On DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a series that will keep everyone on their toes, especially if you know the WITCHES OF EAST END.
This series tells the story of the Beauchamp family, headed by matriarch Joanna (Julia Ormond) she is keeping a secrets from her daughters Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and Ingrid (Rachel Boston). It probably would have stayed that way if Joanna’s sister Wendy (Madchen Amick) hadn’t shown up on their doorstep.
Freya has always thought she had the knack for the supernatural but right now her mind is on the wedding to love Dash Gardiner (Eric Winter). Dash is a dashing doctor who has swept Freya off her feet. Even the remarks of future mother-in-law Penelope (Virginia Madsen) can’t spoil her mood.
That is until a tall, dark stranger names Killian (Daniel DiTomasso) enters her life. Trying to avoid him will be difficult, especially since he is Dash’s younger brother.
Then there is Ingrid, the dutiful librarian who loves her family. Not a believer in anything supernatural, she humors Freya. In a matter of hours that all changes when Ingrid discovers their family secret when she meets Aunt Wendy.
The Beauchamp’s are witches! The girls have no time to get use to the idea before discovering that there is someone out to destroy the family. A shifter is sending some unsavory types to try and bring the family down.
Now Joanna and Wendy have to give Freya and Ingrid a crash course in the use of their magic and the stern warning that they should tell no one – especially fiancé Dash! As their wedding approaches so does the mysterious force that threatens them all!
FINAL WORD: Ormond as Joanna takes the reigns from the beginning as the magical matriarch of the family. Trying to protect her daughters through several lifetimes it is clear that you can push mama so far before she strikes back! Watching her story unravel is pretty cool and really does lend itself to good storytelling.
Dewan-Tatum as Freya is definetly a force to be reckoned with – and that’s before knowing she’s a witch! Freya is a feisty girl who feels everything so deeply it gets her into a little trouble. The undeniable belief in her gift doesn’t help when it comes to the big decision of a handsome Dash or mysterious Killian. Dewan-Tatum gives Freya flair, beauty and even humor.
Boston as Ingrid is the researcher who won’t let anything go without reading a book. Ingrid is so sweet and it is heart breaking when she thinks she must choose between being alone and being in love because of a spell. Watching this character grow and begin to believe in herself is fantastic. Boston brings a freshness, kindness and very funny aspect to her role.
Ameck as Wendy is the goofy Aunt we all adore. She brings trouble but is always there for her family. She made me laugh more than once per episode and is the quirky comic relief in many ways.
Onto the heart throbs of the series – Winter as fiancé Dash is exactly that! He is loving, loyal and wants to give Freya everything. Even when brother Killian comes back into town, he sets aside past history to bring the family together. DiTomasso as Killian is the mysterious dark brother who falls for Freya from minute one. Trying to do the right thing he also wants to resolve the past history with his brother – especially if it makes Mom happy.
Speaking of bitchy-poo herself – Madsen as mother and soon to be mother-in-law Penelope is absolutely fantastic! Her cutting one liners and biting compliments are kind of hilarious. This is a woman who sees an end game and she’s going to pull no punches to get what she wants.
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Other cast include: Jason George as Adam, Enver Gjokaj as Mike, Tiya Sircar as Amy, Athony Lemke as Harrison Welles, Kellee Stewart as Barb, Tom Lenk as Hudson Rafferty, Shaun Smyth as Dr. Frank Foster, Joel Gretsch as Victor and Freddie Prinze Jr. as Leo Wingate.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give WITCHES OF EAST END three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Does it have a little bit of a CHARMED and SUPERNATURAL feel to it – sure! Is that a bad thing – absolutely not. This is a series with good storytelling and an excellent cast that just meld together absolutely brilliantly.
It begins with a little campiness and some over acting but I know that happens with any show that’s just beginning. What impressed me most is that they all found their groove pretty quickly.
I enjoyed the tempo and how each episode worked itself in to the next and things from episode one revealed itself in episode six. I also loved that something I thought insignificant turned out to be anything but! Television has really taken off in the past two years giving viewers more of a choice and creating characters that are fun to watch. WITCHES OF EAST END will easily become a fan favorite.
In the end – careful what you witch for!