'Witches of East End' premiere: Did the supernatural drama cast a spell?

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"Witches of East End" pulls off a nearly impossible feat: The new Lifetime drama manages to mix the supernatural with truly clever humor. But did the premiere episode work?

For the most part, the answer may be a definite yes. "Witches of East End" tells the story of a family of immortal witches. There's Joanna Beauchamp ( Julia Ormond), the mother of two daughters -- practical Ingrid ( Rachel Boston) and hedonistic Freya ( Jenna Dewan-Tatum) -- and her wild, cat-like sister, Wendy ( Madchen Amick).

Something wicked this way comes ...

All of the Beauchamps are living under complicated curses that mess with immortality. Joanna stays the same age pretty much forever, but she keeps having to give birth to her daughters (who have an unfortunate tendency to get killed in their youth). Wendy, meanwhile, has only nine lives. Considering that she loses one in a car accident mere minutes into the episode, those lives might be running out.

Things start to get really weird at Freya's engagement party. The townie bartender somehow managed to land herself a super-rich and handsome doctor named Dash ( Eric Winter). Unfortunately, Freya has also been having dreams about a hotter guy -- someone who turns out to be Dash's black-sheep brother, Killian ( Daniel DiTomasso). They make out in the bathroom and set some flowers on fire before Freya remembers she's engaged and stuff.

Freya does manage to not sleep with Killian -- partially because a vengeful ex from 80 years earlier throws her into a vintage photo so he can kill her. As you do.

Ingrid, meanwhile, gets her weirdness in the form of an infertile co-worker who wants a pregnancy spell. Shockingly for Ingrid, the spell works.

Back at home, Joanna and Wendy are dealing with the fact that someone who looks just like Joanna (except with yucky green eyes) wants to kill the woman. Like, permanently kill her. Until Green Eyes can do so, she is content with killing some nice neighbors and framing Joanna for the crime. Mama Beauchamp therefore ends the premiere heading off to prison. With Wendy dead (again) and Freya stuck in a photo, it's left for Ingrid to save everyone.

She's not very excited about this.

Impressively, this all works

A lot could have gone wrong with "Witches of East End." Bad acting, hokey storylines or no humor would have derailed the premiere completely.

None of that happens. Instead, we get a funny show that brings in just enough intrigue -- and, yes, magic -- to make a viewer come back for more. Amick's Wendy, in particular, has an incredible time chewing the scenery with her smart-aleck of a witch. She had better not be (permanently) dead!

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"Witches of East End" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.


Photo/Video credit: Lifetime