Do you love witches? Do you love magic? Were you a fan of the Halliwell sisters and ‘Charmed’? Then, Lifetime’s new show ‘Witches of East End’ should be right up your magical alley. Not only is the cast full of strong, independent and feisty women, but the first episode incorporates everything we’ve ever loved -- or have been “taught” -- about witches. From black cats to nine lives to curses to spells to tarot cards to premonitions, this is why witch-loving superfans need to tune in.
Last night, I screened the premiere episode and immediately from the opening scene I was hooked. Warning: the show casts an addictive spell.
Inspired by Melissa de la Cruz’s novel ‘Witches of East End,’ the show tells the story of the magical and powerful Beauchamp family, though the two youngest Beauchamps don't realize they're witches. Rather than ramble on for paragraphs, I’m going to breakdown the show by character so you get a good feel for each Beauchamp family member. Hop on your broomsticks and join me, won’t you?
First, let’s start with the beautiful Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), the so-called wild-child who’s not only engaged to the gorgeous Dash (Eric Winter, right), but who’s also strongly -- and I mean strongly -- attracted to his enigmatic, and dreamy, brother, Killian (Daniel DiTomasso, left). More so than her sister, Freya quickly realizes she might have “powers,” especially with all of the weird occurrences popping up around her. Dewan-Tatum does a remarkable job at bringing out Freya’s fun side; after all, her character is a bartender. As Freya says, “I like being a bartender. I bring joy and drunkenness to people in need.”
Rachel Boston plays Ingrid, who on more than one occasion has portrayed the “wholesome” character and she still manages to embrace somewhat of that goody two-shoes side, but Ingrid's intelligence and delivery of lines overrides it. As the town’s librarian and smarts of the Beauchamps, Ingrid just might be the saving grace of the family. Oh, and don’t let her brains fool you, because she has one good-looking detective (Jason George) after her already. If that doesn’t make her relatable, then this line will have every girl praising Ingrid left and right, “I think soulmates is a concept Hollywood invented to sell tickets to Meg Ryan movies.”
There always has to be a fun witch aunt (ahem...Nicole Kidman in ‘Practical Magic’), and that’s where Mädchen Amick comes in. She plays Wendy, and like her sister, Joanna, she has quite the purr-fect, yet frightening, curse that gives her an edge. To add to that hint, let’s just say she’s lived quite a long life (over 100 years) to have suffered from syphilis and coming in contact with a crocodile. Ouch! Wendy is the one who’s going to bring the family back to their brewing ways. Amick plays Wendy perfectly, and her sexiness just adds to the role.
Last, but not least, we have the matriarch of the Beauchamps: Joanna, played by the extremely talented Julia Ormond. Even though it’s hard to tell when that English accent is getting in the way of her American one, Ormond’s role as mother to Freya and Ingrid, and sister to Wendy, is at times a heavy one. When she isn’t trying to hide her girls’ true nature and remaining mum on her own curse, Joanna is busy avoiding an arrest and becoming the next witch to be burned at the stake.
Just when you think you can’t get enough of the witching hour, the episode ends and leaves you thirsty for more. This is the perfect show to draw you in, especially with Halloween right around the corner. Be sure to catch the first episode this Sunday on Lifetime at 10/9c.