Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches Can’t Conjure Horror-Drama Suspense | TV/streaming

Alexandra Daddario stars in the series as Rowan, a neurosurgeon in San Francisco who is unaware of his connection to the Wayfair clan in New Orleans. One day, when she has to deal with a condescending superior at her workplace, she gains the ability to blow people’s brains. Alarmed by this, she brings it up to her adoptive mother Ellie (Erica Gimpel) – who is on her deathbed – and who says she shouldn’t think about it. When it happens again, and after Ellie passes away, it begins a sad self-discovery for Rowan, who takes her to New Orleans, where she learns about her birth mother, Deirdre (Annabeth Gish).

For years, Dierdre has been in a silent, catatonic state, spending her days on the porch of her sister Carlotta’s (Beth Grant) at home and is taken care of mainly by the family maid Delphine (Deneen Tyler). As we see in flashbacks, Dierdre has been tormented by—after being seduced by—the same figure that also haunted her mother, a man named Lasher (Jack Huston). Appearing in these hazy sequences with a seedy grin ready for a dingy dive bar, Lasher is meant to be a symbol of all that has controlled and manipulated the women of Mayfair for centuries. Instead, he becomes a cheesy symbol—thanks in part to Huston’s low charisma—of how this story can’t conjure claustrophobic danger. The possible thrill of getting some creepy, sensual and/or dramatic horror from “Mayfair Witches” suffers for it.

The fun of “Mayfair Witches” can be so precarious that it struggles to make much intrigue out of its aforementioned secret society of witch protectors, called Talamasca. Rowan receives some help and companionship from a Talamasca employee named Ciprien (Tongayi Chirisa), and gives her a stronger grip on this new world. His heroism comes with its own gift – Ciprien can touch something and be able to see its past, like when he touches the gates of the Mayfair house. When he touches Rowan for the first time, it almost knocks him out, a testament to how she has a special level of power, even if she doesn’t know it.

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