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Sunday Times STLive By Barry Ronge, 2010-08-08

Pick of the week : Eastwick

The name sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Those of you who were around in 1987 would remember the film adaptation of John Updike's book The Witches of Eastwick. It was about three suburban wives who were visited by a devilish man called Daryl Van Horne. His occult powers drew them into his wickedly erotic games. The film starred Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon, with Jack Nicholson playing Van Horne (aka the Devil).

Since then, there has been a 1992 TV remake. In 2002, there was talk of a TV series, but that was canned. Now Eastwick is finally back, directed by Maggie Freidman, who is calling it an extension of Desperate Housewives with a dash of black magic.

"It's a show about empowerment showing how 'woman power' can be magical but also real. It's just that in this show, the reality will be a little heightened."

It stars Rebecca Romijn as lead "witch" Roxie, a free-spirited bohemian who is suspected of killing her husband and of having a young lover. Joanne (Lindsay Price) is a shy journalist and Kat (Jamie Ray Newman) is a mother of five with a drunken, loutish husband. Enter the devilishly charming Daryl Van Horne (Paul Gross) to tempt this group of "desperate housewives".

Eastwick was harshly criticised by the press and the "religious Right", and all ideas of a Second Season were dropped, but it will probably get a cult following.