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April 20, 2014

Eastwick: Pilot (series premiere)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 24th 2009 4:25AM
Eastwick: Pilot
(S01E01)
Is it bad that my favorite character on Eastwick is a supporting character? That would be the fabulous Sara Rue, who starred in Less Than Perfect from 2002 - 2006. I loved that show! She's done other stuff since then, but that's what I remember her for. in Eastwick, she plays the sideline character of Penny, a co-worker of Joanna's (Lindsay Price). Hopefully, Sara will get plenty of screen time.

Let's talk about the show. Eastwick is based on the John Updike book The Witches of Eastwick, which spawned the 1987 movie by the same name, starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Of note is that Veronica Cartwright, who played Felicia Alden in the movie, is playing the part of Bun Waverly in this new series. There was also a 2002 TV movie starring Marcia Cross that perhaps had three or four viewers.

Eastwick is the small New England town where the series takes place. I really want to like this show (Mike liked it better than me), but the jury's still out. Part of the reason I want it to succeed is that my other favorite show with three women, Lipstick Jungle, got canceled too soon. Lindsay Price was in that show, and here she is again in this one, although playing a much different character. She's a dorky, awkward, shy reporter who wants to write more than horoscopes and top lists for the local newspaper.

The other two women are sexy artist Roxanne Torcoletti (Rebecca Romijn) and registered nurse Kat Gardener (Jaime Ray Newman), who's raising five kids and a loser husband who hangs around the house all day drinking beer.

It's clear that all three women are wanting something in their lives, and each has special talents. I guess they're witches. No one ever comes out and says that, although the people in their lives know there's definitely something amiss -- especially Kat's husband, who becomes the target of a mysterious hammock fall and lightning bolt when she gets frustrated with him. Kat also has the ability to grow endless supplies of tomatoes.She's the Earth Witch.

Meanwhile, Joanna can make people do things by staring at them (the Mind Control Witch), and Roxanne can foretell the future with her dreams (the Psychic Witch). Bringing them all together is Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross), who mysteriously appears in town after the three women make a wish in a fountain in the town square.

My problem with Darryl is that he doesn't seem to have any chemistry with any of the women, not even Roxanne, with whom it seems there might be a relationship brewing. He reminds me of a cross between Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island and the faceless Charlie on Charlie's Angels.

There were some other inconsistencies with the show, as well. When Roxanne's daughter Mia comes home from a date, Roxanne eagerly asks her daughter which base she got to with the guy. Not exactly mom material there. But later, when Mia's in danger of being raped by this guy, Roxanne and Darryl race to her rescue (as it should be).

I realize that Joanna is supposed to be a social misfit, but the awkward talk about her vibrator named "Will" was weird, especially when the guy she likes, Will, was standing right behind her.I guess it was supposed to be funny. The show's all over the place in terms of genre -- comedy, drama, fantasy, romance. Not that there's anything particular wrong with that. Drop the fantasy, and it reminds me a little of Desperate Housewives.

I can see how Eastwick might be fun, with the witch element and Darryl helping the women to (maybe) realize their dreams. The town historian/storyteller seems to think he's evil. I guess we'll find out in upcoming episodes.

[Watch clips of Eastwick on SlashControl.]

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La-Di-Dah

Yea Michael & mb, Due South! What what! I was totally smacked that Paul Gross is in the show, and he'll be the reason I am watching (tho I do like Price). My only problem is I find the writing and plot a bit amateur (just like the first eppy of Vampire Diaries, though I love witch and vampire stories). I will give the show more chances, but I was rolling my eyes a little too much with how convenient they tried to make the plot, and how ridiculous I found the psychic power (medium already done that) and men-mild-melt (just stupid), and how beautiful everyone was even though one of them has had 5 kids and the other is this awkward, dorky reporter. Like I'll believe that. And don't let me get started on Will. People will say: this is just the first eppy, relax - and usually I do do that, but I think the writers missed a chance to hook/grab people's attention a lot. I am looking forward to it to get better though.

September 25 2009 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mb

I just watched it on Hulu even though it was not a new show I planned on watching. Every actor on the show is recognizable if not by name, by face.

When Darryl VH came on I had to read the bio to find out it was Paul Gross, who was a total favorite of mine on Due South. I will be watching it just to see him.

Yes the writing seemed a bit choppy but a lot of first episodes are.

September 24 2009 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The1337

It wasn't my kind of show, but I saw plenty of elements that would be appealing to other people. The dialogue in the first 10 minutes was great and the acting was pretty good. I though most of the reviews were overly harsh.

http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/09/abcs-eastwick-lacks-magic-but-manages.html

September 24 2009 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin

wow, it would be really funny listening to a women, talking about a man with stuff she made with her vibrator.

September 24 2009 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Holtzinger

I liked it though I have to agree, I'm up in the air about Paul Gross as the devil Darryl van Horne, not smarmy enough. Looking forward to episode 2.

September 24 2009 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Johnzo

this is a great concept and has the potential to be a mix of DH and magic, without being too much of DH. Unfortunately, these ladies are so boring, uninteresting, and a little unattractive. Newman as a registered nurse is as dull as Mercy on NBC. Lindsay Price isn't funny and Rebecca Romjin is just trying too hard.

After watching, I just didn't care about what happens to these women.

September 24 2009 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandra

it reminded me a LOT of Desperate Housewives blended with that Alyssa Milano show Charmed, but I really like the actresses in Eastwick and hope it is able to survive for their sake. Don't think I will be watching it after the way too similarity to Desp Housewives, but I did want to see the season premier.

September 24 2009 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

It was pretty good, certainly better than I thought it was going to be (because I was expecting the worst). Will probably give it a couple more look-sees before making up my mind completely about it (that is, if it's still on).

September 24 2009 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elizabeth

Huge Lindsey Price/Lipstick Jungle fan; huge Sara Rue/Less Than Perfect Fan; huge Paul Gross/Due South fan (acutally just watch the box set last month again - man I loved that show!).

When I saw the cast it instantly went on the "I'll be watching that" list.

I agree it was all over the place, but I'm going to give it time - love the idea of the show - just as I loved Charmed, Lipstick Jungle and used to like Deperate Housewives.

September 24 2009 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mainfr4me

I just hope this doesn't pull Jamie Newman from Eureka.

September 24 2009 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mainfr4me's comment
Jennifer

It already did, sorry.

September 24 2009 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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