A Mini-Review of the New Lifetime Drama Witches of East End
On Sunday, October 6 a new drama – Witches of East End – will debut on Lifetime. And if any of you have seen the commercials for the supernatural series loosely based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Melissa de la Cruz (we posted one of the trailers right here), you can clearly see that this new fantasy drama is NOT Charmed 2.0 or the next phase of Practical Magic.
Not even close!!
Witches of East End stars actress Julia Ormond, best known for her roles in the box office films Legends of the Fall and Sabrina, as Joanna Beauchamp, an art history teacher and mother of two adult daughters: Freya and Ingrid
Oldest sister Ingrid, played by actress Rachel Boston – best known for her roles on the TV shows American Dreams and In Plain Sight – is a prim and shy librarian who is a cautious over-thinker who spends too much time analyzing everything much unlike her younger sister Freya, played by actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum – best known for her role in the box office film Step Up and for the TV series American Horror Story: Asylum – who is a bartender known for her wild ways, living her life whole-heartedly by her desires and appetites.
Oddly enough, the series opens up with a brutal murder that seemingly is committed by Joanna on the same night as the engagement party for her daughter Freya and the man of Freya’s dreams Dash Gardiner, played by actor Eric Winter – best known for his roles in Brothers & Sisters – who is a successful doctor and multi-millionaire philanthropist.
To make matters even worse, Dash’s dangerous and long-out of-the-picture brother Killian Gardiner – played by newcomer Daniel DiTomasso, a former model and guest star in the pilot episode of the Beauty And the Beast CW remake, shows up at the engagement party, seemingly catching the eye of Freya despite all her intentions to ignore her unexpected feelings for him.
But, don’t be fooled: there is much more to Joanna and her daughters than meets the eye. Joanna is a very powerful witch – albeit a cursed one (you need to watch to learn what her curse is) – and her daughters, unbeknownst to them, are also witches. But that little truth has been concealed by Mama Joanna their entire lives.
That all changes, though, with the unexpected arrival by Joanna’s mischievous and carefree sister Wendy Beauchamp – played by actress Madchen Amick (best known for her role on Twin Peaks), also a cursed witch, who can shape shift into a cat, having nine lives just like one. She comes back into sister Joanna’s life to warn her of an evil and dark force that is coming after their family.
This “force” is behind the brutal murder seen in the opening scene, which creates the need for Joanna to reveal the long-held secret of their family’s past to Ingrid, which comes as a totally shock to Ingrid while poor Freya is dealing with an former paramour, who she doesn’t even recognize, trapping them both inside a painting at the bar where she works.
The debut episode of Witches of East End also features recurring cast members Virginia Madsen (from the box office film Sideways) as Penelope Gardiner, mother of Dash and Killian; Tom Lenk (of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer fame) as Hudson Rafferty, Ingrid’s gay best friend and fellow library worker and Jason George (from Grey’s Anatomy and the similiarly themed, short-lived series Eastwick) as Adam, a local detective who has eyes only for Ingrid.
Viewers should be forewarned, however, that the series premiere of Witches of East End ends on a pretty big cliffhanger so make sure you tune in for more than just the first episode, which will debut on Sunday, October 6 at 10/9c on Lifetime; and be prepared as the witching hour is coming!