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!

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