Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pilot Review: Eastwick

Eastwick (ABC)
Premiered September 23 at 10pm

Now here’s a show with just no appeal at all. I suppose that’s not necessarily true – fans of the John Updike novel and the 1987 film will likely be enticed by the notion of this show, though they’re certainly going to be disappointed. This show has nothing to offer, and it even fails to make any of its supposedly fantastical magic seem remotely cool. It’s obvious from the first shot, accompanied by narration that seems ripped from right “Desperate Housewives,” that this show’s going to be remotely good. The show tries desperately to be edgy by talking about sluts and vibrators within its first few minutes. The wishing fountain scene which really gets the show started is painfully slow and contrived, and never seems to end. Each of the show’s three female leads are worse than the next. It’s clear from the very beginning that this isn’t the terrific, entertaining Rebecca Romjin from “Ugly Betty,” and not even the obnoxiously snarky Rebecca Romjin from “Pepper Dennis,” but a third, far lamer Rebecca Romjin who just doesn’t bring anything to the show. The ladies are supposed to be a devilishly fun trio, though they’re anything but, unfortunately. The show is terrible at balancing its silly sense of humor and its dramatic supernatural incarnations and flashes of magic. Everything about this series is so poorly executed, and there’s no real hope for it.

How will it work as a series? The book and movie presumably provide enough content and inspiration for at least an episode or two, but beyond that, the writers will have to plan and think far ahead. It’s possible that the show won’t go very far because there’s really no rush to get anywhere or tell a story at any quick pace. In the pilot, the witches don’t really get much done, and I can’t imagine they’ll achieve much more in the future.
How long will it last? This, along with “The Forgotten,” is one of the two shows that ABC completely neglected while promoting its fall slate. Even an ad aired before the ending credits of the show proclaims that “Flash Forward” is the season’s most anticipated show. The ratings for the pilot weren’t terrible, but I think that the ratings will plummet week-to-week once viewers realize they just shouldn’t be tuning in any more because this show is awful. It’ll likely disappear before the new television season hits the halfway point.

Pilot grade: F

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