TV 411: Witches of East End, Season 1Recap

Spoiler Alert: Just letting you know now. All of Season One.

Created by: Maggie Friedman
Premiered: October 6, 2013
Network: Lifetime
Hook: Witches with a Norse mythology twist

So, Witches of East End.

I read the book a couple of years ago. It’s written by Melissa de la Cruz and from what I understand, this story spans three books which include The Serpent’s Kiss and Winds of Salem. I didn’t make it past the first book. I liked it enough, but it didn’t make me entirely interested to invest in the rest of the series.

Which is why I found it interesting that they decided to make into a television series.

And I was on the fence about adding this to my watch list. But Reign and The Vampire Diaries had a really long break and I got bored on my study breaks.

Season one wasn’t too bad. It was actually better than I expected. What I liked in the book was that the story took on a Norse mythology perspective. I like that. That was different. And of course they kept that angle when making the TV series.

In season one, the sisters Freya and Ingrid discover their actually witches. Their mother, Joanna, kept it a secret during this life span because one way or another magic causes the girls death and they get reborn. Joanna couldn’t take that. But, the girls were bound to discover magic. It was accelerated by the fact that someone has a target on Joanna.

Story arch 1: The main story arch over season one is someone wants to kill Joanna. I like this story arch. Joanna has lived for centuries so it was interesting to see her make that list of enemies. I also like that Joanna has a sister! I don’t remember reading about a Wendy in the book, but I like her as an addition to the television series. And Madchen Amik does such a good job portraying her. And she’s included in this story arch recap/review because she’s the one that 1) brings it to Joanna’s knowledge that someone is trying to kill her and 2) kind of let’s on to the girls that their witches.

Story arch 2: Freya and Dash story line which evolved into the Dash-Freya-Killian love triangle.

Ah, gotta love those love triangles. And they’re the most heated when it involves two brothers, eh? Family drama. Anyway, I like Dash. And I like Freya. Dash and Freya, however, is another story. I was waiting for Killian’s entrance. Patiently waiting. Freya and Dash has good on-screen chemistry, played by Jena Dewan Tatum and Eric Winter respectively. Now, I like Freya. And I like Killian. Freya and Killian … okay. They, too, have good on screen chemistry, with Killian portrayed by Daniel DiTomasso, so they were fun to watch as well.

Subplots:

The Ingrid and Adam

I was sad to see Adam go, but how he left was interesting, considering that Ingrid used magic to keep his ghost on the earthly plain. Their story was short lived, since it only lasted a season and, if we’re getting really picky, only a few episodes.

Wend and her nine lives

Jonna and Wendy are sisters who were banished from their world and had curses placed on them. Jonna is immortal in the sense that there are not many ways she can be killed. Wendy is immortal up to a certain point–nine lives so to speak. She has this necklace that harnesses her immortality and when it turns a certain color, she’ll be on her last life. And the nine lives reference isn’t just a turn of the phrase. Wendy turns into a cat!

Joanna and Fredrick

In all fairness, Fredrick cames in at the end of the season, but I think he’s a lead in to a bigger plot. Anyway, Fredrick is the Freya and Ingrid’s father. Yep, father. He’s hasn’t been a part of their lives in a few … centuries? … well, a long time, but certain events happened where Joanna and Wendy were forced to call in Fredrick. I can’t wait to see their backstory. I mean, wow. Not seeing your .. wife? for centuries? Hm …

Asgard

Yep, it comes up. And apparently, there’s a map leading to its entrance which has been destroyed upon the Beauchamps banishment. That’s all I’m saying.

Casting and Character

The Beauchamp Family

Joanna is portrayed by Julia Ormond. She looks familiar to me in some ways, but I can’t place her. Even browsing through her filmography nothing strikes me as familiar, but she’s doing a great job as the matriarch of the family. She’s strong, but compassionate towards her daughters and she does a good job anchoring her sister as well.

Wendy is portrayed by Madchen Amick. She, too, looked familiar to me and I can’t place her either. She has played small roles in Psych and White Collar so maybe that’s why? I don’t know. She was even in a couple of Dawson’s Creek episodes and I watched some those so, maybe? Anyway, I love her! She’s the fun aunt!

Freya and Ingrid are portrayed by Jenna Dewan Tatum and Rachel Boston (respectively). I have to say it, these two looked familiar to me as well, but as such, no recollection as to when or where. And no, I haven’t watched Step Up. Nor do I follow Channing Tatum and if I’m being honest, I didn’t realize they were married until this post! But anyway. I like these two as sisters. They do a good job portraying sisters and I enjoy the characters they play. Ingrid a bit more because … well, she works in a library so she’s cool.

Fredrick is played by Christian Cooke. He did not look familiar to me and even though he only appears in a couple of episodes this season, I like him. I’m interested to see his character develop as well.

The Gardiners

Dash and Killian are played by Eric Winter and Daniel DiTomasso. Great job. You’d never guess they’re brothers but I’m guessing there’s a reason for that 😉 . Great actors. While I didn’t quite enjoy Dash in the book, he’s not too bad on screen. These brothers do a good job feeding off each other. I’m curious to see where they head.

Penelope, the mother of these two boys, is played by Virgina Madsen. She looked familiar to me as well, but knew when I looked up her filmography it was in Monk. She appeared in more than one episode for that series and I remember her. So there. One person I recognized amongst this awesome cast. She does well paying the future mother-in-law of Freya. Of course, she needles me. As she’s supposed to.

 

And, as with all TV shows and movies, you can’t really get into all the characters involved with the series so, I’m leaving it at the main players. They’re doing a great job with season one and I actually thought I may reread the book.

I’m almost sad, but not surprised, to hear that they canceled the show after only two seasons. I’ve read some reviews on season two and most were positive so I’m debating whether or not to continue on to season two. In an EnStars interview with Madchen Amrick, Amrick mentioned it was due to budgeting. Since not too many people sit down and watch the show live, it’s hard to keep it running when you don’t have much viewers, which I agree. There’s a petition going around to bring the show to Netflix and I’m still debating whether or not to jump on that bandwagon, but I will say that I like that the petition mentions the strong female leads. I agree 100%. You don’t see that in TV much these days. You can check out the interview and petition here.

 

 

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