Did Lifetime's Witches of East End Enchant You?

Witches-of-East-End-Premiere-Recap“If this were a movie, right now would be the moment where the girl who thought she was ordinary finds out she’s actually magic, and the power was in her all along.”

That little slice of meta dialogue — directed at wide-eyed librarian Ingrid Beauchamp (a ridiculously charming Rachel Boston) — is the guiding premise for the pilot of Lifetime’s instantly spellbinding Witches of East End.

The show focuses on Ingrid’s mother Joanna (Julia Ormond), a witch with an immortality curse that’s made worse by her fertility: “I’ve given birth to [Ingrid and her sister Freya] and watched them die a dozen times, and neither of them’s ever lived past 30,” she says, explaining to her estranged sister Wendy (Mädchen Amick, having a blast) her decision not to reveal their witchy roots to the girls in their thirteenth incarnation.

Unfortunately for Joanna, freaky things begin occurring the night of an engagement party for Freya (a ridiculously sexy Jenna Dewan-Tatum): Joanna’s doppelganger murders an elderly man and sends his wife into a coma after they spot her performing a spell in the local park; the estranged brother of Freya’s fiance (whom she’d sexy-dreamt about the night prior) arrives at the party, turning the flower in her hair from white to red, and they wind up lip-locking in the bathroom; and Ingrid spots a ye-old-tymey photo of herself with a woman who turns out to be her the aunt she’s never met.

Later, Ingrid — who’s spent her life studying witchcraft, but not believing in it — agrees on a whim to perform a fertility spell on her librarian pal Barbie, and it works! Freya, meanwhile, finds herself drawn to red-hot Killian (mainly in her dreams) while still remaining totally in love with white-hot Dash (also while in bed, but awake). And Wendy arrives to warn Joanna that her life is in danger: “Upheaval, death, destruction, pain, imprisonment, betrayal — it’s coming for you like nothing you’ve ever seen before.” (The Tarot cards told her so!) The enemy of unknown origin wants Joanna, Freya and Ingrid to be “forever dead,” says Wendy, who’s only been blessed with nine lives of her own (two of which she loses in the course of the pilot episode).

Evil Doppelganger, in the midst of the hullabaloo, frees a man from a painting in Joanna’s sitting room, and sends him to exact revenge on Freya. Turns out he was an abusive suitor of hers in a past life, and she imprisoned him in said desert landscape as a punishment. This time around, he drags her into a ’20s-era photograph, the one place where — if he succeeds in murdering her — it’ll stick in the real world, too. But just as Joanna rushes off to save her daughter, the police arrive: The comatose woman awoke and fingered Joanna as the killer. And so Joanna must — in mere seconds — explain to Ingrid her witchy birthright, and send her off to rescue Freya. The breakfront has a false back, she tells Ingrid, and it’ll have all the information she needs to save the day. Then off Joanna goes to the clink!

Now how’s that for a cliffhanger?

Before I turn things over to you, a selection of the pilot episode’s best quotes:

“You have only one superpower — and it’s your breasts.” —Ingrid, pooh-poohing Freya’s contention that she’s psychic

“That is such an interesting dress, dear. I like how you just put it all out there and screw what other people think is appropriate.” —Freya’s future mother-in-law (Virginia Madsen)

“Find me something that doesn’t make me look like the old woman who lived in a shoe.” —Wendy, responding to Joanna’s complaint about her walking around naked

“He’s like lightning-bolt passion crazy amazing soulmate sexual insanity. Don’t say ‘Oh, Freya.’ Please don’t say ‘Oh, Freya.'” —Freya, discussing Killian with her sister

“He’s safe and warm and comfortable and familiar and hot and funny and romantic and sweet — and I could totally see myself spending the rest of my life with him.” —Freya, discussing Dash

What did you think of Witches of East End? Which story arcs and characters did you like best? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. dude says:

    I really wanted to like this and it had its moments but for the most part it was just silly nonsense. I really like the cast and they’re all good in their roles (Madchen really does look like she’s having so much fun with her role) so I’ll give it a few more episodes but it really has its work cut out for them if they’re going to turn this show around.

    • Rook says:

      I thought the show was perfect in its style of silly, I think that’s what I liked most about it other than the cast. I also wouldn’t hold your breath in hoping that this will change, because I think its what made the show work.

      • tp says:

        If it changes it will most definitely lose me.

      • dude says:

        I’m fine with camp but that horrible shapeshifter CGI was beyond ridiculous. I can’t take any threat seriously if it looks that laughably bad.

        • Steven says:

          I didn’t think the CGI looked too bad. Bad CGI is the reason I can’t watch Grimm.

        • tp says:

          It’s on Lifetime. The effects won’t be top level. Matter of fact I don’t know a tv show that has especially great CGI.

        • Ray says:

          That wasn’t CGI, it was good ole fashioned makeup and prosthetics.

          • wordsmith says:

            Yeah, I don’t fault the CGI – it certainly wasn’t exceptional, but it was passable. The problem is that the prosthetic and make-up they’re using is total amateur hour, bargain bin work. Hopefully they got a serious artist for later episodes.

  2. OBSESSED with the show already!!!

    • Eli says:

      See a therapist..

    • Miss Priss says:

      Moi aussi, loved the house, love the humor, loved seeing Andrew from Buffy in the cool goth library, loved the cute boys and covetable clothes. It’s an update on Charmed, which was a rip on Practical Magic, which stole from Witches of Eastwick; it’s all good, I’m a slut for all things witchy. I thought I’d love the show and I do. Dash tho, over Killian, I wish the actors would switch roles, Killian is merely pretty while Dash is smoldering hot, but I think there is an evil underbelly to all that Dash goody goodiness. And the cliffhanger ticked me off, I was ready to watch more!!

  3. Alice says:

    The series is supposed to be silly, soapy, supernatural nonsense and it excels at what it is meant to be imo.

  4. Fernando says:

    Idk what I just saw but this show has me in lol. I love Ingrind she’s so geeky and adorable. I kinda felt bad watching this show in a way because I felt like I was betraying Devious Maids haha and also Eastwick. But either way this show was good.

    • Steven says:

      How did you feel like you were betraying Devious Maids? it’s been renewed. The show is safe. Plus the executive producer of Eastwick works on this show so you should’t feel bad.

      • Fernando says:

        It has nothing to do with renewal, it’s the fact that I been watching what’s now my favorite show for. 13 weeks straight and it’s strange to see another show in its time slot and with Eastwick it has nothing to do if it has the same writing but that Eastwick never had the chance to grow and as I watch this show all I thought of was how amazing Eastwick could have been given the time and promotion it needed.

        • Rook says:

          I also watched Eastwick but don’t really remember it, it was four years ago. I do remember it was okay something I watched on hulu when I was bored. But think of this as a good thing, the first episode of East End made you think what Eastwick could have been if it had time to grow. East End has a full season to grow, be excited!!!

        • Ram510 says:

          I agree with you. It feels weird watching this show knowing Eastwick could’ve been amazing. East End didn’t quite cut it for me, I’ll give it a couple more weeks, but it’s no Eastwick. I miss Eastwick

          • Ray says:

            I miss Eastwick too. Hopefully the fact that Witches of East End and Eastwick have the same showrunner will mean that this show will be even better because Maggie Friedman would have learned from her previous experience and also incorporate the good ideas and storylines she never had the chance to execute.

    • babygirl says:

      ok 2 of the men on here were alyssa milanos costars 1 still is on mistresses so I thought for sure it was her show, did anyone else think this

  5. Stephon J says:

    i feel like I got Charmed back via Witches of east end

    • Miss Priss says:

      Ikr? What the heck is it with Charmed, I am in awe of how many people still love it, that we still debate Shannen leaving and that crazy mermaid ep, despite the backstage drama it was just a sweet relatable show about sisters. I’m liking that Witches of East End has that same family-first vibe to it. And cute boys of course.

  6. Dizzy says:

    SUPER show…. ReCHARMED….

  7. Tori says:

    I am in love with the show and I am praying for many seasons of the core chatacters magical adventures.

  8. tp says:

    I love any show about good witches battling bad. I enjoyed Eastwick. I wish they had given it time to find it’s footing. This show however has everything Charmed did without being a replica. Humor, magic, love, sexiness (can’t believe I just said that) and intrigue. I’m hooked. It just mad Sunday nights better.

  9. animegirl31 says:

    All right, I’ll try it out. I was reluctant because I tried to read the source book when it came out and couldn’t make it past chapter 1 (Freya’s power totally are her boobs, I read about 5 pages of the book and at least 3 of them were spent describing said boobs).

  10. Steven says:

    I love how this show is premiering one day before the 15th Anniversary of Charmed. It feels amazing having a new Sunday show about witches. Hope it does well enough to stick around.

  11. Elly says:

    Was on the fence but seeing as people in the comments section compared it to Charmed I’ll give it a go.

    • tp says:

      Honestly it’s more like Practical Magic than charmed to me. Maybe a combo of both.

      • ChrisGa says:

        Yeah, that was my take on it too. And I thought it was much better than dull-as-dirt Eastwick. For the most part, I think the cast is great–Rachel Boston and Madchen Amick had the best dialogue and they both KILLED and both Jenna Dewan and Eric Winter were their typical gorgeous selves. Not sold on Julia Ormond as the mother, seemed as though she was really fighting to hide her British accent, with varying degrees of success. That said, the writing was pretty top-notch and clever and Boston and Amick are worth the hour all by themselves so I’m in.

        • a2yeag says:

          I find Ormond’s accent coverup very distracting in her scenes. She should just use her own. Otherwise, an entertaining show!

  12. laurel says:

    its a combination of charmed and practical magic. the house looks like the halliwells house from charmed

    its good so far

  13. laurel says:

    i just love the name Killian

  14. Susan Martin says:

    Super irritated that Drop Dead Diva had tags on BOTH the top and bottom of the right hand side during the whole entire show about this show premiering. Um, two minutes would have been fine but I was so entirely ticked about those tags being present I refused to watch it! Why do shows DO that?

    • liz says:

      I especially hate it when a show has subtitles (for one reason or another) and these giant ads sit right over top of them. And you have no idea what’s going on in the scene because the people mumble/speak another language. Happens all the time for Survivor and Switched at Birth. Drives me crazy.

  15. GeoDiva says:

    Will stick around for a few more episodes…It was interesting.

  16. YesMe. says:

    My God Jenna Dewan-Tatum is so beautiful.

  17. TV God says:

    I loved it!!!

  18. Katie says:

    I really wanted to like this show, but I felt like it was just a Charmed wannabe. I know more about Charmed than any other show, and there were so many similarities here it was almost embarrassing. Even the house looked the same. I’m going to give East End another chance but if it remains silly and ridiculous I’m out.

    • Glynnis says:

      Wow…I COMPLETELY agree! Every time they did an exterior shot of the house (or even the ‘good morning in the kitchen’ routine) all I could see was that scene at the beginning of Charmed when Prue magically shuts the door during the credits at the start of the each episode. In my opinion this series isn’t original or compelling. (I personally prefer my witches in the vein of “The Craft” or “Practical Magic”. And the fact that the estranged sister show’s up as a cat instantly reminded me of Kit who was connected to the Halliwells, which again is nothing fascinating or new. Sure the respectable actors and actresses look the part, but the cheesy, ‘We’re Witches, No-Big-Deal’ feel of the show is really off-putting, thus I don’t think I’ll be tuning in for another episode.

  19. logar says:

    At least the men are Hot.

  20. Agent_Coulson says:

    Guys, guys, Jenna Dewan’s boobs are worth watching the entire episode. That red dress is so sluttin’ good! xD

  21. Paige says:

    It’s like Charmed Again!

  22. Vc says:

    I loved it! I hope it is not canceled. It is like a combo of charmed and practical magic! I loved the fun banter and it was much more interesting to watch than Eastwick ( which i liked). But with Eastwick i never felt like i wanted to watch the whole season. By the end of this show i wanted to see more and cant wait until next sunday!

  23. Deion says:

    My mother told me about this show on Saturday so I tuned in. I’m in. This is going to be fun. But I don’t agree with the above comments likening it to Eastwick. While I watched Eastwick, I understod why it didn’t make it. Maybe the fact that this one is more like Charmed wiill give it some staying power.

  24. the girl says:

    Jason George is seriously everywhere… every time I turn around there he is. Bananas.

  25. Alexia says:

    I loved it and I thought it reminded me of Practical Magic (book and film) in which there was a curse attached to the family and each generation had a pair of sisters born from every member of the family who had children (this was more in the book and not the film). I do have high hopes for this and I hope I like it as much as I came to like Devious Maids which started out slow but eventually the drama picked up.

    • Miss Priss says:

      Very true, it’s much closer to the Practical Magic book, and also to The Probable Future; I love Alice Hoffman, there’s a lot of Hoffman in WoEE.

  26. tp says:

    After rewatching the episode, I don’t see how people think this is like Charmed specifically. Besides the one time they met in the kitchen and the house (which it seems ALL witches in EVERY movie/show seem to live in) I don’t see it. It’s more like Practical Magic with the curses and sets of sisters. Everything else is standard witch fair. East End and Charmed are the same as any vampire movies are the same. They’re both based on lore. Some things are going to be the same no matter what.

  27. Prue says:

    I agree. It is a mix of Charmed and Practical Magic. The victorian house, the man in the painting, and the whole shapeshifter thing reminded me of Charmed.

  28. Rahul says:

    The pilot was a solid effort. A little hectic and scattered because they tried cramming too much in the hour. Perhaps because the entire season is only 10 episodes instead of 12 or 22? It would have been nice to have a little more authentic character development. I also felt the acting by Jenna Dewan and Rachel Boston was very amateurish–what you’d expect from a HS drama class. That being said, the older female leads Julia Ormond and Madchen Amick (who is a revelation in this role) are much stronger.

    There’s a lot of potential here if done right.

  29. Ram510 says:

    Why can’t ABC just bring back Eastwick? It’s not like any of the main cast is doing anything anyways.
    And Jason George is everywhere anyways, which makes me laugh now. He must be really close to someone at ABC studios

    • IMHO says:

      For a show to survive on one of the major networks it has to have the ratings . Like over 8 million viewers.
      Eastwick would of made it on basic cable like Lifetime or AMC.

  30. Sherry says:

    If this show can live up to the amazing show “Charmed” then this is going to be my favorite show every Sunday. They got A LOT of work cut out for them.

  31. BrazenSongBird says:

    Did it “charm” me? Yes. It. Did! I particularly liked the acting, especially Ormand, Amick, and Madsen. I think the dialogue and acting and humor will be what sets this one apart. I may not be an impartial judge here though. I tend to automatically gravitate to shows about witches and witchcraft. As of last night, I’ve got my DVR series set for WoEE and American Horror Story: Coven.

  32. Dalynna Hutchins says:

    I loved it!! Cant wait to see whats going to happen next. Im hooked!!

  33. Shaun says:

    Joanna actor is a horrible actress

    • Rahul says:

      You’re being facetious, right? Julia Ormond is an Academy Award nominee. Meanwhile Jenna Dewan couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag.

  34. KPF says:

    I came into this assuming that I would not enjoy it and never watch another episode. Completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it! Campy. Moves a nice, quick pace. Zippy dialogue. Solid acting.

    Maybe it’s because my expectations were so low coming into it, but this may be my favorite pilot of the season.

  35. Margaret says:

    I wanted to like this show, but some of the acting is amateurish — Jenna Dewan for one. But I’ll give it another chance because of Julia Ormond.

  36. Lori says:

    Aggggh I really wanted to like it, it just had too many stupid moments. After 2 shows I think that’s enough for me. If they got rid of Jenna (great girl, but bad actress) and improved the writing (seriously, throwing the money up in celebration at the coffin, while mom’s in jail and they JUST found out they’re witches? Lol!) Really really bad.

  37. isha says:

    to be honest i thought jenna dewan’s acting was kind of cheesy…i think the story line is interesting enough though, i really wanted to like this series though so I’m going to give it a second try

  38. Toria says:

    My daughters and I find Julia Ormond’s attempt to cover her accent, with less than stellar results, totally distracting to the flow of dialogue. If she were replaced, it would improve the show immensely. She is annoying.

    • Ray says:

      What you and many others fail to understand is that the accent Ormond uses on the show is her real life accent. It is muddled from being a Brit who has lived all over the world. She gave an interview in the Huffington Post about how the producers asked her to use her very unique accent because it suited the character of a 600 year old witch who had lived all over the world during her many years.

  39. dmwalker says:

    Julia Ormond speaks as though she suffered a stroke. Her speech is painful to listen to and is so distracting. She is also overdramatic when it comes to her facial expressions. Other than that, I think the show is cute and campy.

  40. Papa says:

    Its a cheap copy of charmed

  41. sandy says:

    i read that there would be 23 ep of witches of east end, the first half in 2014 of season 1, and the 2nd half of season 1 in 2015. is this ture and when is it happening please. thank u good good show.

    • Ray says:

      No, it is not true. Witches of East End has not yet been renewed for a third season, but if it is, its likely it will be 10-13 episodes.