Cult: Season 1 (2013)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Ambitious but convoluted, Cult is an overly complicated thriller that has some intriguing moments but mostly keeps the audience at arm's length.



Critic Ratings: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 15

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Air date: Feb 19, 2013
Air date: Feb 26, 2013
Air date: Mar 5, 2013
Air date: Mar 12, 2013
Air date: Mar 22, 2013
Air date: Mar 29, 2013
Air date: Apr 5, 2013
Air date: Jun 28, 2013
Air date: Jun 28, 2013
Air date: Jul 5, 2013
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Tv Season Info

The CW series "Cult" stars Matthew Davis as Jeff Sefton, an online reporter who dedicates himself to finding his brother when the sibling goes missing. He follows the clues and discovers that a small group of fans of a fictional TV show called Cult may be committing horrible crimes related to their favorite show. Jeff teams up with Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), who works on the series to uncover the truth. Meanwhile, there is drama on the set of the show-within-the-show as the nefarious, mysterious organization begins to set their sights on Roger Reeves (Robert Knepper), one of the program's most prominent actors. The season maintains an ongoing mystery on the show-within-the-show as well.

Critic Reviews for Cult Season 1

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (14)

It could be the stuff of sadistic semester-ending writing essays. All a professor would have to say is, "You have 45 minutes to explain what Cult [is] trying to tell us. And good luck trying to pull something out of your asses."

Feb 19, 2013 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Watching Cult is like trying to read a Kafka novel in Sanskrit. When you're blind. And drunk. Thanks anyway, but I don't need the hangover.

Feb 18, 2013 | Full Review…

It's hard to care where Cult might be going, but this much is reassuring: If anyone is tempted to copycat it, the worst they will do is make a confusing TV series.

Feb 19, 2013 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Cult is too complicated for its own good, and not satisfying enough to make it worth figuring out, especially since so many shows with convoluted premises have short lifespans.

Feb 19, 2013 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

A not-bad techno-thriller that could go interesting places.

Feb 15, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

Although it has promising moments, the first episode leaves us with little hope the show will draw either a cult or much of a following.

Feb 15, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's worth a chance, especially if you're the type who gets bored by the standard show on television. Because if nothing else, Cult is as original as they come.

Feb 19, 2013 | Full Review…

Consider my curiosity piqued.

Feb 19, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

I want to know more about the things that just snap right off. But I don't care. There's no character in Cult or the Cult-within-Cult who I care about. I don't care about the superficial semi-satire of Hollywood.

Feb 19, 2013 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…

Cult appears to want to comment on the nature of the relationships between TV creators and TV consumers but keeps falling down the bumpy rabbit hole of its contrived plot.

Feb 20, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cult: Season 1

  • Jul 03, 2017
    In the age of streaming, DVRs, and On Demand, networks still aren't getting it! Even the best and most innovative TV show to come along in years isn't going to survive, if you debut it with minimal advertising in the middle of the summer! This is the reason why Cult didn't last and why it isn't currently the top rated show on the CW network. The wildly creative idea was the brainchild of Farscape's Rockne S. O'Bannon and took nearly a decade to come to television. Cult is a TV show within a TV show, that features a cult, within a cult, I will attempt to explain. The show Cult is centered around a fictitious show called Cult. That fictitious show is centered around an FBI agent (Alona Tal) who lived her whole life in a cult, only to escape and join the FBI, with the hopes of locking up her old family for the abuses she endured. In retaliation, the cult has abducted her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, who she is attempted to rescue. Back to the "real" Cult, the fans of this fictitious show, claim to see hidden messages in the show, that lead them to commit crimes on behalf of the shows mysterious creator, a man no one has ever met. One such crime is to kidnap Nate Sefton (James Pizzinato), the younger brother of a reporter, Jeff (Matthew Davis). Jeff makes it his mission to investigate these followers of cult, to find his brother, and to figure out what their up to, but he needs help. Jeff recruits Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), a researcher on the show, whose father, was also a reporter, who disappeared fifteen years ago, while attempting to investigate the same man who created this TV show. Every episode is a wild ride into an underworld that has existed for decades, that no one knew anything about, and as always is the case with shows like this, each episode is better than the one before it, as it builds up to an epic conclusion. This is the kind of show that had so many original ideas and so much material it could have gone on for years. Cult would have appealed to main stream audiences across every demographic and (pun intended) would have garnered a huge cult following, if it wasn't for the CW. I remember when this show premiered, the CW literally started to advertise for it a week before it aired, and then rarely after that. Cult was on Tuesday nights in the middle of the summer, when lets face it, most people are out enjoying the nice weather. Since the show had no previous exposure, there was no reason for anyone to watch on demand or even DVR it, so it was cancelled. It just doesn't make sense to me, why even spend the money and make the show if you're not going to give it a real chance? If this show debuted on the fall line-up after Supernatural, the ratings would have been enormous, the show would still be on! You have a terrific young cast playing duel roles, an experienced creator, with a team that's already had success with Seaquest, Farscape, and Alien Nation, there was no reason to bury this show, but a las, Cult met it's fate after just thirteen episodes, which are currently streaming on Netflix. For all my followers who claim they have nothing to watch, here is 13 hours of some of the most imaginative and creative writing you will ever see on TV, add Cult to your queue and start watching tonight!!!
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2018
    I really wanted this show to be amazing. The concept was fantastic. I love Robert Knepper. The idea of secret messages is brilliant, something that has not been done before. This type of following is not that far fetched, maybe not to that extent, but extremists using a show or concept to justify their deeds, seems possible. There were a few issues that I had. I knew that by watching a show, with only one season, there would be at least one reason why. I felt that because there were cleverly 13 episodes, that the show could easily tie up loose ends. I felt, maybe because it was a CW show, it may not have received the marketing. You can't continue the show, if people do not watch. I understood that. The last few episodes were so frustrating. It made everything so confusing. It seemed like a completely different writer took over and never saw the show. The whole show was all about finding Philip's parents? Why couldn't he just ask Nate to help? Skye's dad was behind everything? The "E" stood for what group and what did they want? Meadows mom wanted Roger dead? They just let the creepy guys take Philip? They took Philip because he wasn't loyal to the show? None of this makes sense. Another issue is the strange relationship between Jeff and Skye. I understand that his brother is priority. It is just bizarre that he is asked about her and doesn't go into it. When they are made to kiss, he kisses her cheek. When she kisses him, although he is a gentleman and sits her down, he doesn't act interested. When she brings it up, he blames it on the drug. It would seem like he would bring it up if he was interested or at least put her at ease by saying that he liked it or that he only didn't reciprocate because she was on drugs. When his brother is safe at home, he walked through the door. If he was romantically interested, it would make sense that he would call, so she wouldn't worry. And her reaction to him throughout proves that she is in absolute shock that he likes her at the end. Why would they make the relationship platonic until the very end? He kisses her, they sleep together, and all of a sudden they are together. It's just odd. I love Robert Knepper. He did an amazing job. I wish that he would find a new show with better writers.
  • Apr 12, 2014
    The first, and unfortunately last, season of the CW's Cult was a smart, tense, suspenseful, and well-written tv show that had a lot of great ideas, executed them well, and could've had more had it kept going.

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