The women of Eastwick are cute, sassy and horny. But that's about it. We saw the pilot ep of ABC's Eastwick and it's cute. Contrived, but cute. Possible spoilers ahead.
The pilot episode (although producer/director David Nutter called it the "teaser" ep) opens with a voiceover similar to that of Desperate Housewives, but voiced by Veronica Cartwright, who played Felicia in the 80's film version of John Updike's novel. It's a cute homage, but no wonder the comparisons are there with such beginnings.
Also, the constant witty banter stolen from the first season of Housewives is slightly annoying after about 15 minutes. Producer Maggie Friedman described it as "a show about magical realism," but the "realism" part seemed to get lost somewhere.
Our three witches are quickly introduced, and soon afterwards they're throwing some mystical coins each one has found into a fountain in the middle of town. Their coins CLINK together, and we have our witches with a gust of wind. Yes, they literally clink; no, it doesn't look even remotely real.
Cartwright's voice-over narration urges us to be wary of these new powers ("With great powers ..." and all that), claiming they may even be evil, but what is evil? When you're on the wrong side, do you always know it? The show opens up great questions for the season, but they feel like questions that may never get answered.
Enter Darryl Van Horne. Played by Paul Gross, he's suave and dark and brooding and he gives a wonderfully, buttery low voice to the Devil. In his demeaning way of mixing insults and compliments, he uses words like pronto and adorable while grazing your hand. The devil has ridden into the little town of Eastwick on the wind, we are meant to believe, and he's beautiful.
From there, the women's powers come alive. Sparked by the devil, each begins to transition into the woman she was meant to be.
Joanna Frankel is the mousy woman turned vixen. A wordsmith for the local newspaper, she can turn even the most boring town event into front page news, though it helps when the towns historic society president is attacked by ANTS at a town picnic. She is wildly inappropriate and not at all together, mostly because a part of her has always been a little bit afraid of who she is and what she can do. Her words come in handy when she gains the power to seduce men into believing anything she says.
Rebecca Romjin is single mother Roxie, a flaky crazy woman who thinks wearing boho chic shirts makes her a free spirit and that creating art is the only thing she's meant to do. She's also bored sexxxing up her boy-toy Kyle XY... er, Chad (Matt Dallas). Roxie finds her solace in sleep, until psychic visions invade.
Married Kat Rougemont is the nurturer of the trio, a woman with more power than she's ever cared to tap into. She started a large family when she turned 18, marrying a man who has zero respect for her and her talents, and it's stunted her. Literally, she is mother earth and like Storm, it seems she may soon be able to control even the weather. In the pilot alone she shakes the earth and nearly kills her deadbeat husband with a lightening bolt.
Unlike Charmed, that other trio of witches show, Eastwick's witches don't have to deal with fire shooting out of their hands or keeping schlocky visual effects at bay. Without those effects, there's a bit more room to grow these powers — but unfortunately, all we saw today was that the magical fantastical side of the story is dumbed down with over-the-top sex and cattiness, with some cleavage on top. Roxie and Kat can't even recognize her own powers for what they are at first, even after Kat electrocutes a man. Where are their heads?!