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TV Wasteland: Insert Juvenile Sexual Reference Here

The Secret Circle premieres on the CW.

By Rob Vaux     September 11, 2011

 

The CW is out to keep the teenybopper sensibilities of Twilight alive with The Secret Circle, a new show about a special young woman (Britt Robertson) who realizes that she’s a witch. If that sets your eyes rolling, you’re not alone. The Secret Circle comes from Vampire Diaries guru Kevin Williamson, and follows the same pattern of a beautiful young woman with secret powers who becomes the target of supernatural attention both wanted and unwanted.
 
There’s nothing wrong with stories that tell teenagers they’re special and different. Teenagers need to hear that message in some form or another, whether it’s a rock song, Catcher in the Rye or the X-Men.
 
The problem with shows of this sort is that they utterly misunderstand that equation. Being different means getting beaten up regularly. It means being shunned, being ostracized, being torn down to your fundaments from every conceivable direction. It means feeling utterly alone: a freak in a world that has no concept of what you’re capable of. Only then can strength and understanding emerge. Good stories along these lines pay due homage to that, from Carrie to Harry Potter. But The Secret Circle views outsider status as nothing more than a cool fashion trend. Its protagonist is a queen bee: the center of her universe and the focus of everyone’s attention. She makes friends instantly, everyone loves her, and yet she feels like “she just doesn’t fit in.” It rebrands the notion as pure narcissism: replacing a discovery of self-worth with a fantasy about being popular. It stinks on toast and its perpetration here is easily one of the most disconcerting developments of the new fall season.
 
Plus I totally hate her hair.
 
The Secret Circle premieres this Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT on the CW.
 
Monday
Eureka (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Andy’s stuck on Titan, a cow melts on the spot, and Carter and Allison ponder their future together. One of these things is not like the others.
 
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Lattimer’s mom is Captain Janeway. Who knew?! And while they rehash that one time when she grounded him for playing Metallica too loud, Bering and Claudia investigate the disappearance of a t-shirt salesman.
 
Alphas (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s a night of Star Trek cameos as Brent “Data” Spiner guest stars on Alphas. Nice to see you again big guy!
 
Death Valley (MTV, 10:30 PM EDT)
The local vampires stir up all kinds of trouble, first by hijacking bloodmobiles (which, we admit beats some of the alternatives), then by seducing Captain Dashell’s niece at a party.
 
The Incredible Hulk (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
We’ve all gotten over the fact that Edward Norton will not be in The Avengers. But it’s hard not to feel at least a twinge of regret watching him go through the paces in this flawed-but-decent reboot of the iconic comic book hero.
 
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney, 8:30 PM EDT)
It’s easy to forget how risky and daring Walt Disney’s first animated feature was at the time. Thankfully, it’s still as great today as it was in 1937.
 
Tuesday
Iron Man (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Downey’s just going to blow all those other heroes off the screen in The Avengers, isn’t he?
 
The Order (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Heath Ledger does not win an Oscar in this silly, overheated thriller about a conspiracy in the Catholic Church.
 
Alone in the Dark (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
No, not the incompetent Uwe Boll video-game adaptation, but a much older film about a group of escaped mental patients hunting down their doctor and his family. Donald Pleasance and Jack Palance star, as well as a pre-A-Team Dwight Schultz.
 
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
You think Tina Turner would have skewered Gibson like a squab if he’d called her “sugar tits?”
 
The Bourne Ultimatum (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne for the third and not-necessarily final time in this solid entry in the popular Bourne franchise.
 
Wednesday
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The team is still in New England, where rumors of an undead mother draw them to a home in Townsend, Massachusetts.
 
Megamind (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
This is one of those films that you might find yourself quoting in everyday conversation. “Girls! Girls! You’re both pretty! Can I go home now?”
 
American Psycho (IFC, 7:00 PM EDT)
My favorite part about this film is the notion that Christian Bale’s deranged stock broker might not have actually killed anyone.
 
Turistas (IFC, 9:15 PM EDT)
Don’t remember this forgettable bit of torture porn? Don’t worry. There’s a good reason for it.
 
Thursday
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
The vampire craze isn’t over until this little gem dies a horrible, ugly death. Not that that’s going to happen anytime soon: the new season starts tonight.
 
The Secret Circle (The CW, 9:00 PM EDT)
Oh look, The Vampire Diaries made a new friend! And it’s kicking its old friend Nikita over to Friday nights to hang out with nerd shows like Fringe and Supernatural. Teenagers… what are ya gonna do? See the top of the article for more.
 
The Shining (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
For anyone interested in grown-up horror that doesn’t involve any moping, BBC America has you covered.
 
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
Solid action sequences and Schwarzenegger’s return to his signature role can’t save the third Terminator film from taking a big dip in comparison to its predecessors.
 
The Hitcher (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Sean Bean is creepy, but the remake still feels like an unnecessary waste of everyone’s time. Funny how that works…
 
Blade Runner (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Syfy has been hitting this one pretty heavily of late. Even with all the commercials, a masterpiece is a masterpiece is a masterpiece.
 
Gods and Monsters (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
Ian McKellan received an Oscar nomination for his intimate portrayal of James Whale – in the closet and slowly dying – who becomes unlikely friends with his gardener. Frankenstein lovers and fans of good acting in general shouldn’t miss it.
 
Burn Notice is off until November.
 
Friday
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The legendary Wendigo drops by for some laughs, and snacks on a local teen… or so it appears. Wuornos and Parker – who are totally not Mulder and Scully – get to the bottom of it.
 
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon, 8:00 PM EDT)
The new season kicks off with an underwater adventure featuring the always cool Kit Fisto, entering the civil war on Mon Calamari. Rock on!
 
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Cartoon, 6:00 PM EDT)
Hal Jordan joins the Caped Crusader in a battle against Star Sapphire.
 
Young Justice (Cartoon, 6:30 PM EDT)
Red Arrow becomes the target of assassins as new episodes start up.
 
The Silence of the Lambs (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Indifferent sequels can’t diminish one of the greatest meditations on fear and courage ever put to film.
 
Alien 3 (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
Repeat after me Fox: “We solemnly swear not to arbitrarily kill off beloved franchise characters just because we can…”
 
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cinemax, 7:40 PM EDT)
Lightning strikes twice as James Cameron helms the big-budget sequel to his low-budget classic… with equally impressive results.
 
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 9:00 PM EDT)
The sequel is a go and while First Class eats its lunch, this entry still isn’t nearly as bad as people say. Just a bit of a mess.
 
From Dusk till Dawn (IFC, 7:45 PM EDT)
These vampires don’t sparkle.
 
Saturday
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Doctor and the gang arrive at a hotel that seemingly brings their worst fears to life. Cue the Eagles and tune in to our official blog “Confessions of a Neowhovian” to see what it’s all about: www.neowhovian.com
 
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EDT)
Film noir and classic cartoons intermingle in this terrific blockbuster from 1988: still the best movie Robert Zemeckis ever made.
 
Men in Black (Cinemax, 7:15 PM EDT)
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have a blast in this sly and clever comic book adaptation.
 
Inception (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending head trip is just the latest home run in what is becoming the most impressive directing resume of the 21st Century.
 
Hereafter (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Clint Eastwood ventures into the world of the supernatural with less than impressive results, despite the presence of Matt Damon as a sympathetic psychic.
 
Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace (Syfy, 6:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Syfy gives itself over to the Daniel Craig James Bond pictures tonight: the first much better than the second, but both worth a look nonetheless.
 
Sunday
Die Another Day (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Pierce Brosnan’s run as James Bond comes to a mediocre end, thanks to too many recycled materials and a magic invisible car.
 
Strange Days (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Even the music over the closing credits is cool!
 
Predator 2 (FMC, 10:30 PM EDT)
This is less cool than its predecessor, but it’s not bad.
 
Monsters vs. Aliens (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Dreamworks scores a solid hit with this Joe Dante-like riff on classic monster flicks like The Blob and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
 
Crank (IFC, 9:15 PM EDT)
You’ll hate yourself in the morning, but watching it may be the most fun you’ll have all night.
 
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
The weakest of the Pirates films delivers a soggy, overblown adventure to rescue Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones’s locker.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
1 
karas1 9/12/2011 4:47:43 AM

Being the outsider means getting mocked unmercifully and having gum thrown in your hair.  It means having your locker broken into and your stuff stolen.  It means getting into the ocasional fight and carrying around a lot of anger.  I've been there.

jackwagon 9/12/2011 5:29:51 AM

While Who Framed Roger Rabbit is certainly a great film, can you possibly claim that it's Zemeckis' greatest film with a straight face?  Do you really think it's better than Back to the Future or Forrest Gump? 

Now if you want to argue it's his most underrated and/or underappreicated film, that's another story...

Hobbs 9/12/2011 7:49:29 AM

I was looking at my DVR saved series list last night and I don't have much to watch this fall.  Not a lot out there.  I can't remember the last time I had so few shows I wanted to record for the fall season.  Good thing I like to read.

isgrimner 9/12/2011 8:32:20 AM

My DVR shows new eps Archer starting this Thursday.  After Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which may not be genre but I'll be watching/recording.

Chopsaki 9/12/2011 12:16:45 PM

My dvr info guide says it actually is the Uwe Boll movie Alone in the Dark that's being shown on IFC this tue lol. Can anyone confirm?

"You think Tina Turner would have skewered Gibson like a squab if he’d called her “sugar tits?”

That was pretty good heh.

hanso 9/12/2011 1:11:57 PM

TV Wasteland:  On Beaver Tides.

TV Wasteland:  The Motorboat Chronicles.

TV Wasteland and The Deathly Mississippi Meathooks.

When TV Wasteland Met Dirty Sanchez.

TV Wasteland: Dark Side of The Rusty Trombone.

karas1 9/13/2011 6:26:35 AM

Saw Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Alphas last night.  Next week is the season finales for those shows, going to miss them.

Eureka is truely excellent.  Matt Frewer was back, bringing trouble with him.  Big fun.  And I love Wil Wheaton's character.

Warehouse 13, I hope Agent Jinks is coming back eventually.  I really liked that character.

Alphas, I had stopped watching it but checked back in to see Brent Spiner.  He did a good job, scary.

LadyBrowncoat 9/15/2011 4:18:02 PM

 Oh, Doctor, save me from these TV doldrums!

KLA1A 9/16/2011 10:15:47 AM

No wonder so many reviewers get ignored here.  Secret Circle will need a few episodes to get viewers introduced to all of the characters. It has a lot of potential. So, give it time to show us what it can do. If it doesn't live up to its potential after a few episodes, then Mr Vaux could rightfully blast it.

I happened to find the first episode intriguing, so I hope it can be more than Mr Vaux seems to expect.

sarCCastro 9/16/2011 7:47:40 PM

 KLA's right. Secret Circle actually had one of the few not terrible pilots this season so far.(Did you see Ringer? Holy CRAP!) Its companion show, The Vampire Diaries took a couple of episodes to find its groove, but then it quickly turned into the most fast-paced, ruthlessly violent and entertaining shows on the air(last season was only rivaled by Breaking Bad for edge-of-your-seat storytelling).

But, yeah, much like any other show, it took a few episodes to get there. So, I'll give Secret Circle a few more eps and keep an eye on reviews thereafter if it doesn't hold my interest. You never know. It could turn into a must-see show, much like TVD.

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