Friday, September 16, 2011

The Secret Circle: Do You Believe in Magic?

Did I get that song stuck in all your heads? You're welcome. So, anyone else watch the pilot of The Secret Circle last night? What did you think? I realize that I am as close to being the target audience for this as I could be without actually being a teen girl, but I really liked it. Some more specific stuff after the break . . .

In many ways, this is a classic CW show that fits in perfectly with the channel's other fare in general and The Vampire Diaries in particular: A pretty teenager has an awful, life-changing experience that causes her to move to a small town full of pretty people, where she struggles to fit in, discovers that something supernatural is afoot, and learns that there's only ever one place for everyone in town to hang out. Put that way, this is hardly groundbreaking material, but it's a genre I enjoy and this pilot was extremely well-executed.

There were two things that struck me as particularly different and interesting in The Secret Circle. First, I love that it takes some convincing before Cassie buys into the whole idea of magic and witches. One of my pet peeves in regards to supernatural TV shows and books is that people are way too likely to find out something that should completely destroy their image of reality, and five minutes later say "Oh, okay, vampires. Sure." Cassie does buy in by the end of the episode - it would be hard to keep the plot going if she didn't - but I'm glad it wasn't automatic and thoughtless for her.

The other thing I loved was how multi-generational this first episode is. The CW kills off as many parents as Shirley Temple movies do, and yes, every kid on this show has lost at least one parent. But at least they've all lost parents due to a united, important plot point, and the parents (and sometimes grandparents) who are still around are actually involved, both in the supernatural goings-on and in their kids' lives. They all know about (and have been involved in) the magic already, they have weird ideas (that some of the kids hilariously scoff at) of their families being entwined by destiny, and they occasionally even notice when their kids are out late. It's so refreshing. And hey, one of the parents is also the school principal, which bodes well for these kids actually going to school on a semi-regular basis.

I'll admit that this pilot didn't really have any plot questions that made me NEED MORE NOW - which seems odd, now that I think about it - but it was such a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience that I didn't even care. I'm sure there will be twists and cliff-hangers galore in upcoming episodes, but for now, the knowledge that the show will provide a solid hour of entertainment is enough to make me join the circle.

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