Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Cult?

Cult is The CW’s newest attempt at a mind-blowing serialized thriller (RIP, Ringer) with lots of twists and turns and dimly-lit sets, and it premieres this week. But should you watch it? I've already seen the pilot, so please—allow me to advise!


What’s Cult?

Cult is a television show that airs on The CW about Cult—a television show that airs on The CW. The fictional Cult series has become a massive hit with legions of dedicated fans, and like every large fanbase, has its share of those who take things just a mite too seriously. Or a lot too seriously. Or they aren’t crazy at all, but rather agents of a mysterious leader with ties to the TV show, which begs the question: Which came first? Did the cult spring up around the TV show or did the cult CREATE the TV show? Disgraced journalist Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis of Legally Blonde and The Vampire Diaries) tries to answer that and other questions when his little brother disappears after getting waaay too obsessed with his new favorite show. Jeff is joined by Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas from Cloverfield), a member of the show-within-a-show Cult’s production crew who senses her TV show isn’t JUST a TV show. Rounding out the main cast are Alona Tal (Jo from Supernatural) and Robert Knepper (Heroes, Prison Break) as the stars of the breakout series-within-a-series.


Whaaaat? Who spiked the Kool-aid?

Cult was created by Rockne S. O’Bannon who also gave us Alien Nation, seaQuest DSV, and Farscape. O’Bannon also has another series debuting this spring, Syfy’s heavily promoted (and anticipated!) Defiance (which also looks kind of cool, IMO). Busy dude! Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl, Chuck, The Carrie Diaries) is a producer, as are Stephanie Savage (Hart of Dixie, The O.C., The Carrie Diaries) and Len Goldstein (Hart of Dixie).


When does this crazy train leave the station?

Cult premieres Tuesday, February 19 at 9pm on The CW.


Who is Cult trying to recruit?

I can’t very well say the audience of The Following since the two shows' debuts are so close that it’s doubtful either series is trying to steal the other's thunder, but if you like The Following (or at least the *idea* of The Following), you’ll probably dig Cult. You migh also enjoy the show if you liked the conspiracy and mystery in last season’s flop Ringer, but didn’t care for the ridiculous soapy elements (join the club!).



What’s good about it?

I was expecting cheesy and campy, so I was delighted that most of Cult was actually kind of creepy—especially Knepper as charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm. However, if it’s cheese that you want, there’s enough silliness to keep things from getting too dark and scary. The story itself, once you get past the initial WHERE-AM-I-WHAT-IS-HAPPENING feeling, is actually pretty tight so far, and the pilot raised just enough of the right questions that I'm excited about future episodes.


What’s not-so-good about it?

Not every mind-blowing twist is all that amazing—some of them are pretty obvious, actually. Also, I spent most of the beginning of the pilot just trying to get my bearings straight. Even with a handful of official descriptions and a trailer or two under my belt before actually tackling the pilot, I found that I was hitting rewind fairly often through the first half of the episode because what the eff is going on? Cult likes to blur the lines between the fictional Cult and the actual Cult, with mixed results. Sometimes it’s a neat artistic decision. Sometimes it’s important. But sometimes it’s just confusing. This is a series that could very quickly hang itself with its own twists if the writers aren’t mindful. Still, it’s kind of awesome. I promise. I won’t say that it all makes sense in the end but I think that it MIGHT make sense, and I think it’s possible for SOMETHING to make sense in the future, and for now, that’s good enough for me.


So... should I join Cult?

In a word, yes! If it sounds like your thing, then yes, absolutely. Come for the crazy, stay for the plot. The pilot is exciting and the writing is sharp. Billy Grimm is creepy. The show-within-a-show thing has been done before, but it’s fun, and The CW never seems to be taken seriously, so if nothing else, I’m willing to give this a chance. <3 you, C-Dubs (though I’m not sure why)!


Is there a trailer floating around somewhere so I can decide for myself?

BETTER: The whole pilot is currently available on Hulu. But here’s a trailer anyway:


What should I drink while watching Cult?

Kool-aid, of course!



Cult premieres Tuesday, February 19 at 9pm on The CW.

Comments (75)
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It was a decent pilot and I'll keep watching this show.
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Robert Knepper is enough to make me watch Cult.
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Jo, T-Bag and Alaric.. yeah I am gonna watch :)
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Damn.. it was a snooze-fest for me...
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This show is the worst thing I've ever seen. I can't even begin to describe. I can't believe they spend money and agree on projects like this. TV hits new low with this one. Sorry for the actors because I like each and everyone of them. They all come from great shows but in this one all is lost. I hope this show gets cancelled fast and I hope I'll see these people in great new ones.
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I like the idea of this show but I just can't see it not being cancelled.
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No! Fuck this show. Watch Banshee. Watch Banshee, watch Banshee, watch Banshee, watch Banshee, watch Banshee. They haven't reviewed it, I think past the pilot and I think the less of them for it. View it for yourselves, so far 6 episodes. I promise you will not be disappointed. I'll rant no more other than WATCH BANSHEE
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Banshee? That show was really awful! Terrible acting, bad script and way too much nudity to try and lure in the perves. These are the shows they really need to cancel.
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Cool, if that's how you feel don't watch it. Watch Glee or Last of the Summer Wine if that's your thing. If you're uncomfortable with the sex scenes then perhaps you're not having enough because it's just sex. I mean, seriously, how old are you? Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Sex in the City, The Wire, True Blood, Girls, to name a few, they all have sex or nudity in them. Each tailored for an audience with the maturity of mind to watch them objectively and suspend their disbelief. Banshee isn't trying to cross any intellectual expanse, it's made for our viewing pleasure which it does well acted with pretty girls, hard hitting blokes and severed albino penises and I fucking love it. I love the elegant universe and the TED talks as well and yes, I like tits and pretty faces they're great! Buy yourself a Yorkie bar or crack a beer with your free hand cupped around your sack every now and then. Honestly mate, your reeking of metro-sexual hipster douchebagginess.
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If you think the acting is bad, then I wonder what you've been watching. I'm not saying that it's Breaking Bad awesome, but there's really nothing to complain about in the acting department. The plot has some weak spots though.

You got the nudity part wrong. It's the other shows (with two obvious exceptions) that don't have *enough* nudity. Doesn't it look ridiculous to you when a woman on a TV show is carefully covering everything when she's still in bed with someone she just fucked?
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You don't need to see everything to understand what's going on, unless you're an idiot or a perve. Or both.
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I actually agree with that, but if I only wanted to *understand* what's going on, I'd be reading a book. TV is about seeing, hearing, and to some extent *experiencing* what's going on. The right visuals can enhance the experience.

You don't have to be a perv to think that nudity is appropriate in scenes where people do things that are normally done without clothes. But you'd have to be a prude or damaged in some way to think that it's *not* appropriate.
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They should totally review Banshee. It's one of the best shows right now. That being said, I absolutely hated the one detail in the most recent episode. It would have been cool if there had been a review page where I can see what others think.
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What did you hate?
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SPOILER WARNING (Banshee S01E07).





His ex tried to hand him over to people who were going to torture him to death. This is much worse than e.g. to try to put a bullet in his head. This betrayal is made much worse by the fact that he loves her, and by the fact that he sacrificed himself to keep her out of jail, and suffered a lot as a result. It really irritated me because it's been clear from the start that these two aren't going to end up as enemies, so I knew that to keep the story going, he would have to forgive her, and I find it absurd that he would forgive her for something like that.

Also, the "protect my family" excuse is BS. Even if she had been successful, this wouldn't have made her family safer. It would have made them *less* safe.
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And tv.Com, if you're thinking about doing a season review after the season is over the way you did for The Legend of Korra because you were late to the party that time too, I think it would be better to just jump right in and do episode reviews.
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Hell yeah.. BANSHEEEEEEEEEEEE !!!
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BANSHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Trailer looks pretty cool and I love Alona Tal so I might check it out.
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The Pilot was excellent , i liked the story a lot it has the proper amount of mystery and crazy . The pace was fast and the perfomance ok . I Didn't get confused and in need of rewind , propably maryann was messing with her iPad during the show :P
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WHO TOLD YOU??? :p

Nah, it just took me a few to get the jumps between the fake-Cult and the real-Cult down.
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seen pilot, fun show, will watch
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Could not stand Robert Knepper in Heroes but I don't know if that was the character or ther actor so I'll watch the pilot and see how it goes.
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He was amazing on Prison Break, unfortunately it seems like this character is closer to his Heroes one which is disappointing. Lets hope there's no Irish accents involved.
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Jessica Lucas & Robert Knepper is all i need to know to at least give the pilot a try...
And the plot looks promising so i'll be tuning in for sure...
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watched the pilot and thought it was brilliant
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I will def. check this out. I loved the *idea* of the Following but the actual show didn't live up to that, and I'm a sucker for tight scripts and having to scratch my head a little.
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I love all the actors so definitely checking it out.
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The show's about a massively popular, megahit CW program with millions of regular watchers? That's too much for me to swallow.....I can't watch.
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It was definitely one of the funniest points of the pilot for me. Poor C-Dubs. They try so hard.

Actually I'm not sure they try all that hard.
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Watched the pilot online and didn't finish it. I love the Following but this reminded me more of Zero Hour, another pilot I couldn't get through. Bad acting and an unlikely weird plot. The only thing I liked about it is Billy Grimm. If the fictional 'Cult' was a real tv-show I think I would watch that.
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Had to read the first sentence several times to grasp what was going on and even then I'm a bit shaky on the premise. In the absence of Kool-aid (what is that anyway?) I think this shows calls for hard liquor.
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Actually it should be Flavor-Aid not Kool-Aid, but either way it's the drink of choice for cult leaders when they want to commit mass suicide\ posion all of thier followers. as popularised by Jim Jones in the Jonestown massacre
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I'm with you on that one. The premise is very confusing. Sounds like it's a show about a show. It's getting very inception-y
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Well Inception didn't confuse me but then again it had JGL in it so maybe I blocked out the plot in favour of staring at his face.
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Guys watch Cult and give a reason for The CW to renew it.
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Love Alana, so it's going on my DVR. Premise doesn't really grab me, will see how long I stick with it.
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I like MaryAnn, but I believe the CW has another 7 months on my post-TSC boycott. Also, MaryAnn watches Downton Abby, Touch and The Voice, so there's really no accounting for taste. There was a more sexist version of this post that involved a reference to MTV's upcoming "I just had my first monthly visitor" and an "estrogen enema", but it's a hard connection to make to the subject matter of this show, so I'd like to ask you to remember when next it feels appropriate. Say, when she starts reviewing "The Talk", "Grey's Anatomy", "Hart of Dixie" or "The Lying Game" (we're not even gonna talk about which of those I actually watch).
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I got nothin. This is masterful.
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This show was kinda corny to be honest, but Alaric & T-bag is in it so i'll give it a chance it has potential.
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I'm going to stay loyal to Rockne S O'Bannon - Farscape is one of my all time favourites, and check it out.
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Matt Davis? Yes.
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It doesn't sound like my thing but (that's what I said ab out Breaking Bad at first but was pleasantly surprised) I'll give anything with Alona Tal a chance, I've got a lady boner for her.
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You're not the only one.
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The poll's a bit confusing with no clear Yes I Want To Watch It option until you read it through twice. I'm looking forward to this show, it could be really good, plus T-Bag nuff said. Even MaryAnn using 'begs the question' incorrectly is not enough to put me off.
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"The story itself, once you get past the initial WHERE-AM-I-WHAT-IS-HAPPENING feeling, is actually pretty tight so far" MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!
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I was so looking forward to this show. I've been fascinated by Robert Knepper since his turn as T-Bag on Prison Break, Matt Davis was one of the highlights of the Vampire Diaries, and I'm still missing Alona as Jo on Supernatural. The idea behind the series seemed interesting and I liked almost everything about the pilot until the very end. SPOILER: What an unbelievably stupid thing for Matt's character to do. They'd just spent the whole episode figuring out that people are taking the show way too seriously and recreating aspects of it. Skye tells him that the disks are meant to steal all your info and what does he do - sticks it into his computer?!?!? What an idiot! If he really wanted to see what was on the disk, take it to a demo at the mall, use a random one at work, heck if you are desperate buy a new one. It make him look stupid and if your hero is stupid, how can you cheer for him?
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Sometimes, in cases of exceptionally dumb characters, I find myself cheering for BAD things to happen to them instead of good things. I don't know if Jeff is at that level yet, but sticking the disk in his computer despite all warnings was a pretty big step in that direction.
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Billy Grimm. Billy Graham. Coincidence? I think not.
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Let's see...hmmm...Billy...William...Wilhelm Grimm...Brothers Grimm...I don't understand what a Brothers Grimm nod has to do an evangeli-
Wait. Hang on! Billy Graham...cult. I see it so clearly now. Yeah, it's ALOT creepier looking at it your way. I'm goin' with it too :)
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This show looks silly as all get out, but... Alaric's in it. And this write-up actually made it sound cooler. So I'll give it a gander.

Also, someone should really tell the older dude that black rubber bracelets are so over. And that he stole his vest/shirt combo from Han Solo. He'd probably want to know, like when your friend has something in their teeth and you don't tell them.
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DEFINITELY SILLY. But a good silly. CW-trying-to-be-edgy-silly.
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His name is T-Bag. I mean Robert Knepper. Prison Break wasn't THAT long ago was it?
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Or just that shit dude from season 4 of Heroes...
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I think I blocked that out.
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It was for me, I never watched it! But his face does look kinda familiar... T-Bag, you say?
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It's good to see they were able to grow his hand back. Darn method actors.
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I watched the pilot online and enjoyed it. I'll keep watching and see how it goes. Great article!!
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Thanks! Hope you keep watching! (Unless it starts to suck, then I encourage you to walk away quickly before it sucks the life out of you.)
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looks dumb to me because from the tv previews, the tv show killer comes to the real world? that's how it seemed. I like Alona Tal and Jessica Lucas but no thanks. I'd have too many flashbacks every time of the worst tv season there ever was (season 4 of Heroes) because of Robert Knepper.
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I watched the pilot and it lacks any kind of logic, i mean what kind of women says : “Well Hey, These Things Just Snap Right Off” and before she shots herself in the head ???
and the same for the little brother why end the call with the same stupid phrase???
if you are going to shot your self in the head would your really say this phrase in that creepy way like a brainwashed robot and then Bam???
it really needs some kind of logic
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I'm going to tune in for the Cult's pilot cause:

1. MaryAnn recommends it.
2. Alaric, I mean Matt Davis plays the main character.
3. The gorgeous Alona Tal is also in this show.
4. It was created by O'Bannon. And I loved seaQuest DSV and Farscape. Defiance looks promising too.
5. The plot sounds interesting.
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OMG THE PRESSURE.

It's definitely an interesting concept and I thought the show did it well in the pilot. We'll see how it holds up going forward. I'm nervous about saying OMG YES YES WATCH IT because it's one of those shows that if you read the description and think it sounds awful, you're probably going to think it's awful, but if it sounds like something you might enjoy, it's definitely worth a look.

I've only seen bits of seaQuest DSV, but I liked Farscape when it originally aired and Defiance looks AWESOME.
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I walked in on the pilot screening/panel at comic con by accident, I was waiting for the 666 Park Ave. panel and I must say, I enjoyed this one far more. Very excited to see what happens with it. Strongest Pilot this season, for me.
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I'll give it a shot & see how it goes. If it's good, great. If it's bad in a good way, great. If it's bad in a bad way that's so bad it's good, great...but if it's bad in a bad way that's bad, worst that could happen by the end is that I'd be one hour closer to death than I was an hour before it started.
What could possibly go wrong?
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It kind of reminds me of Cronenberg's Videodrome. I guess it's OK, as long as T-Bag doesn't start quoting Poe at a carnival...
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I'm soooo with you about Poe!
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I definitely watch this from what I got when I watched the premiere online. Awesome.
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Alona Tal is from Veronica Mars too...
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A solid cast, in spite of the fact that, as per the usual with the CW, they happen to be some exceedingly pretty people. It sounds just crazy enough to be good. It had low enough expectations for "Arrow", and even "The Carrie Diaries" is getting good reviews. Slap me silly, but it sounds as if the new president of the CW is making a difference? Alaric's here, so I'll give it a shot.
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Arrow had low expectations? Unpossible.
Anyway, having watched Cult's pilot online, I think the results exceed the expectations.
Also, ALARIC!
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I shouldn't say it had low expectations from everyone. I read the reviews of it, and what with how much I liked "Smallville", I wasn't really that enthusiastic about this show, and with the CW's past track record, I was certain that they were going to mess it up anyway, so I was less than enthused. Needless to say by this point in time, "Arrow" has very much proved itself, so no harm no foul.
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I'm not entirely sure that there were 'low' expectations for Arrow, but whatevs...Alaric! Better be worth it! #LackOfElijahitis
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Elijah come back!!! At least he's already confirmed to sign on for the Originals spin-off. So we're at least guaranteed Elijah awesomeness next year even if we don't get much of it this year (which we absolutely deserve to get because Elijah is awesome).
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Already watched the pilot ; no spoiler here !
Knapper is just great ; I' m so happy to see him again (he was the very very bad guy T Bag, I think in Prison Break).
The show within a show atracts me ; I never watch reality TV so this is quite new for me !
As for the plot, it's for now less ridiculous than The Following which, with Revolution, is my disappointment of the year.
The actors are .... Average american actors... Actually, I'm a bit mean : Knapper is really great and the central character is not bad either. Also, the female cop ; I don't remember where I've seen her but she is also a good actress. As for the rest ... Meh...
The characters are a bit caricatural, as it is expected for this kind of show and the female characters are pretty but not interesting. It would be nice to see a show where the female characters are as interesting as te male ones, wouldn't it ?
Knapper, a plot that's not completely ridiculous, the fact that I'm now watching The Following just to have a good laugh so I need a bit of a drama ... I'll be back next week !
More+
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