Saturday, September 17, 2011

Series Premiere: THE SECRET CIRCLE

The Secret Circle
Where: the CW
When: Thursdays @ 9PM

It's been awhile since I've gotten sucked into the world of teenage melodrama that the CW (and its predecessor, the WB) has to offer. Considering my proclivity for angst, love triangles, and gorgeous high schoolers stricken with supernatural abilities, it's a shocker that I've been able to keep myself away. But after hearing some positive reactions to early viewings of this pilot, I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot.

Taking a page from "Twilight" (isn't everything these days?), "The Secret Circle" centers around Cassie, a young girl who is forced to move in with her grandmother after the - she thinks - accidental death of her mother. Of course, she is the new girl in town, which happens to look a lot like Forks/Port Angeles, Washington (it's called "Chance Harbor, Washington"... what better place for romantic angst than the Pacific Northwest?), and it's not long before Cassie realizes her mother may have been keeping some secrets from her.

Namely, that she's a full-blooded witch. And so are five other (gorgeous) teens at her new school, who all seem to know more about her than she does. According to the legend involving all of their families, the possess unlimited power when brought together (*cough*The Covenant!*cough*) - but in order to wield it, they must "bind" their circle, which could illuminate their individual powers.

What I really enjoyed most about this debut was not just the stellar production value (CW clearly invested their money well), but more to do with the richness of the world, and seriousness with which they take the story. There's a lot to laugh about here, if you let it linger too long, but the writers give a lot of substance to the characters, big and small. Their antics are relateable (even if it involves conjuring up a raging hurricane to show off - hey, they're teenagers!), and their emotions are believable. All six of them have suffered the loss of at least one parent - time, I'm sure, will tell us what happened to them.

Biggest surprise of the night? "Queer as Folk"s Gale Harold makes a welcome appearance, immediately establishing himself as the "bad guy," and cause of Cassie's mother's death - and he might just show up somewhere else unexpected, as well. So with that, and without being able to help myself, I got sucked in and now can't wait for the pulsing melodrama to continue.

Why do these shows always make me wish I was back in high school?

Rating: ***/4 stars

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