is just gonna be about this one cult? I mean it would be better if it was like a case of the week thing or something.

    I hope Matt Davis and the actress who play Skye land another show because they are both great

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