Cult "Get With the Program" Review: If It Quacks Like a Cult...

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Mar 16, 2013

Cult S01E04: “Get With the Program”

In between interrogating that True Believer hacker who looked unnervingly like a young, punkass PeeWee Herman and keeping up with the fake Cult—which currently is infinitely more interesting than the real one, IMO—I made an observation about our doofus hero, Jeff. In addition to being a dumdum, he’s also kind of, well, I don’t want to say useless, but he just doesn’t seem to DO anything other than watch Cult reruns and sleep and hang out at the creepy fandom dive waiting for someone to jump-start the case-of-the-week with a conveniently timed IM.

I get it. He’s doing research and it’s not like there have been too many great leads to more actively work with. But this week he got an AWESOME lead and it was all hand-wringing and agonizing over morals and pretty much just standing around while that deprogrammer, Ross, did all the work. I like Ross. He’s pragmatic. He’s also funny in a serial killer kind of way. I would like to trade in my current hero model for an upgrade, please. No offense, Alaric. It’s not you. It’s what you do. Or rather, DON’T do. Which is anything.

Jeff might be on the path toward being a little more proactive about things after his little adventure in the ultraviolet glow stick graffiti room. Ultraviolet. Glow stick. Grafitti. He told Skye that he was willing to do whatever he had to do to get Nate back, even if it meant using truth serum responsibly before releasing punkass PeeWee back into the wild where, mark my words, I’m willing to bet Detective Sakelik will be less generous. I’m actually surprised he made it to the end of the episode. The True Believers just don’t seem like the type of people who would be really understanding about the specifics of what might have led someone to betray them, if they are anything like their fake Cult counterparts.


So let’s talk about fake Cult. Fake Cult was fun this week, no? Kelly is starting to come off as kind of sketchy in her own right. Billy terrorized the professor who was writing an unauthorized biography of him because he didn’t like what the guy wrote, which wasn’t actually as petty and frivolous as it sounds once we heard Billy’s side of the argument. We found out that the box associated with his followers—both in the fake fake universe and in the real fake universe—symbolizes the earth. That’ll probably be on the exam. In the end, Billy and his would-be biographer reached an amicable arrangement: The professor would stop working on his book and Billy would pull the nails out of the dude’s hands, give him a Band-Aid or five, and promise not to slaughter his family. I think that’s fair. I also think I would rather watch this show than Jeff and Skye doing their thing. Whatever that is.

Last week, I mentioned how blatantly obvious Skye’s subversive activities at the Cult studios were and how I couldn’t believe no one had started to question her yet. This week, one of Skye’s co-workers let on that Skye isn’t nearly as sneaky as she thinks she is. Sure, the makeup artist was of the opinion that Jeff and Skye were harmlessly sexting, but the exchange was enough to give us confirmation that Skye hasn’t been flitting about unobserved, and it’ll be interesting to see just how much her peers know, regardless of what they’re CLAIMING they know.

Alona Tal, of course, even artfully splattered with fake blood, was nothing short of flawless. I want more Marti action, specifically Marti and Skye being awesome sneaky ladies bringing down the bad guys from inside. I think Jessica Lucas and Alona Tal had more chemistry in that four-minute scene than Matthew Davis and Jessica Lucas have had in the last four episodes. Davis is a solid actor, writers. How’s about giving him some material that actually, you know, requires acting?


What did you think of this week’s Cult?



POSTCARDS FROM CRAZY TOWN

– “There’s a TV in every home.” I see what you’re trying to do and remain unconcerned. Try again, Cult.

– I’m not sure why Skye had to explain hacker hostels to Jeff. The man’s a journalist. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory as long as you know what a hacker is and what a hostel is. I suspect her line was meant to enlighten us, but again, “hacker hostel” is pretty much exactly what it says it is.

– On that note, I’m still genuinely liking the story. I've been waffling, but “Get with the Program” clarified a lot of things that needed to be clarified, particularly with regard to how the True Believers operate. Plus, I really enjoyed Ross and I hope we run into him again. But it would be great if Cult's dialogue could be less awful. I’m still laughing over “poser.”

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  • Killer1One Mar 19, 2013

    I am jumping off people... i find myself wanting to fast forward and predicting how any found proof will be destroyed in 2 to 5 minutes. I like the idea of the show. But i can't stand the show as it is right now. I will check the reviews sometimes to see if it gets good. because honestly if i would have not watched ep2 and ep3 what would i have missed? NOTHING people. NOTHING.... So sadly i will stop.... for now.

  • KateSullivan Mar 18, 2013

    Okay, so this show is still too dumb, but here are my guesses...

    I think on the 'show' that Callie was likely the mother of the son that Grimm lost because it seems to me that most followers who drift, well, they are dead. She isn't dead and he still seems fascinated by her. So I am guessing the circumstances of her running away are probably understandable to him and he assumes she will come back to the group when she is done grieving or whatever.

    I also am wondering if the 'show' is entirely just a cult mystery but the, well, stupid part of the show (Jeff, Skye, Nate and yes, I really liked Ross) actually has the supernatural part in it.

  • Penelope2 Mar 17, 2013

    Yup, Ross was a great addition. Reminds me of when TVD attempts to cast black badass men (because of diversity?) but they turn out to be awkward terrible actors--Luca, Luca's father, and that hunter. Ross was a lot better than all of them combined IMO. I can't wait for Alona Tal and Jeff to meet. Is she bad? Is she good? She obviously knew something about Jeff in this episode. She was not digging because of girl talk. She knows more than she lets on for sure. I know you all hate the show, but I love love love it. It's so bizarre and wonderful. Matt Davis. Skye has something genuine about her a lot of pretty actresses don't. The mystery. The layers. Who else caught the secret message meant for us the real viewers in there (however morbid it was)? Is there ANYONE else with me? Any TRUE BELIEVERS out there? lulz...

  • nexpose Mar 17, 2013

    I agree they need to pump up Matt Davis's character Jeff since tons of us are watching Cult due to him. If not for him in TVD I'd never be watching Cult. The real cult in the show needs to come around since it's so true that fake cult is way more interesting. And please find Nate and end all this search since I can't believe a whole season will be about finding Nate. If so that'll be disappointing.

  • Penelope2 Mar 17, 2013

    I am also watching for Matt Davis :) Although I do love the show.

  • AbhishekAind Mar 17, 2013

    Wow. So many negative criticism! Chill guys, its been only 4 yet. Momentum gain requires time (it's a law of physics).
    Meanwhile we should enjoy it like a normal school-play. I think most bias stem from preconceived expectations. I had none. I saw the trailer, I believed it to be a thriller... for now it is doing just that (I expected not more not less). And like Maryann pointed out weeks ago, the case of the week format seems kinda engaging than blind chase of prime story line. I am really curious about the psychological explanations they have prepared for the reason these cult member behave such! And I really want to know why in the right mind with moral judgement a person would jump in the cult wagon (pun from last episode :P )

  • Interestingtv Mar 17, 2013

    just caught up with Cult...out of boredom...and you (TV.com) should prob. stop reviewing this show....

    ok so some suggestions (some irrational) about how to make this show actually good...or bearable (to me @ least)

    1.) I think the writers on both shows could afford to take so many more risks with their characters 'cause they are all one-note. (Especially the fake Cult, what's the worst that could happen? It's already popular)
    2.) Black cop lady (sorry she dies in almost all the shows she's in but) they should kill her off. Introduce someone in the police force who seems okay and can help these ppl. actually do stuff.
    3.) Introduce someone more charismatic in general, but more importantly someone involved with the Cult who is charismatic and forces the audience to wonder if we like him or hate him. (could be the same police person helping the band of amateurs, in order to achieve some selfish goal or save someone from the cult, or create his own cult idfk something)
    4.) The cult in the show, or in real life needs to be explored more so that we can understand generally what it stands for (at least on the surface) that can lead to obsession. 'Cause right now ppl. are just running around talking 'bout true believers, we get it you exist so?
    5.) They need to introduce a logical comic relief
    6.) Give that computer girl a more interesting role
    7.) Go back to work Jeff...use your journalistic chops (if you have any) to find information that will probably put someone you care about in harms way, but lead you closer to your brother
    8.) Introduce someone who is unbridled by morality to do what's necessary to expose the Cult.
    9.) reintroduce Skye's father...as anything really the fact that he is back in her life hopefully with Cult knowledge as an escapee, brainwashed survivor, catatonic coma patient, recruiter, true believer will just make it a little more interesting
    10.) Get drastic and trap Jeff and Skye in a Cult game that they have to play to survive in order to find the brother and father, but that makes them do things that compromises their moralities and blurs the lines between their world and the cult

    ........i don't really know CW just do something bold, fast paced,and a lot crazy. I think the concept is there the execution in so horrible it's almost unbearable to watch.

  • BorisBreynin Mar 17, 2013

    This comment has been removed.

  • Vicky8675309 Mar 17, 2013

    agree
    it's to black and white and needs more grey (i.e., no pure good or pure bad characters--it's not a cartoon [no offense to cartoons]).

  • Interestingtv Mar 17, 2013

    LMAO @ "[no offense to cartoons]"

    Meanwhile, Gargoyles and even yugi-oh had more organic tensions than Cult...

  • Lamaeman Mar 17, 2013

    Fake Cult looks like a really bad show, including really bad writing and acting ( I do not see how you can like Alona Tal - muppets have more expression than she has). The show started out strong with a lot of promise, but is rapidly losing me with these weak case-of-the-week plots. Please lose the stupidity. Self-deleting CD-Rs? Your PC brings up your driver's license? Puh-lease...! The obviously heinous Detective Sakelik doesn't help either. Just start taking your writing seriously, Rockne, and Cult might evade cancellation.

  • OdumC Mar 17, 2013

    It's just her direction in this show.. I loved Alona Tal on Supernatural.

  • Anonymous_A Mar 18, 2013

    Same here. Also loved her on VM as Meg.

  • BrookeDsBaby Mar 17, 2013

    It wont.

  • Vicky8675309 Mar 17, 2013

    Jeff is boring (Alaric is awesome) and I hope Jeff becomes more like Ross. Playing by the rules doesn't always work if the other side isn't playing by the same roles. The black/white nature of the characters is boring...let's make them more grey

  • Gislef Mar 16, 2013

    In fairness, I know what hostels and hackers are, and am not sure what a "hacker hostel" is. Who goes there, wandering bands of hackers? Wild hackers, in from the wilderness, looking for someplace to stay? Wandering hackers, traveling the land "Kung Fu" style? These are folks who can afford thousands of dollars of software and hardware--they can't live in the parents' basements? Who pays for these hostels? If they're rich from hacking (if they're good hackers, shouldn't the be?), why can't they afford something other than Generic Warehouse 101?

    And why the heck did they attack Jeff and Terrence?

  • MunirRahool Mar 17, 2013

    Haha, it's a hackers' cult. ;)

  • frankfonseca5 Mar 17, 2013

    Maybe they don't live there. Maybe they have servers there and other equipment and can do their hacking there without being caught. And no, all great hackers are not rich.

  • Gislef Mar 16, 2013

    I don't think the writers know what a hacker hostel is.

  • MunirRahool Mar 16, 2013

    Now this is the example of how this show can be "Better" if there aren't ^obvious^ BS playing role. This show for me felt a step in right direction, yes I will give credit to the trigger-friendly Ross. He did pump up everyone for sure and the show itself felt nearly on level of the show it is about.

    By the way, today "There is a TV in every pocket" would be more meaningful.

    The moments felt annoying where the characters were trying to define right and wrong. To be honest, the "Right" ways are not working and you cannot trust anyone so the best option is to get your own hands dirty in order to clean the mess up for good. Jeff did good and I hope he or they both learn a thing or two from Ross and show it in coming episodes.

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