THE SECRET CIRCLE Review: Fall TV 2011 [Worth Watching?]

Last night, I channeled my inner-teenager to watch the latest series in CW’s popular YA-book-to-TV-show formula. How did it go? Well, teen me didn’t exactly squee. Here’s my report on the THE SECRET CIRCLE:


A newly orphaned Cassie, returns to her mother’s small hometown to move in with her grandmother. She quickly attracts new friends — of the witchy variety and discovers that her mother basically ran away from a full-on gothic witch soap opera, the survivors of which, are now her new friends’ parents.

What I Liked

I didn’t realize how many series revolve around a powerless girl caught up with a powerful male until this series came along. It was refreshing to watch a show where the girls not only had magical powers but worked with their magical male counterparts. It’s not witches, it’s not warlocks. It’s witches and warlocks. I also loved that the parents get a ton of screen time and are actually involved in their children’s lives. Also, each of the five teen witches and warlocks only have one parent, so it’s interesting to see so many single parents (moms and dads) representing, with no one giving extra credit to the single dads.

What I Didn’t Like

It’s a fine line between brooding and boring and THE SECRET CIRCLE definitely stepped over it a few times. I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the characters, mostly because the main character is a list of traits (descended from witches, orphaned, confused, angry, unknowingly powerful) as opposed to a human being with an actual personality. Same goes for the main (so far) witch antagonist, who kind of stomps around creating conflict, seemingly because the writers just want her to be difficult. Also, the chemistry between Cassie and the boy she’s maybe meant to be with was less the stellar.

Diversity Report

People of Color: 1 bi-racial girl, and the writers didn’t do much with her in the pilot — we didn’t even get to meet her remaining parent, who I’m already assuming will be the white one. Since this story is set in a small harbor town in Washington, with six families that hail back to the 1600’s (when and why they moved cross-country to Washington, I don’t know), I can give them a bit of a pass. But hopefully they do more with the one person of color in the cast. Till then, my grade is based on my (probably correct) assumption that she’ll stay a complete token. On a writing note, though, I’m continue to remain stunned that tables continuously fail to take note of how many hit shows from this millenium actually let their characters of color talk (about something other than the main white character) and be interesting from the start.

Final Grades

Show/C Diversity/D+

Worth Watching?

I don’t think so. It’s off to a meh start, and though it could get better, I’m not really in the target demo for this show, so I’ll pass on future episodes.