Tele-Tuesday: Not So Secret Circle

New to television this fall, The Secret Circle has left viewers a bit conflicted.  For one, the fans of the popular YA series by L.J. Smith are not impressed with the CW’s adaptation of the books.  The television series has changed quite a few things including the town (New Salem, Massachusetts in the books versus Chance Harbor, Washington on the television show) and the number of witches required to complete the circle (twelve in Smith’s books to six on the CW).

But for those of us who have not read the books, The Secret Circle ranks up there with the best of the new fall TV shows.

From the creators of The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle follows teenager Cassie Blake (Brittany Robertson) after her mother’s death (well, murder).  Cassie moves to her mother Amelia’s (Emily Holmes) hometown to live with her grandmother (Jane played by Ashley Crow), where she meets a group of friends that help her uncover her destiny – she’s a witch.

Cassie learns that their families have a deep history of witchcraft dating back hundreds of years.  In order to complete their circle, one member from each of the original families is needed.  The power of six magnifies the circle’s power one hundred percent, and Cassie is the sixth.

Adam (Thomas Dekker) is immediately attracted to Cassie, and according to his father’s tales, the two are destined to be together.  The one problem standing in the way is Adam’s girlfriend, Diana (Shelley Hennig), the practical and good-natured leader of the circle.

Other members of the circle include: Faye (Phoebe Tonkin), the spoiled, selfish, and beautiful witch who often times practices reckless magic putting those around her in harm’s way;  and Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Faye’s best friend who happens to be in love with fellow member, bad-boy Nick (Louis Hunter).

It takes convincing, but the teenagers bind their circle which in essence binds their individual powers.  Once the circle is bound, the witches encounter many dangers including demons and witch hunters.  It takes a near death experience before Cassie learns that she may be the most powerful witch of all; but what she doesn’t know is that this power is directly tied to dark magic.

Each member of the circle has lost at least one parent already: Cassie and Nick are orphaned, having lost both parents; Adam and Diana have each lost their mothers; and Faye’s father is dead.  For whatever reason, Melissa’s family has yet to be introduced so we’re not sure which of her parents has passed, or if she too is an orphan.

The young high schoolers are only part of the story.  Witches come from witches, and the secrets behind their parents’ coven and a mysterious fire sixteen years earlier make for an interesting tale as well.

So far we’ve been introduced to the six members of the circle, and a few of their single parents and grandparents (the elders).   We know that Faye’s mother, Principal Dawn Chamberlain (Natasha Henstridge) seems to be quite angry that the elders bound her powers and she wants desperately to be able to perform witchcraft again.

We also know that Diana’s dad Charles (Gale Harold) is responsible for Cassie’s mother’s death and that he is working feverishly with Dawn to recover their powers, destroying anyone who stands in their way.  And, we know that Adam’s father Ethan (Adam Harrington) drowns his sorrows in alcohol, pines away for Amelia, and is bullied by Dawn and Charles.

The storytelling has this TV addict hooked with so many questions… What happened in the fire sixteen years ago?  Who is Cassie’s father; is he the leader of the witch hunters? By the way, does anyone think it’s funny that JR Bourne (Isaac) plays a witch hunter on The Secret Circle and a werewolf hunter on Teen Wolf?  He must like to hunt…

Anyway, back to The Secret Circle: will Jake (Chris Zylka) fall for Cassie or will he destroy the circle?  What’s going to happen when someone discovers that Cassie possesses her family’s crystal?

The Secret Circle has been picked up for a full 22 episodes – how many of our questions will be answered?  I miss Charmed, and while The Secret Circle isn’t quite as good (in my opinion), it fills the hole that the Power of Three left behind.

So, what do you think?  Have you watched The Secret Circle?  What are your thoughts on the YA series versus the CW production?  Out of curiosity, did they kill Nick’s character in the books (that came as a bit of a shocker to me)?  I’d love to hear from you!

27 Replies to “Tele-Tuesday: Not So Secret Circle”

  1. I do and I have. It’s different than the book…BUT I do really like the tv series itself so far. I am sad Nick is gone though….

    1. I did read on wikipedia (I know it’s not the most reliable source) that LJ Smith won’t write anymore of the Secret Circle books, but that a ghost writer will. These new books will have more of a tie-in to the television series, supposedly; I don’t know how since from what I’ve read and heard, the two are quite different.

      Thanks for stopping by, A.L.!

  2. Hmmm, this actually sounds really interesting! Sounds like there are male witches? I’m gonna have to give the show a shot. And definitely check out the books as well. Thanks for the summary!

    1. Hi, Annalise! There are a few male witches….cute male witches at that! AND my guy actually likes Secret Circle and watches with me. I wasn’t expecting him to enjoy it like he does; I thought for sure it would be a show that I had to find time to watch by myself. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Ohhhh…this sounds fabulous. I haven’t seen the show or read the books (my God, do I live under a freaking rock?!?!). I am definitely going to have to do some investigating as both the TV and book series sound RIGHT up my alley! Woot woot…tks for this Tiffany…

  4. I only watched two episodes and gave up. Maybe it got better, but the instant attraction of Adam to Cassie annoyed me. The show had barely started and it’s like, “Hey, new in town girl, be mine.” He doesn’t struggle with his new feelings, maybe consider the consequences since he’s got a girlfriend?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love a good “We were meant for each other story” but this one was hard to swallow. It’s a shame because it looks like some other cool stuff is happening, but I know I’d get angry anytime Adam and Cassie were on screen.

    I’ve been spoiled by Buffy, I tells ya!

    1. LOL, Andrew! I don’t like the Adam and Cassie star-crossed-lovers storyline either! Why does every main character have to have a love interest today? Why can’t a sixteen year old be without the drama of relationships? Is that not realistic?

      We’ve all been spoiled by Buffy….and Charmed too. For me, I’d like to see more magic in Secret Circle. More demons. More supernatural. But, it’s early; and for now, it’ll do. I am enjoying it having not read the books as a point of comparison.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I’m still on the fence about The Secret Circle. I want to love it, but so far I just sorta like it. I think it has a lot of potential though, and I’m glad it has an entire season to play out.

    I didn’t read the books on purpose, cause I read The Vampire Diaries books right before that series started and I loved the books, but I hated the series cause it was so different. I had to wait a whole year before going back to watch TVD and now I really like it!

    Of course, nothing beats Buffy, or even comes close.

    1. It seems we have a Buffy fan club going right here on the blog comments. 🙂

      I’m glad you went back after sitting out a year to give The Vampire Diaries another try. I think it has some of the best writing on television, and I personally love that the vampires and werewolves are actual vampires and werewolves; in other words, they’re not afraid to kill. It’s what they do. Plus, I could watch Damon every day of the week…..

      I agree that The Secret Circle could be better, but I like what I’ve seen thus far. We’ll have to wait until the new year for more, but so far so good.

      Thanks for stopping by, Toni!

  6. At Comic con some of the Secret Circle cast where in a panel with John Barrowman. These poor kids could not keep up with John, they blushed when we clapped for them when they came out and then John comes out- he’s in his forties no longer young and tiny, but sexy as hell the crowd goes wild- insanely wild- and then the actor who plays Crowley in Supernatural comes out- and again we g wild- the two of them flirted- more going crazy, and the poor Secret Circle kids just sat back and tried to answer a question or two.

    1. Okay, first….I’m still so jealous that you went to Comic Con.

      Second, I adore the actor who plays Crowley. I liked him in Medium and on Warehouse 13 too. He seems to land many recurring roles on popular television series today. Maybe one day, he’ll get his own show!

      Thanks for stopping by, Alica!

      1. Jenny, you should talk to Kait…..

        If I can catch up on my TBR list, which keeps growing by the day, I’m going to add the Secret Circle books. I do like the television series, but there can never be too much witch in my life. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. My husband loves The Secret Circle. He liked Charmed, too, though. Like Toni said, I really want to love it…but I am lukewarm. I am curious enough about all the little mysteries of the show, though, to keep watching.

    (And, yeah, the werewolf hunter dad from Teen Wolf showing up is totally weird!)

    Did you see last week’s episode with Faye’s childhood self showing up? Totally weird. The idea of a sorta doppleganger from one’s past fascinated me.

    Great review. Thanks for doing it.

    1. I love that your husband enjoys The Secret Circle and Charmed! I’m a huge Charmed fan. Like most are with Buffy, I am with Charmed.

      I agree with you about TSC- there are tons of little mysteries that keep me watching. I particularly like the aspect of the parents and elders practicing as well as the kids, otherwise the show may feel a bit young. Like you, I liked Faye’s childhood self appearing to Faye and Cassie. I’d also like to see Cassie’s reaction when she learns she has dark magic and would like to see the witches exploration of their craft. Bottom line, I’d like to see more actual witchcraft like Charmed. It’s early, so I’m not giving up.

      Thanks for stopping by, Catie!

  8. I’ve been watching this show too. I’m on a total CW kick. I really like the show cause it’s creepier than I thought it’d be, but the characters are a little bit one dimensional. Cassie is really interesting, but Faye can piss me off sometimes cause she’s soooo moody. Diana is too good and Adam too meloncholy and Melissa too nonexistant. I’m unsure about the Nick’s out/Jake’s in storyline too, we’ll see where it goes. I like the generational storyline and the secret about Cassie’s dark magic. Hoping it leads somewhere interesting.

    1. You are not alone on that CW kick, Jess. I pretty much record something on the CW every night of the week. Of course, nothing will top my Damon and Winchester boys….

      Oh, and by the way, you totally nailed the charaters. Cassie even wears me out; I’d like to see her not be such a goody goody and stand up for herself a bit more. The dark magic could really come in handy with this story line…

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I watched the first two episodes but haven’t kept up since then. My son watches it though, and says he enjoys it. I wholeheartedly agree–it isn’t Charmed. I think I might tune in again if only to see where the storyline has gone and if any of the questions posed in the first episodes have been answered.

    1. I’m not really sure many of the questions have been answered, and the storyline has definitely posed a few more. It’s interesting….I’m looking forward to see where the TV series goes. Thanks for stopping by, Bella!

  10. I really like the tv show, depite the fact that it differs significantly from the books. The Vampire Diaries has diverted from the original books premise also but it hasn’t done the stories any harm. Watched the mid season finale of TSC and can’t wait for the new episodes in 2012!

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