Need Witchcraft To Save “Witches”

Okay, so we’ve all seen them — television shows or movies about a group of witches who come to learn their true identities later in life and end up using their magical powers to save the world. “Halloweentown,” “Charmed” and “The Secret Circle” are just three examples of that entertainment field. The newest addition to that batch is “Witches of East End,” which is based on the book of the same name by Melissa de la Cruz. Sure, this is the generation that is obsessed with the supernatural world, vampires and fantastical beings, but how many more shows can really be produced in this genre?

The show stars Julia Ormond, Rachel Boston, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Mädchen Amick, as four female witches who must use their powers in order to ward off hostile enemies from their past in order to stay alive. Joanna Beauchamp (Ormond) has kept her daughters, Ingrid (Boston) and Freya Beauchamp (Dewan-Tatum), away from the world of magic and kept their powers a secret from everyone including her daughters. Things get complicated though when a shape shifter has come to the town of East End, thirsty for Beauchamp blood. Ingrid and Freya’s true gifts are revealed and Joanna’s sister, Wendy (Amick), comes to town, hoping to help her sister and her nieces.

The show appeals to the superficial needs of an audience with this attractive cast. There is even an implementation of a love triangle amongst Freya, her fiancé, Dash (Eric Winter) and his brother, Killian (Daniel Di Tomasso), so the dramatic aspect is already covered. However, the witches spew out a sad version of Latin continuously throughout the 60 minutes as they attempt to cast spells, which are often accompanied by sad special effects. This style really takes away from the out-of-this-world experience the show tries to encompass the viewer into, and instead puts them on the set of Fox 21 productions’ site.

The acting however, is not as disappointing. Ormond successfully portrays a loving mother who wants nothing more than to protect her family. Often times in the show, she is either comforting her girls or casting a spell in order to protect them. Boston, playing the role of the older sister as Ingrid, truly captures that conservative persona with a rational head on her shoulders that many of us see in eldest siblings. As the rebellious sister, Freya, Dewan-Tatum successfully embodies the characteristics of playing the rebellious wild child of the two sisters. Amick encapsulates the cool, young, hip aunt, bringing this edgy, badass attitude to the screen.

Being that this show is on Lifetime, it is no surprise that there are very few male characters within the show. “Witches of East End” truly aligns with Lifetime’s theme of female empowerment, touching on the strength of women. It would be a great idea if it hadn’t been done before…as in not at all especially with this idea of witches. It just seems like a recycled concept that is much too familiar.

The series is only three episodes deep into the season, but unless executive producer and developer, Maggie Friedman, does something to enhance the plot and bring something new to this supernatural drama genre, this show may not last. For now though, “Witches of East End” airs on Sunday nights at 10 p.m..

 

ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: The future episodes pick up, and hopefully introduce something new to the supernatural fad genre.