I’ll admit, I didn’t have high expectations for ‘Eastwick‘, a series based on movie more than 20 years old. But I think I love it more than chocolate brownies.
I don’t know if Veronica Cartwright is reprising her role from the movie, as they call her by the nickname “Bun”, but if she starts vomiting cherry pits, I might dedicate my devotion to this show. We may have to settle for cherry Jello, because she winds up in the hospital ten minutes into the show, victim of a violent red ant attack during the “Founders Day” celebration in Eastwick. Where they apparently celebrate how they used to burn women at the stake for witchcraft. Yay?
Roxie is the first future witch we meet. She’s the artist with a fertile, earth goddess motif to her work, a teenage daughter and a just beyond teenage boyfriend. Who she refuses to acknowledge as her boyfriend. Then there’s Kat, who has 5 kids, an alcoholic jerk for a husband and one heck of a green thumb. And rounding out the group is Joanna, a mousy writer who is afraid to speak up for herself. Unless you count inserting both feet firmly in her mouth, as she variously informs her workroom crush that she named her vibrator Will (which happens to be his name), has a yeast infection, or threw up this morning. All three women find a coin at the celebration and make a wish at the same time, and guess who rolls into town?
Despite the odds and a history of borderline contempt for each other, the witches find themselves drawn to each other. And just as quickly drawn to the stranger in town who has caused a stir by buying the Lennox mansion, the Eastwick Inn, the candle factory and the newspaper. Not to mention that he gets right to the business of making their wishes come true.
For Roxie, this means the hint of dangerous sex, a $50,000 commission for a sculpture due to his huge…appreciation for art. Kat is tired of being a wife, mother and nurse and wants someone to take care of her for a change. Joanna wants to find the courage to speak up for herself and get what she really wants. Roxie is the easiest (see what I did there?) as Darryl van Horne invites her over and asks her to sculpt…him. For $50,000. Oh, and spend some time in his bed to get to know his…body. But Roxie remains loyal to Chad.
Shortly thereafter, he invites Joanne to lunch, because he wants her to write an article about him. but what he spends most of his time talking about is how hypnotic her eyes are and if she would just allow herself to claim her own power, she would be able to get just about anything she wanted from men. Joanna soon puts it to the test and is getting everything from promotions to jelly donuts. But when she gets Will to kiss her, she realizes it’s not as real as she wants it to be.
Lastly, he meets Kat as the girls all meet for dinner at the Inn and he joins them, providing them with the special bottled water from the spring under his new house. It gets them all a bit tipsy, enough so that hopping in the fountain outside sounds like a grand idea. Until Kat’s jerkface husband Ray sees them and spoils the party by yelling about her being drunk and how she needs to be a better mother. At their home, she confronts Ray about his disrespect towards her and tells him he has “No spark, no electricity!” – which is when he gets struck my lightening. It echos an earlier scene when she asked if the earth would have to move for him to get off his backside, and sure enough there’s an earthquake that has him jumping to his feet.
Darryl appears at the hospital later, peeking in on Bun, but tells Kat he was there to check on her. She admits that she’s told Ray she wants a divorce and she’s afraid she’ll lose her kids. Which seems unlikely, since he’s the unemployed alcoholic. Either way, Darryl tells her that his fancy New York lawyer is now her fancy New York Lawyer, because it’s time someone took care of her.
Roxie has several precognitive dreams in the episode, including one about her daughter nearly being raped by her boyfriend Gus. At her insistence, Darryl goes with her to the dock where she thinks it is happening and sure enough there is the horrifying scene. Darryl tosses Gus to the mud and threatens to kill him as Roxie comforts Mia. The last dream Roxie has is of a man she’s never met, but feels like she knows intimately…who is trying to kill her. Looks like we have to stay tuned next week for that one!
The cast seems to work well, with the adorable Sara Rue as Joanna’s friend Penny – she has golden comedic timing for the dry zinger and is a joy to watch. Veronica Cartwright is, as always, superb. And Rebecca Romijn (Roxie), Lindsay Price (Joanna) and Jamie Ray Newman (Kat) each seem admirably cast. The one with the real big shoes to fill, of course, is Paul Gross. Can he live up to the Devil no one expects? I can’t wait to find out. How about you?