Just when you thought that we were seeing a decline in (possibly bad) Witchy shows, this fall will bring us a show called “Eastwick” which, from the preview on ABC’s site, looks like it will just be a series length retelling of the film/book versions of “The Witches Of Eastwick”. In fact, it’s so similar that the only changes seem to be the names of the three female leads and that it’s obviously happening in today’s time, much like the original story takes place in modern day when it was done.
Roxanne is the outspoken artist (filling Cher’s role of Alex in the film version).
Joanna is the meek and quite newspaper reporter (filling Michelle Pfeiffer’s role as Sukie).
Kat is an overworked wife and mother (filling Susan Sarandon’s role as Jane).
There are a few minor differences; in the film Jane was a newly divorced school teacher without any kids (part of why her husband leaves her) who was just very overworked where Sukie was both a reporter and a mother with a gaggle of kids. Also in the movie the three women were friends but in the show apparently they don’t get along until they suddenly have an encounter that brings them and their magical powers (magic WITHOUT the “k” as far as I’m concerned) into existence. The biggest thing, other than the fact that the show is taking place in a town called Eastwick is that the “devil” in the show will also be named Daryl Van Horne, just as in the film, a role so wonderfully played by Jack Nicholson. In large part there seems to be little that would make this show seem like it’s doing anything different from the film.
I’m not trying to completely knock it before it’s even aired, but it’s hard not to. The show is openly based on the John Updike novel and the film version of the story, but given how similar it seems to the film based on the 3 minute preview on the ABC website it seems a little hard to imagine this lasting terribly long. And just from this preview I’m already annoyed with Paul Gross as Daryl Can Horne since it just seems like he’s trying to be Jack Nicholson. These elements of unoriginality with the story and its characters along with the fact that the overall feel of show (again from this preview, which I would assume is meant to entice viewers) feels like a Witchy version of “Desperate Housewives”, I can already tell that this is going to lose a lot of people. Even the fact that Cybill Sheperd, one of my favorite actresses, is set to have a recurring role on the show, does little to really draw me in.
“Eastwick” will be premiering on ABC on September 23rd. I’ll be watching at least a few episodes to make a decision on if this is something that I will watch. I don’t want it to be terrible, but I’ve got a feeling that nothing good is going to come of this.