Before the second episode airs later tonight, I am finishing my third viewing of the pilot for the new CW show Cult. “Why are you doing this?” you ask me. “I mean, you couldn’t keep up with The Following. You can’t seem in get invested in any television shows that aren’t over or on AMC. Why Cult?” Well, hypothetical conversation partner, let me tell you why. Because this show is about an Alternate Reality Game (or ARG) that murders people. What I’m saying is, this show is my real life. MURDER ARG!
So, an alternate reality game is kind of a series of puzzles in which the clues and answers are scattered throughout things and places that are part of your everyday life. For the most part, that means you find clues and puzzles on the internet, in print, or in this case, in a television show. This is hard to explain, let me give you an example.
You watch a TV show and you notice there is a URL for a website. You go to that website, and there is a box for you to enter your address. The next day, an envelope shows up at your house, and inside is a paper written in code. You decode it, and it contains a message regarding the television show you were watching in the first place. Well, my dear, you are now playing an ARG. Usually at the end there of all that craziness there are cool prizes, and it is a great way to keep fans active and excited about a thing.
Although I personally am not an ARG that murders people, nor did I play one to be totally honest with you, I know one or two things about being a rabid, obsessive fan who plays ARGs. In fact, one of my biggest life accomplishments was placing in the top three of an ARG birthed out of Cracked.com about my favorite book in the world, John Dies At The End (HA! I’m just finding excuses to mention it all the damn time!). You heard me right. I’m not a very accomplished person.
Cult is about a show on the CW also called “Cult”. The show is about a cult run by a man named Billy Grimm (Robert Knepper). Although pieces of the show are incorporated into the episode, it is merely the show within the show. Cult, the real show I am watching, is actually about Jeff Sefton (Matthew Davis), a journalist, investigating a group of fans heavily involved in the show to the point of obsession. It appears they have gotten so wrapped up in an ARG about the show that it is literally killing them. The origin of the ARG is unknown so far, it might be related to the show, it might be an outside group of crazies, who knows. Jeff’s brother Nate (James Pizzinato) is one of these fans, and after spewing some craziness related to “Cult”, he has disappeared.
If I had more free time I’d check the tapping of his fingers for Morse code. I’d watch the episode wearing red and blue 3D glasses like Jeff receives from his brother. I’d zoom in on every frame that had text and keep a log of all the words. But I got no time!! Does anyone have the time and focus? Because the second episode, “In The Blood”, airs tonight and I’d really appreciate it if you did these things and let me in on your research. I’ve been trying to find anyone online who has done these things already, but it’s really hard to figure out what to search for with a generic single word name like “Cult”. It’s like they did it on purpose to make it harder!
So far all I’ve got is this website. It looks intriguing, and it is owned by Warner Brothers, but there’s nothing in the source code except a non-functional countdown and I couldn’t find anything in the jpg. As I haven’t found anything else yet, here’s a plea to The CW just in case there is really nothing there:
Dear The CW,
Please don’t do this to me. Please don’t make a wildly meta show about this weird niche of hyper-aware fandom and then leave out the most important aspect of said fandom when concerning the real life fans of your real life show! If you don’t make an ARG based off the events of Cult you are not only missing a golden opportunity to make people crazy over the show, you will make me crazy in the process! Because I will spend hours upon hours trying to find your dumb nonexistent ARG!
And you gotta admit, adding an ARG onto what you’ve already got going here, that’s the meta-est thing I’ve ever heard of. Don’t you want to be that badass?
P.S. looks like I’m crazy either way.