Eastwick premiered last night, and while it struggled under a lot of unecessary and silly stereotypes, the demon man with a voice like Cheester Cheetah tried really hard to solve all these problems with his demonic penis. Spoilers ahead.
To be fair, in these fine upstanding ladies' defense, no one was having sex with the TV show's version of Jack Nicholson, aka Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross) just yet. But he walked around moaning and groaning, naked and getting people drunk off water that after an hour, I felt like I had the overall gist of a sexual encounter with the hot new man in town who stirs up sex, magic and crotch-raiding ants.
So let's beat this dead horse of a TV show shall we? Eastwick Starts off in the little "everyday sort of town" called Eastwick, see it's normal...
And by normal, they mean a picturesque fake-perfect movie town, via John Hughes and Gilmore Girls, that thinks staging the live burning of women accused of witch craft is totally adorable. Look she made the burning pile out of felt and pipe cleaners. Burn you unholy hand maiden of Satan burn...ha ha ha ha ha ha....sigh. Pretend persecution is fun.
But enough about crafts, let's get to the ladies. Here comes scandalous Roxanne (Rebecca Romijn). And right away my biggest issue with this show starts. The problem with Eastwick isn't its cuteness or puns, or even the magic — I adore all that shtick. I still own Practical Magic, parts of the Charmed series and wished The Craft actually happened in high school. Eastwick is very successful at being charming. But its downfall is when it flops around like three ladies "letting loose" in the town fountain, gasping for air, under the "we've seen this done to death and better" stereotypes. Each character is such a ridiculous caricature of a standard personality type, that you can actually SEE it on screen. For example...
This is Roxy. Roxy is the town bicycle — see, here she is being slutty. Shame on you, Roxy. But not really — people are just mean and like to talk. But she is hitting it with Kyle XY, who is trying very open-shirty hard to be the sexy straight youngin. He's half there. Roxy can see the future in her dreams, and yet can't find her own path in life. I half expected Romijin to rip open her blouse, exposing a "See, that's irony" sign underneath, when she explained that she had dropped out of dancing school, art school, culinary school, crafts school, hippie school etc. In other words, their powers mimic their problems. The wit, it burns.
Which leads us to the other one, meet...
Meek Mouse Girl:
It's Joanna Frankel (Lindsay Price): she's shy because she's wearing a bun, glasses and conservative librarian clothes. She gets molested at work, and is in love with this totally normal photographer guy who isn't a model at all....
But Joanna is shy and nervous, and everytime she talks to Not Model Photographer she says something embarrassing, like how she named her vibrator after him. See, this is the show trying to be smarter than it really is: by inserting "real" conversations that women totally have. I can't tell you how many times my friends and I get together to gossip about naming our vibrators — mine's named FUCKING REALITY.
But enough about lady business, let's get back to mousy Jojo. Her power is eye contact, and imprinting people with her will. But she doesn't have confidence or much of a will — ah there it is again, sweet televisual irony. But seriously, she's really uptight and wears buns and glasses, in fact there is a whole terrible conversation with Daryll about her losing her bun, which in turn heals her and turns her into a tight dress wearing power lady. Wahoo.
See the kids, the husband with the beers, and always with the carrying of the 11,000 children she birthed. Oh and she's a nurse. This is Kat Rougemont (Jaime Ray Newman) and she has the power of mother Earth, the healer who takes care of everyone, but no one is taking care of her. There's that itchy, irritating wit again.
Sadly, everyone else in the town of Eastwick suffers from this wide brush-stroke writing... see the nice mom witch has a husband who's a lazy drunk, see he's carrying around two beers — look, two of 'em! And he says things like "stupid tomatoes," and "What's gotten into you, woman?"
So naturally, these women are miserable. And they make a wish in a fountain for sex, confidence and a little lovin... which makes them all witches, Paul Gross the Demon appears, and causes these ants to run up this old lady's legs...
Unfortunately in a show about three women, Paul Gross is really the highlight of the show. In walks demon Darryl looking really good — seriously good. I'm totally shamed that I found myself doing a cartoony wolf whistle when he started talking. But it, like this show, was a shallow moment of deep pleasure.
So Darryl comes in and fixes all the ladies' problems by hitting on them or making them feel pretty or confident or just asking if they want some sex. And excuse me Rebecca Romijn, but if someone who looked like Darryl was "I'll give you 50K to do this shitty job then we have sex," I'd blink and say, "Is here okay?" Times are hard, people — it's a recession. So yes I was all twitterpatted by Paul's demon — pardon the bad joke — that is, until Roxanne made the doooooooy that penis is HUGE face, and I was immediately zapped out of it. Here's that moment...
As time went on I realized that Darryl wasn't actually sexy at all, but just using the Chester Cheetah voice and what I was feeling was hunger and pity. It ain't easy being cheesy, guys....
Anyways Darryl shakes things, up the girls start wearing much more revealing clothing, and are wet a lot more, which is surely good for ratings. But it's not all fun and games, people — the two-dimensional husband doesn't like the way this is going for overworked, under-appreciated witch. She gets mad, and we see them start to use their powers only ever so slightly for evil.
She later zaps him with lighting, totes on accident, and he says that he's divorcing her and taking the kids because yesterday she was dancing in a fountain totally whilly nilly fancy free, and of course the courts will are so going to side with the unemployed alcoholic over the nice nurse lady who got wet that one time.
Then ant leg lady wakes up and gives the best almost death scene ever acted in a high school play ever.
I think we all know what she means by "the cone of power" AMIRITE Slutty?
But it's okay, because Darryl was there to help everyone. Under Appreciated is getting a lawyer, Mousy is getting confidence with her mind powers but maybe using it for bad — we don't know just yet — and Darryl even managed to save Slutty's daughter from getting date-raped which was oddly squeezed into this episode.
All in all, I was much more interested once they started using the magic, which was about eight minutes of the entire episode at best. There was not enough magic in this episode, by far, and the attempt to make everyone a mirror image of their soul induces a sort of gag reflex inside of me, but I'll keep watching because I'm still hopeful for a magical three-way and better future magic. And that Chester Cheetah voice.