The CW network is trying to explore projects outside of the teen drama realm with the new show “Cult” by mixing an intriguing dose of pulp into the story of a man’s disappearance.
When a television show sets up a mystery as the major concept of the plot, it can work out one of two ways for a series.
The series can either race through the plot, answering all of the questions laid out in the beginning and then scramble to create more, which often leads to cancelation, or in the best case, pull a “Lost” and live a full life but never answer everything it set out to.
It is hard to tell from the first episode which one of these categories “Cult” will fall into, but the show’s premise, of a disappearance of a man that mirrors events in a largely popular show about a cult, is interesting enough to warrant the show a couple of views.
Besides the much more mature and ambitious plot, “Cult” looks and feels similar to most of The CW’s shows with flashy cool colors and electric music that would have fit in on the sets of “Gossip Girl.”
The main character Jeff, played by Matthew Davis, who is best known as Elle Wood’s ex Warren in “Legally Blonde,” searches for his brother after he disappears and leaves behind clues that connect him to the fictional cult in the show within a show.
Davis is wonderfully charismatic, and though he is not the strongest actor anchoring a show on TV right now, he does act circles around some of his co-stars who are beautiful but wooden and would be better off on the set of “90210.”
The action and suspense in the pilot were well paced and written, setting up in intrigue of the mystery quite well.
Hopefully over time the show’s creators will even out the cast with other actors and characters that can help pull some of the weight.
“Cult” will probably never reach the success of “Lost,” but if it continues to pace itself well and stretch the bounds of a typical CW show, it could be a successfully fun guilty pleasure.
The second episode of “Cult” will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. on The CW.