FALL PILOT #3: The Secret Circle
NETWORK: The CW
SUPPOSED SELLING POINT: Teen witches are back, yo.
POSSIBLE SELLING POINT FOR ME: Campy camp, primed for a Very Special Halloween Episode. Return of The Craft?
This is another show based on a young adult series. In fact, it's by the same author (L.J. Smith) as The Vampire Diaries books. Today, I connected the dots and realized that both are, in fact, from the early 90's. Color me uninformed. I mean, do you even know how many times I've referred to The Vampire Diaries as just a quick, moneymaking attempt to capitalize on Twilight's success? Nope. Dead wrong. Spread the blood like mustard, let the fangers lick it up. If you've seen The Vampire Diaries, or any other supernaturally inclined teen crush generator on the CW, you should know what to expect from this one. A trendy soundtrack, a wardrobe that makes kids spring to the mall, and a gothic, gravity-hungry melodramatic tendency that kills most opportunities for pure camp (but makes a great clip for The Soup). Witches are the new werewolves, werewolves were the new zombies, and zombies were the new vampires; but that's not the point. The point is: HOW DOES THOMAS DEKKER LOOK FIVE YEARS YOUNGER THAN IN KABOOM? That's him on the far left of the cast photo. Outrageous. Truly. You give that boy a haircut and suddenly he's a perfectly average teen? I barely recognized him as our heroine's star-destined love interest. I mean, I liked Gregg Araki's dirtied up Dekker. He knew camp. This one is all serious about making water droplets fly all over the place and leaning in really close for the major moment of magically hormonal tension.
There's not much point discussing this further. As teen shows go, it's not so bad. Our new girl, Cassie (Brittany Robertson) moves to California and is told, flat out, by a gaggle of characters that she is, in fact a full-blooded witch. Very little build-up. Cut to the chase. No slow process of self-discovery or any sort of Smallville set-up where it takes 15 years for Superman to finally realize he can fly. This is a good thing, I suppose. In the new little little co-ed coven (titular Circle), we've got our unstable, power-hungry Fairuza Balk-type and our sweetly sweet proper good witch. What's Cassie? Powerful. Destined. Bound to be manipulated. There will be combat boots. There will be cute little leather jackets. There will be drama. Secret, magical drama. In this episode? A spell no more complicated than yellint "STOP THE STORM" over and over again at the heavens...
WILL IT MAKE IT TO A SECOND SEASON?: How long did they run One Tree Hill? Yeah, this will live.