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New TV Show Review: The Secret Circle on The CW

By Fred Topel

HollywoodNews.com: The Secret Circle is a solid CW show about teen witches. The folks who like The Vampire Diaries will find it comparable. TVD is really the highest quality vampire show or movie of the current crop, and with even less competition in the witch genre, Secret Circle is also tops.

Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson) goes to live with her grandmother in a town where witches try to recruit her. The first episode will explain to you how the six families need to combine to use their full powers and control them safely, but Cassie resists. She discovers her power in the first episode though, so she’ll probably progress from putting out other witches’ fires (literally) to embracing her power.

The show opens with some Final Destination stove fire and leaking faucet action that kills Cassie’s mom. The powers can be that big, like a storm later in the episode or Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) setting Cassie’s car on fire. They can also be as subtle as Nick (Louis Hunter) opening the blinds Cassie shut.

So far the witches seem more like telekinetics. I guess creating fire and rain is controlling the elements, but mainly they make locks stick shut or lights turn on. Since they explain they need all six for full powers, the powers may get cooler. With only Cassie and Adam (Thomas Dekker), they make water drops float in a pretty effect.

I do like the practical manipulations like Faye walking by boats on a pier and all their lights shut off. Just tweaking our real world feels more magical than CGI, like when all the cabinets opened in The Sixth Sense.

There’s going to be a deep mythology of family and town secrets, and many of the characters are trying to get Cassie to follow their plan. Diana (Shelley Hennig) is the nice friend, also Adam’s girlfriend. Principal Chamberlain (Natasha Henstridge) is also Faye’s mom. Ethan (Adam Harrington), Adam’s dad and Charles (Gale Harold), Diana’s dad seem to have had history with Cassie’s mom.

Everyone comments how pretty or beautiful Cassie is. I think that’s sweet. People should be nice and complimentary. I know it’s probably going to turn out that they’re some evil cult and admiring her for their sacrifice, but I like the positivity even if it’s delivered as creepy.

I’m not into witches myself but I respect a show that does a respectful job for its audience. I like survivors finding supplies in the apocalyptic wasteland, and they made Walking Dead and Falling Skies for me, so the witch folks deserve their Secret Circle too.

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About Fred Topel

Fred Topel has been an entertainment journalist in Los Angeles since 1999, for websites like Daily Radar, About.com, Crave Online and Sci Fi Wire. Follow his celebrity encounters on Twitter @FredTopel.

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One Comment

  • September 6, 2011 | Permalink |

    I’m so glad intelligent people seem to like this show. I’m watching it (as I did the CW’s Hellcats) for the marvelous Gale Harold. That seemed like a core at times with Hellcats, even when he got some screen time (he got far too little). It seems they’ll be using him more here, and that the show itself may be a kick too. I can’t say witches are a hobby of mine or anything, but I have been known to enjoy them, and some very good things have been done with them. Ever see Black Sunday? Ever see Day of Wrath?

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