The Secret Circle is clearly not free of the trappings associated with your typical teen drama series.
The characters tend to focus on their personal lives – such as makeups, breakups, and hookups – rather than supernatural powers. Their biggest obstacle? A few overly strict parents.
Fortunately, however, the show includes an odd conflict formula, which makes it quite interesting.
The greatest part of the protagonist’s real challenges originate with their parents, but in a state of constant dramatic irony, the kids never realize just how vile their parents truly are.
For example, the primary protagonist is dealing with some fairly classic themes: she’s an orphan whose mother recently died.
Meanwhile, her father has been dead since she was a baby, the girl is living in a new town, making new friends for the first time, and will now have to deal with a grandmother who is showing signs of memory loss which seems in line with Alzheimer’s.
What she doesn’t know, (though the audience has since the first episode), is that two of the parents of the group are responsible for everything. They are trying to get their magical powers back – the council of witches took it away from them years ago – and are willing to do anything, including murder and memory erasure, to achieve their goals.
Other challenges the group is going through are similar. The audience knows the two greedy parents are the source of all this evil, but the kids have no idea, and so continue on in their roles, seemingly to them, simply the recipients of cruel fates. Of course, there’s the witch Hunters, but this group, while villainous, is somewhat sympathetic. At least they have clear goals and don’t lie to themselves about who they are.
Still, the show would be more interesting if the kids in the circle actually used their magical powers more than once every couple of episodes, but for now, the unique plot devices make up for it.
The Secret Circle airs on the CW on Thursday nights.