I was holding off on my Fall channel surfing experience til maybe December but I have to make a small exception for Lifetime's WITCHES OF EAST END. For those of you who aren't familiar, the series is based on Melissa de la Cruz's The Beauchamp Family series. It's about a family of witches who are Norse gods with complications thrown here and there to update the myth and root it to historical events like the Salem Witch Trials. I'm a fan of Melissa's Blue Bloods Series (YA, Vamps & Fallen Angels) and I love how she mixes up her mythologies. I liked WITCHES OF EAST END the book but I'm a little iffy on its TV Adaptation.
First, Lifetime isn't really known for its amazing shows, they have a handful of hits but it's mostly B+ at best. So when I heard that the series is being adapted by Lifetime, I have my doubts but as I love Melissa, I watched it to support and celebrate her success. I'm a good fan like that. As for the cast, they're not crown favorites but they're great character actors to lend an air of credibility to the series. Mädchen Amick, Virginia Madsen and Julia Ormond anchors the show while Rachel Boston and Eric Winter gives it an air of familiarity for the younger demographic.
Jenna Dewan-Tatum is the sore thumb in this line-up. I don't care if you're married to the sexiest man alive. Girl, you need to enroll yourself to more actor's workshop or do intense method acting to hone your skills, you're not plump to take on lead roles. Better yet, stick to dancing for now. This girl is HORRIBLE as Freya! Ugh! Her acting is the reason why I chose to write this piece specific to the show instead of a general one I initially intended. I can't help but gripe and share my disappointment about the casting choice!
A good actor is someone who can sell their characters well like for example, Anna Paquin. She becomes Sookie Stackhouse when you see her in True Blood. She ceases to be Anna Paquin and you identify her as Sookie as if Sookie is a real person and not just someone she's playing on screen. It transcends the story and gives the viewers suspended disbelief. Unfortunately my disbelief in this case is how the heck did Mrs. Tatum pass the audition?! Is it because of her last name?! Because her acting chops sure wasn't it!
Jenna Dewan-Tatum is play acting. It's exaggerated and she's trying too hard to give us a version Freya that's more HS play than minor league TV. She didn't study Freya and has a distorted adaptation of the character. Her portrayal isn't convincing, I'm sure she can be a good actor given the right role unfortunately she totally tanks as the sexy, alluring, offbeat, witchy bartender. For the sake of the show and its longevity, I hope the network invests on honing her acting skills otherwise I foresee CANCELLED in glowing red letters in the horizon.