I wasn't particularly impressed with the first episode of The Vampire Diaries and never bothered watching beyond that, but I've read that it's become entertainingly nutso as time has gone on, and I'm kind of curious to give it another chance. Maybe the same thing will happen with The Secret Circle, which, like Diaries, is based on a book series by L.J. Smith and is executive-produced by Kevin Williamson. Also like Diaries, it starts off with a fairly ho-hum pilot that adds familiar supernatural elements to familiar teen-drama elements in a not very exciting way. The supernatural beings here are witches, not vampires, but otherwise the tone is very similar, including the small-town setting, the central love triangle and the ancient battle between good and evil.
I liked star Britt Robertson on the underrated Life Unexpected (which kind of fell apart in its second season), and I like her here as well, playing the outsider who's unaware of her magical heritage. The rest of the cast makes less of an impression, although Phoebe Tonkin's bitchy bad girl has the potential to become an entertaining adversary. The ominous reveals toward the end of the episode didn't really draw me in, and there's little here to suggest an original or clever take on your standard witchery (or teen angst). If Williamson and company take this show in a crazy, over-the-top direction, maybe it'll turn out to be a worthwhile companion for Diaries (which precedes it) and by next season I'll be feeling like I should catch up with it, but I'm not going to keep watching just on the chance of that happening.