Monday, October 5, 2009

Lighting a Candle for Eastwick

One of the new Fall shows that I’ve decided to give a chance is Eastwick. It is, of course, an adaptation of John Updike’s novel The Witches of Eastwick into a series.
No, I’m not saying it’s stellar. But it has cast a certain spell.

The setting is perfect. The casting is a delight. Paul Gross as the devil, for instance, does a marvelous job. He’s just as suave and debonair as Jack Nicholson had been in the film. Yet clearly he is not trying to be Nicholson. Gross invokes him without imitating him. Then again, the devil is meant to be suave and debonair in many stories, including this one. Either way, Gross is every bit as charming and unnerving as he’s supposed to be. The infamous ladies that he “seduces,” Jaime Ray Newman, Rebecca Romijn and Lindsay Price are equally bewitching in their roles. It’s been too many years since I’ve seen the film, so I can’t at this time compare them directly against their movie counterparts. But I can say that each one “feels” right and has me around their little finger.

So far (after two episodes) it’s quite fun. They’ve mixed in the right amounts of cutesy, baudy and spooky. With a little tender spice. The story lends itself quite well to “installments.” Much better than I imagined it would when I first heard about it coming to television. Plus, it’s nice to see some very tasteful “F/X” by today’s standards creeping unobtrusively into the show. For instance, when the ladies all make their wish at the fountain, we are treated to an aerial view to watch the coins sail upward and clink together before dropping into the fountain. This scene would have been much more difficult to do “back in the day.”

It has also made me feel guilty. I have never read Updike’s novel. I think now I shall have to do so. At least from a writing standpoint. It should be interesting to see the what and how of their adjustments (if any) to the small screen. (By “if any” I mean to the core story. It’s obvious they’ve added some modern references and such.) That, and it would be much better and make more sense to compare the characterizations with the source.

I really enjoy the logo/title and how it appears on the screen, too.
Looking forward to more.

Let's hope the enchantment lingers...

1 comment:

Mel said...

I caught up with the first two episodes this weekend, and I really enjoyed it. I'm interested in seeing where it goes. I've never read the book either, although I do have a copy of his recent-ish sequel The Widows of Eastwick sitting in my infamous "to read" pile.