Posts tagged CW

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Review: The Secret Circle on the CW

This post contains minor spoilers IF the CW decides to actually follow the story from the book… At all…

 

Oh CW… I wish I could quit you.

 

Yes, with the new seasons starting in the US, there are new shows coming out as well.

The CW optioned yet another one of L.J. Smith’s series. Last time it was Vampire Diaries, a series I wasn’t super invested in as a teenager. Now it’s The Secret Circle. Now… It’s personal.

Growing up in New England, Salem is pretty much your go to destination for Halloween hokery. The Secret Circle is a story about witches whose ancestors moved and established a new home in New Salem. Granted, they are not the most original of the bunch, but that’s fine.

In the books, Cassie is a shy sixteen year old girl who falls in love with a boy she saves on her summer vacation. She comes to find out that her mother and she are not leaving the area. In fact, they are returning to her mother’s hometown to live with her grandmother. School starts and she is taken under the wing of Diana. She eventually finds out… wait for it…  DIANA is a witch! Like, Fairuza Balk in The Craft type of witch. Wait. Not crazy. The crazy witch in Smith’s stories is Faye, an uncontrollable firestarter.

Out of all of her series, The Secret Circle trilogy was my second favorite with The Vampire Diaries coming out at the end of all of her Night World one-shot stories. Imagine my surprise when within the first five minutes, Cassie’s mother is dead and Cassie doesn’t save Adam on the beach. I was extremely disappointed. The reason that Cassie and Adam’s attraction was so great in the books is that they never thought they were going to see each other again. When they bump into each other at school and she finds out he’s Diana’s boyfriend MY TEENAGE SOUL WEPT (I was ridiculously book-emo).

The CW series varies greatly from the books because in the books there are twelve kids, not six. I really loved the Henderson brothers in the book and I’m a bit sad that it doesn’t look like they’re going to be included.

The biggest let down of the episode is that the writers buried the lead. They threw the information on Cassie that she was a powerful witch and she was in complete disbelief. Had they waited for her to come to grips with it within the next few episodes it would have been a little bit more believable then having her run to the rescue of Faye within moments of the episode conclusion.

I will give it a few more episodes because I am a huge fan of the Nick character and I really want to see what they do with him, and I’d like to see who this Melissa girl is. I don’t remember her from the books.

Ringer

Pilot Watch 2011: Ringer

September is one of my favorite months of the year. The heat in LA finally breaks, mist creeps into the morning sky, leaves start to fall and my DVR slowly becomes fill to the brim with dozens of new TV shows to occupy my evenings. I love TV more than I can tell you and I treat the watching of pilots and the programming of my DVR like some people do sports. I’ll be posting a series of quick, spoiler-free reviews over the next month or so as the networks slowly premiere their new series’. I hope you enjoy and I’d love to hear from you on what you’re watching and enjoying!

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After many months of hype, I was finally able to watch Ringer last night and I had some very mixed thoughts on it. I, like so many other Buffy fans, was thrilled to see Sarah Michelle Gellar back on TV. Her performance as two identical twin sisters is, at times, wonderful. She is able to switch between the uptight, cold Siobhan and the relaxed, fearful Bridget with ease. I don’t think I will be spoiling much (since the trailers do the same) to say that, through a variety of circumstances, Bridget ends up taking over Siobhan’s life. Bridget’s transformation was too smooth for me at several points during the show. I was taken out of the moment by Bridget’s ease with some of the details of Siobhan’s life and one must gather that she is an excellent actress to change lives so fast.

Much is made of duality in the show and mirrors are shown time and time again. While is certainly a theme that should be explored in this show, I felt like I was being beaten over the head with it. The direction lacked some subtlety that I hope will appear as the season progresses. The special effects also ranged from the gorgeous (the mirror scene in the bathroom) to the dreadful (the entire boat sequence). I hope they don’t cut too many corners and use green screens to ill effect, but rather to enhance the twin effect.

While there were many things I didn’t like, I find myself still interested in where the show is headed and I’ll be tuning in again next week. I’m not excited yet, but I’m gonna give it another chance. There are enough good things here and Gellar is a compelling enough actress to make me curious. I hope that Ringer finds its footing soon because the concept of a Film Noir on the CW staring Buffy herself is just too good to go to waste.

Recommended For: Fans of Buffy, Film Noir “light” and those who can’t get enough of twins.

The Good: Attractive cast, Unique plot, Compelling Lead

The Not So Good: Special Effects (sometimes), Direction, Music

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