'Eastwick' Season 1, Episode 1 Review: Heck of a Mess - Featured

Somebody really, really wants audiences to visit Eastwick. John Updike's 1984 novel "The Witches of Eastwick" enchanted movie audiences in 1987 -- thanks, Jack Nicholson -- and, well, didn't so much put a spell on them with a 2002 television movie starring Marcia Cross, Kelly Rutherford and Lori Loughlin.


With ABC's new "Eastwick," we're introduced early on to Roxie Tercoletti (Rebecca Romijn), who dreams of coming into money and then finds fifty cents; Kat Gardener (Jaime Ray Newman), whose last name pretty well sums up her power; and Joanna Frankel (Lindsay Price), who doesn't have an immediately obvious power but really, really wants to be confident and sexy.


All three women find fifty-cent pieces and wish simultaneously on a fountain adorned by three women. There's a hint of dark comedy here, when the wistful, "Harry Potter"-esque narration is interrupted by an army of ants attacking the narrator.


Enter mulleted New York millionaire Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross, so great on "Slings and Arrows"), who buys an abandoned mansion outside town. He hires Roxie to sculpt him; he buys the newspaper Joanna works for and asks her to write an article about him; and he... well, fondle's Kat's hand and calls her a healer.


Darryl encourages the women to use their powers -- yes, Joanna's is revealed -- in simple but selfish ways. It's no spoiler to say he's not your everyday millionaire, something anyone who encountered any of the story's previous incarnations will already know.


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