Review: Witches of East End

A new witch programme on the telly box. If was around in the 90’s you would remember the shows such as Charmed, Buffy the Vampire and Beetle Juice. The curiosity with magic grows and after the success of shows recently true blood and walking dead it seems fitting to have a new group of en-powering women with wicked powers; maybe just be witches come on the scene to spice up our television.

Whatever they are, Witches of East End is filled with them. The series focuses on the Beauchamp family: artist mother Joanna played by Julia Ormond, and two daughters, the quite relative realist and often skeptic Ingrid played by Rachel Boston and fiery head Freya play Jenna Dewan-Tatum. The  Series begins with young daughters lives being turned up side down as their mothers arrest and aunts appearance unravels the biggest secret in all of their existence, that they are witches yet.

Although their mother Joanna is not there to help the girl understand why these cause of mystical events are occurring they try to understand perhaps how much their mother had been protecting them from. Both the girls and their mother have been around a number of times before. Joanna gives birth, the girls grow up and they die before they are 30 — over and over again. The Beauchamp’s back story is filled with plenty of mythology, with a focus on cycles and curses. This depth in the world building is a nice way to set up the potential of the entire series, which marries the past and present together fairly seamlessly (time isn’t so important when you’re immortal).

As Joanna struggles to keep her girls away from the magical, her estranged sister, Wendy played by Mädchen Amick, shows up to warn Joanna of a shape-shifter killing in her name (and, well, her face). As the darkness from their past begins to catch up with them, Joanna must decide how to train her daughters in their newfound powers to save all of their lives.

One of the differences between the Witches of East End series and the book is that Freya and Ingrid don’t initially know they are witches. It’s a good change, because now the daughters “I’m different!” characters must navigate this revelation within their adult lives, which grounds the series from being too silly.

Freya is engaged to the handsome and rich Dash Gardiner played by Eric Winter, but feels magnetically drawn to his ne’er-do-well brother Killian played by Daniel DiTomasso, who first shows up in her dreams and then in person. Ingrid lives a quiet life as a librarian , and has a crush on a local cop, Adam played by Jason Winston George, who is investigating the murders that the shape-shifter set Joanna up for.

If this sounds a lot like a romance novel, it feels a lot like one, too. There are billowing dresses and longing looks and magical bursting flowers. That doesn’t mean the show isn’t fun, though, and the dialogue is snappy. Witches of East End doesn’t overdo the mythology (like Sleepy Hollow) or make it all about the sex (like True Blood). Instead, it set up a complicated interpersonal world, a plausible back story, and then populated the town with really good-looking people. What else do you really require from a show about witches and shape-shifters?

Witches of East End is up against a number of other supernatural shows, and there becomes a question of saturation. Fortunately or unfortunately, we aren’t at that point, yet. It seems there’s plenty more room at the table, and there, Witches of East Endcurrently looks like the most fun.


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