When Ringer debuted earlier this week, it was clear that the show doesn't exactly fit The CW brand, mostly it's targeted at grown-up viewers and features some actual grown-up actors, with only one spoiled rotten teen in sight. It also lacked several other key elements that we've come to expect from The CW. Fortunately for the network, their other scripted series debuting this week, The Secret Circle, is pretty much the most CW-ish show we've ever seen. Here's why:
Supernatural Creatures and Mythology
Like Supernatural and Vampire Diaries, the network thrives when there are imaginary beasties in the mix. In the case of Secret Circle, it's witches (both male and female), who have a big long history to slowly reveal over the course of the season.
Based on a Teen Book Series
Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries both managed to take some serialized source material, snag the key plot points and the run with it. Looks like SC, which is based on books by Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith, aims to do the same.
Features Former CW Stars
The CW is totally into recycling; it goes with the pretty green logo. They do it best when they take has-beens from the network's previous series (or from The WB and UPN) and have them set down roots on a new show. Recent examples include: Gilmore Girls alum Jared Padalecki, who moved to Supernatural, Paul Wesley, who transitioned from Everwood to Vampire Diaries, and Penn Badgley, who went from Bedford Diaries to Gossip Girl. Now Secret Circle takes last season's CW casualties Britt Robertson (Life Unexpected) and Gale Harold (Hellcats) and gives them a new home.
Very Pretty Young People
We hardly need examples here -- just look at any photos of the stars of Gossip Girl, Supernatural, 90210 or The Vampire Diaries and you'll see the trend immediately. They are all remarkably attractive, in model pretty ways, and not afraid to show it.
Notable Adult Actors (Who are Often Written Off)
Nikita has Melinda Clarke and Xander Berkeley, 90210 had Lori Loughlin and Rob Estes and SC has the aforementioned Gale Harold along with Natasha Henstridge. Harold and Henstridge shouldn't get too comfy, though, because adults on CW shows are often extraneous. Who needs parents once the kids get to college?
There's got to be a love triangle, or some sort of love obstacle. On Gossip Girl, we have Serena/Vanessa/Dan and Chuck/Blair/Their Issues. On TVD , there's Elena/Stefan/Damon. And now on Secret Circle we get Cassie/Adam/Diana. Shippers... get ready.
Missing or Dead Parents
As we mentioned, adults often get in the way on The CW, so how handy is it that Cassie's mother is killed off in a fire in the first few minutes of the Secret Circle pilot? Almost as convenient as Bart Bass keeling over, or Nikita's dad being murdered or Elena's parents dying in a car crash.
These shows are nothing if not aspirational for teens looking to update their wardrobe. Who wouldn't want headbands like Blair Waldorf or slutty dresses like Naomi or leather leggings like Nikita? On Secret Circle, everyone's dressed in the latest casual trendy (you know, like they just stepped out of an Aeropostale catalog) with their hair perfectly done all the time despite the rainy weather (sometimes witch-induced) in Washington State.
Blonde vs. Brunette
In a show about teens, having a blonde and brunette pair of frenemies is practically a prerequisite. They either love or hate each other. Sometimes both simultaneously, and their "friendships" wax and wane as the mood (or juicy plotlines) strike. There's Serena/Blair, Elena/Caroline, Naomi/Adriana and now Faye/Cassie.
Odd Small Town
The WB boasted the quirky residents of Stars Hollow, Sunnydale and Everwood, while thanks to The CW, we've lately been obsessed with all things Mystic Falls. Likewise, Secret Circle is set in the weird and disturbing locale of Chance Harbor. It's enough to make us nostalgic for Capeside.
Get the scoop (with spoilers!) about what will happen on your favorite CW shows this fall.
Vlogger Sean Crespo sees absolutely no connection between Twilight and The Secret Circle. Nope, nothing at all. Except magical teens making out:
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