Witches on The Rise: Tv's Next Supernatural Escapsim

True Blood Season 4 Witches
True Blood Season 4 Witches | Source

Supernatural Escapism

The bills are piling up, the jobs are few and far between, war and terrorism spreads across the world. Had enough? I thought so. The current atmosphere and conditions of the world creates a need for coping. This coping comes in the form of escapism. The luxury of the western world is that individuals don't have to escape into their own worlds, copious worlds are created for them. This is done through music, books, movies and most of all television. Television is the perfect medium for escapism. It's like a movie but can be drawn out week to week, allowing the escape from reality to exist at least once a week. There are many topics that take the form of escapism but one of the more popular ones of the past few years is the supernatural. The supernatural trend has swept the country, changing past views on particular supernatural beings while also following a unique trend. This trend begins with a redefinition of vampires, moves on to werewolves and now is moving on to witches. Below I will briefly go over these escapist trends of the supernatural, laying out the general map of the procession.

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Vampires

For centuries there have been stories and folklore about vampires. Most of these stories, like Dracula, expressed vampires as evil. When the new trend of vampire escapism began to emerge in media, it also began to change their image. Now vampires, like people are projected as good, bad and everything in between. Some of the earlier shifts in vampire perceptions came with the series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the movie trilogy "Blade". In both show and movie there is a vampire fighting for the "good side" against the bad vampires. This transition to a good vampire, one with a soul (Angel and Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and a half human, half vampire (Blade) really went agianst most of the lore of the vampires of the past.

As we moved into the new millennium, we moved deeper into the vampirical trance of supernatural espcapism. Soon vampires would be all over the place, from the movie theater to the television set. Starting with the huge movie series, based on books, Twilight. This series really jumped started the whole vampire craze. Like it's predecssers it also projected vampires as good and bad like humans, adding new depth to the blood sucking dead. Shorty after the first movie premiered a television series aired on HBO, also based on a book, called True Blood. This series follows a number of supernatural beings in the politics of a Louisiana town after vampires come out of the coffin to the world. Once again this series illustrates the various degrees of good and evil of vampires, while also introducing other beings for escapism. Shorty after this series was aired, another series appeared on The CW network, called The Vampire Diaries, which is more geared towards the teenage crowd. This show also follows a human/vampire love story like Twilight and True Blood, showing once again that vampires are like humans, some are bad and some are good. This new vampire craze really picked up steam in pop culture and it makes sense considering these shows arrived during the economic recession, offering a great escape of entertainment. However it wasn't the last supernatural trend!

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Werewolves


Next on the supernatural escapist trend is werewolves! This began to take hold with the team Edward verses team Jacob cultural phenomenon of Twilight. It also introduced Jacob, a werewolf into cultural spotlight. At the same time werewolves were showing up in Twilight, True Blood's third season introduced werewolves into their series. In True Blood, like the vampires of the last few years there are good ones and bad ones. Then their was the introduction of a semi minor character in The Vampire Diaries who discovers he is a werewolf. Finally the most recent werewolf to enter the scene is MTV's television series remake of Teen Wolf. Majority of these new werewolf characters are seen in a more positive light. This is interesting because at the same time television seemed to be switching to werewolves, Hollywood tried to cash in with a remake of The Wolfman which ended up being a flop. Was it a flop because it followed the more traditional werewolf?

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Witches Casting a New Spell

Now on to the present, in the summer of 2011 and looks like the fall of 2011, witches will be casting a spell as the next trend in the supernatural escapsim. It began with the introduction of a witch in The Vampire Diaries, who is a powerful good witch. Next we have the current season (4) of True Blood, where we have a number of witches and covens introduced. Although the plot is still unfolding, it seems to be a group of good witches as well as bad witches in the series. Now on to the news that sparked my interest on this supernatural trend. The CW network is releasing a new television series in the fall called The Secret Circle, which is about a high school drama surrounding a coven of witches. Is the trend growing? will witches be casting a spell on pop culture or will it peak with this series? Only time will tell.

Whether its vampires, werewolves, witches or any other supernatural element, what's really popular is the outlet of escapism that these stories create for people. So at the moment witches are on the rise as tv's next supernatural escapism.

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2013 Witches of East End

Although The Secret Circle was cancelled after just one season, the CW's two big vampire shows, The Vampire Diaries (TVD) and The Originals (a spinoff of TVD) still have a large presence of witches in the story lines.

Now in fall 2013, the woman's focused network channel 'Lifetime' has started up a new show based on witches called 'Witches of East End'. The series has a Charmed-esque vibe but is definitely different then the 90's drama.

The new drama follows four witches who live cursed lives in the east coast town of East End. The mother is immortal, her sister has multiple lives and her two daughters only live to their late 20's before dying and being reborn again, never remembering the life they had before. There is also other supernatural enemies in East End including a shapeshifter and an immortal lawyer.

The show looks to have promise in filling the void of witch centric shows on the television at the moment. Only time will tell if Lifetime has cast the right spell on tv audiences!

Lost Girl airs on Monday nights at 10 PM on the SyFy network in the United States
Lost Girl airs on Monday nights at 10 PM on the SyFy network in the United States | Source

are Faires on the Horizon?...update 2/11/12

In the very definition of a trend, they come, they go and they evolve. I see an evolution occurring once again in the the entertainment world. We seem to be still diving into supernatural escapism with Witches at the forefront but a branch of the fae (fairy) is breaking off. Now what is the fay? They are fairies. Now it's only a branch of the supernatural escapist tree but enough references to the supernatural beings have popped up over time that i thought it would be worth mentioning. The first time I heard the term fae was in True Blood in reference to one of the characters, a main character that is. Although the term is old I had never heard it before and soon found out it is just another name for Fairy. Although it is a crucial part of the plot in True Blood, it doesn't over take any one season like the witches did in season 4, this past summer (2011). If this was the only reference to fay on television it wouldn't be a trend, however a show recently premiered on the SyFy network called "Lost Girl" , which if you haven't guessed is about fae.

The show "Lost Girl" did just premier in the United States on January 16, 2012, however it is originally a Canadian show that is currently on it's third season on the Showcase Channel. This show focuses on a young woman named Bo, played by actress Anna Silk, who as strange abilities that she couldn't explain, that is until she discovers the hierarchy of fae. The audience learns much more in this show about the legends of fae (fairies) then they ever did from Tinker Bell. Both True Blood and Lost Girl reference a hierarchy to the fairy world, as well as the half breeds that are born from fairy/human relationships. In Lost Girl the audience dives even deeper then in True Blood to discover various types of fairy, including Succubus (a fairy that feeds off human energy), which Bo is. This new addition to the supernatural entities on television might not go as mainstream or crazy as the vampire, werewolves, and witches phases went but could be a significant branch on that same track to escapism. (P.S. of what I saw so far Lost Girl isn't too bad)

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Comments 10 comments

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Yep this is the current wave! I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and Useful.” I'm now your fan! RJ

Based upon this HUB, you might enjoy…

http://hubpages.com/politics/Tiny-asks-a-Question-...


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 5 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Reynold Jay, im glad it came across so well, thanks for the votes and the follow!


Megan Kathleen profile image

Megan Kathleen 5 years ago from Los Gatos, CA

A guy after my own heart! As I have seen almost everything you mentioned, this Hub was of particular interest. I like how you point out the change in the portrayal of these creatures and how that might affect the popularity of more traditional remakes. I like to think that people these days are tired of one-dimensional characters laid out in an either or way (either bad or good, no in between). I love True Blood because all of the characters have depth, and I think a lot of fans would agree with me. The only question remaining may be why it is that we want to escape to worlds with supernatural beings that have the power to kill us. Bon Temps is not the most peaceful of worlds. Maybe we like to know that whatever is going on in our lives, it could be worse? Something for speculation.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 5 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Megan Kathleen, i also enjoy the depth of the characters on True Blood, it leaves so many options open for not only character development but plot too! just look at Lfayette's character, i read somewhere that in the books he was a very minor character that was supposed be killed off, yet the added depth given to him by Alan Ball and Nelsan Ellis has kept him around to the present season, even expanding his plot line, jumping into his own supernatural powers. As for True Blood's escapist allure, i would have to say you can see it too ways, one as pure entertainment, a world not like ours, with different problems to focus on, or two as a way to look at society right now through a different lens, a smoke screen of sorts. this gives us a fresh perspective on the problems in society by using different variables and situations. sorry for the long response lol glad you liked it!


YadiraE profile image

YadiraE 5 years ago from Puerto Rico

I too have noticed this trend. I have watched every show and movie you mentioned and I love them all (Well, The Wolfman not so much.) I know that The Secret Circle seems kind of lame, but I will also give it a shot. Loved your Hub!


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 5 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks YadiraE for the comment, im glad other people have noticed too!


metaphysical profile image

metaphysical 5 years ago from Woodland Springs, Colorado

We need a show about Mermaids where the entire thing takes place under water. I think it would make for interesting television. Really though I think Elves will be the next big thing. There's an intricate social struggle among Elves as jealousies rage and fights ensue over who gets to be closest to Santa Claus.


shea duane profile image

shea duane 4 years ago from new jersey

why not elves who make shoes at night?


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

BWD... an interesting hub... Thankfully I don't watch TV...but I have run across (in person) a group of witches once while out hunting for insects...I think I scared the living crap out of them...and once I ran into some deranged creature who was convinced he was a vampire. This is why I carry a stout stick with me while trapesing through the underbrush and darker forests. Life is commercial free... mostly.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 4 years ago from Connecticut Author

lol dave there are some characters in the real world that are just as entertaining as tv! Thanks for the comment!

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