We have had vampires (True Blood, Vampire Diaries…), then there was a brief zombie-flux (Walking Dead), but now, finally, are witches getting a re-vamp?
Witches are pretty much the feminist icons of the horror genre… Why?
They are mostly female, to start. They have been persecuted and underestimated. They are usually the losers in high school, the ones who can’t get boyfriends, the ones all the popular girls hate. Then they realise cats are all they need in life and have boys flocking around the block on their sixteenth birthday, yet ironically, aren’t interested anymore, because they can entrance anybody they want. They live with their sisters, and are more powerful than pretty much everything they come up against. They can not be controlled or manipulated, nothing gets past a witch.
Three new TV shows have hit our screens this Halloween, and all feature strong female witches…
1. Witches of East End (Lifetime, Tuesdays @ 10pm)
Based on the book by Melissa de le Cruz, this is a rather camp expression of witches, but it is incredibly entertaining and boasts some rather intelligent and interesting female characters. The cast includes Twin Peaks star, Madchen Amick and Buffy veteran, Tom Lenk. The premise revolves around Joanna, her two daughters and sister. Their entire family is cursed all and Joanna has brought up her daughters not to use magic, until, of course, they begin to discover their hidden heritage.
2. Sleepy Hollow (Universal, Wednesdays @ 9pm)
Witchcraft is responsible for pretty much the entire premise of this legend, cursed horsemen re-animated for some petty revenge. However, the show has a new take on the fabled town haunted by horse riding headless spirits; resulting in an interesting plot that delves deeper than some old witches curse. Katrina, protagonist, Ichabod’s other half, is still a major player; and despite being a *SPOILER* ghost/dream entity, Ichabod would be lost without her, and arguably wouldn’t have a clue about ANYTHING.
There are also two covens within Sleepy Hollow’s history, one good and one bad. These covens come in to play continuously throughout the season. Katrina, of course, is part of the good coven… Serilda (above) is more fond of the black kind of magic.
3. American Horror Story: Coven (Fox, Tuesdays @ 10pm)
The anthology series focuses on witches this season, with themes of oppression and racism and sexism. The private school housing the dwindling young witch population was set up by a suffragette, a statement by the writers on the status and importance of witches throughout their fictional history of America? no doubt! (witches = strong, confrontational young women?) This series is by no means an easy watch, dealing with torture and rape front on, this is no Sabrina.
“the world isn’t safe for a girl like me, but maybe I’m not safe for the world either”
– Zoe, American Horror Story: Coven
Who are your favourite TV Witches? Vote now, just leave a comment and tell us your Top 5!