Fall 2011: Playboy Club, Secret Circle

The fall season is officially underway and so far I’ve been mostly pleased with what I’ve seen. In one case, I seem to be alone in my joy. Let’s take a fast look.

The Secret Circle

This new supernatural series on The CW is the perfect companion to The Vampire Diaries. It comes from the same author and production team, but it has enough of it’s own personality to stand on its own. Britt Robertson’s Cassie is a little too “independent woman” for my liking. Her mother dies in the opener and she’s shipped off to grandma’s house only to land in the middle of a witchy mystery. Seems Cassie is the final link needed to complete the circle which will give the town teens control over their random powers. But while the teens plot a coup, the grown-ups, including Gale Harold, have a plan of their own.

The draw for me, beside witches, is Thomas Dekker. I enjoyed him in Sarah Connor Chronicles and he’s got potential here. In one lovely moment, he and Cassie find out that together, they can make magic in the forest. The dew rises up off the leaves, surrounding them with a twinkling blanket of stars. Of course, Cassie doesn’t want to have anything to do with him or his witch gal pals — if she joined them on day one, there wouldn’t be much of a plot. As of now, I’m in for the long haul.

THE SECRET CIRCLE Pictured (L-R): Gale Harold as Charles, Natasha Henstridge as Dawn, Shelley Hennig as Diana, Louis Hunter as Nick, Phoebe Tonkin as Faye, Britt Robertson as Cassie, Jessica Parker Kennedy as Melissa, and Thomas Dekker as Adam. Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy/The CW © 2011 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.


The Playboy Club

Two things attracted me to this new NBC series, David Krumholtz of Numb3rs and the swinging sixties setting. Right off the bat, I was taken in by the look of the show. It’s warm and rich and it’s loaded with all the little details that make a retro series fun. Like cigarette girls! When was the last time you saw one of them? Eddie Cibrian leads the way as Nick Dalton, the former mob boy turned lawyer. He appears to be one of the good guys, even though we’re told he’s a womanizer and he’s got some skeleton’s in the closet. In the pilot, he tries to help out new bunny Maureen and lands in the middle of a bloody mess when she accidentally kills Chicago’s top mafioso after he tries to take more than she’s willing to give. I was surprised to see the murder plot develop so quickly, but it gave the show more punch than your average nighttime soap. But basically, that’s what you’ve got here. Cheating husbands, sex in the bathrooms, power plays, and the mob. It’s Boardwalk Empire only in the 1960’s and the music is better.

Unfortunately, the series tanked in the ratings. It’s up against Castle and Hawaii Five-O, which meant I had to knock something off the DVR. I dropped Castle, knowing I can pick that up OnDemand, but the majority chose to watch the returning favorites.

THE PLAYBOY CLUB — Season:1 — Pictured: (l-r) Wes Ramsey as Max, Naturi Naughton as Brenda, Leah Renee as Alice, Jenna Dewan as Janie, Laura Benanti as Carol-Lynne, Amber Heard as Maureen, Eddie Cibrian as Nick, David Krumholtz as Billy, Jenifer Lewis as Pearl — Photo by: John Russo/NBC

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on The Secret Circle and The Playboy Club? Are either of them on your “to watch” list for next week?



 

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