I haven't seen enough of this show to rate it.

The Secret Circle, on The CW
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This is based on a series of books, which I haven't read. It stars Britt Robertson, who was the main reason I decided to check the show out (I mean, aside from a general interest in supernaturally-themed shows). Anyway, Robertson plays a teenager named Cassie Blake, whose mother Amelia dies in a fire, in the first episode. Her father had died like 16 years ago, so Cassie never knew him. And now her only living relative is her grandmother, Jane, who lives in Chance Harbor, and Cassie moves there to live with her. She soon gets swept into the lives of five of her new classmates: Diana Meade, Adam Conant (Thomas Dekker), Faye Chamberlain, Melissa Glaser, and Nick Armstrong. Much to Cassie's surprise and dismay, she learns that they all come from a long line of witches, and she's one of them. They all inherited powers from their parents, who had kept this fact secret from the kids. However, Diana had found her family's Book of Shadows (a spellbook and also a journal, I think), and started learning the truth, which she shared with the others. And it seems they can only be at their most powerful with a complete circle of six, which Cassie rounds out, now that she's moved to town. Although she wants no part of any of this, because she thinks it's crazy. However, she soon finds that it's impossible to avoid, because none of them can control their powers unless they perform a ritual to bind the circle. And their powers prove dangerous if left unchecked. Once bound, it seems none of them can do magic by themselves anymore, but they can even if just two of them work together; and the more of them there are, the greater their collective power.

There is a degree of mystery about a fire that occurred 16 years ago, in which all six of them lost at least one of their parents, and Nick lost both. (Their parents had had their own circle, though of course this means that each kid had a parent who wasn't part of the circle, and I'm not sure how much those non-witch parents had known about any of this magic stuff.) The fire was apparently caused by witchcraft gone wrong, though as yet the details are unclear. However, the accident was what caused Amelia to move away from Chance Harbor and vow never to return, hoping Cassie could lead a normal life. Cassie eventually finds her family's Book of Shadows, along with a letter left for her by her mother, though she doesn't mention this to the others at first. Anyway, the kids (at least Cassie, Diana, and Adam) begin investigating the fire, trying to learn the whole truth about what happened 16 years earlier.

Meanwhile, Diana's father, Charles Meade, and Faye's mother, Dawn Chamberlain (Natasha Henstridge), who is the high school principal, are secretly trying to get their powers back, or something. Their ultimate plan remains unclear, but they need to use their children's circle for whatever it is they're up to. Of course, they can't let their kids know that they know the kids have formed a circle of their own, or say anything at all about witchcraft; and their kids have to try to prevent the parents from finding out that they know about witchcraft (which of course Charles and Dawn already know, but I don't think the other kids' parents know about it). So anyway, it's all pretty complicated, everyone's keeping dangerous secrets. There are also other people who know about what's going on, who would like to stop Charles and Dawn's plan, as well as stop the kids from getting any more deeply involved in magic. But Charles and Dawn manage to thwart their enemies (occasionally by killing them, though Dawn wants to avoid that whenever possible, to avoid arousing suspicion).

Let's see, I should also mention that Diana and Adam have been dating pretty much forever, but there's now clearly some chemistry between Adam and Cassie, as much as both of them would like to avoid it. And Melissa has been sleeping with Nick, though they're not romantically involved... but it seems she wants them to start dating. Which may happen, in spite of Nick's reluctance. He tends to treat her badly, and doesn't understand why she likes him. They both seem to have self-esteem issues. Meanwhile, Faye treats everyone badly (including Melissa, who is sort of her sidekick; but she does apparently care about Melissa, telling Nick to start treating her better). Faye isn't really interested in being part of the group, and is upset to have lost her individual power once the circle is bound. She also doesn't like Diana acting like the leader of the circle, just because she's the only one (as far as they know) who has a Book of Shadows). But she does realize she needs the others, not only in order to use magic, but for mutual protection from their common enemies. And... I should also mention there's a girl at school named Sally Matthews, who's like class president or something. She becomes friends with Cassie, though she doesn't seem to know the truth about the circle. But she does start to get suspicious that something's not right with them.

And that's pretty much all I can say. So far the show seems okay, and it seems like it has definite potential to develop over time. But... the thing is, when the show started, I didn't have the CW, so I had to watch it online. And occasionally the website's player would skip, and I'd have to sit through a long string of commercials, repeatedly, to get back to where I was, assuming it got back there at all. Eventually I just decided I didn't care for the show enough to go through that every week. If I could've watched it on TV, I might've stuck with it... but then again, I might not. I watch too much TV, so I'm always trying to decide whether a show is important enough to me to stick with or not, and this one was a bit iffy. So... I ended up seeing about ten episodes, and I doubt I'll ever see any more.

Oh, but I should also say the opening... I don't want to say theme song, but... whatever it is, is definitely rather haunting. Just a sort of childhood tune, "da da-da da-da, da da-da da-da, daa-daa daa-daa daa-daa," or whatever. Simultaneously innocent and creepy. I like it.

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