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June 10, 2016

TV Review: The Path: Season 1 (Hulu, 2016)

Aaron Paul made a huge impact on fans when he costarred in Breaking Bad. In case you didn't know, his character was supposed to be killed off after three episodes. He ended up being so entertaining that he completed the full run of the show. This time around, he's the executive producer and star of another serious drama for Hulu. The Path focuses on a religious movement called Meyerism. Sure, it might look like a cult that lives in a compound while recruiting those who are down and out, but that's only because it is.

Paul plays Eddie Lane, a married father and Meyerism member. He is married to Sarah, a high ranking member of The Movement. She works with Cal, the de facto leader of the group while founder Dr. Steven Meyer is away completing the last three rungs of the movement's "ladder," a series of levels you reach through your journey to the light.

Eddie faces doubt from the beginning of the show. On a recent trip to Peru, where members take mind altering retreats with a Shaman, Eddie ran across something disturbing that completely shook his faith. This causes strife in his family and with Cal. Eddie also has heavy interaction with a defector and an undercover cop trying to break into the movement, and both have a serious effect on him.

The Path borrows from many religions to create the mystique of Meyerism. There are notes of Mormonism, Born Again Christianity and Scientology. The members also use other common cult techniques to gain and retain followers. There is an easy comparison to Big Love when it comes to the politics of the cult, but the show stands on its own as a very compelling story. The first season has only ten episodes, making it very easy to binge.

Hulu is doing great work with its original programming. I'm sure we'll see more in the future. Until then, watch the first season of The Path. The second season has already been announced for 2017.

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