Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches: The Witching Hour   Books Included 
January 16, 2023 10:56 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Neurosurgeon Rowan Fielding has a problem - when she gets mad, she kills with her mind. Her search for answers sends her toward her secretive biological family. In New Orleans, Deirdre Mayfair is desperate to escape from her aunt's oppressive house.

Polygon: Mayfair Witches fumbles Interview With the Vampire’s promising universe - The second installment in the Immortal Universe swings and misses

Vulture Series-Premiere Recap: Demon Spawn--"I wasn’t sure how Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches would measure up against the unholy three-ring orgy that was Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, and after finishing the pilot episode, I’m still not sure. I am, however, optimistic, as “The Witching Hour” included many of my favorite supernatural things. For one, I’m always happy to see a show taking full advantage of the high-camp aesthetics provided by the Catholic church (if I took one positive thing from seven years of Catholic school it was a deep appreciation for ceremonial melodrama). For two, it’s nice to see witch content today that gets back to the more depraved tropes of the genre. These are not Glendas or Halliwell sisters fighting the forces of evil. The Mayfairs are doing real witch shit like spawning demons (potentially) and giving mansplainers magic aneurysms. Oh yes, there is also some shoe-horned feminism which I’m choosing not to let bug me. So let’s go, gang. Who’s ready to fight the patriarchy?"
posted by oh yeah! (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's been ages since I read any of the Mayfair Witches books - I think I may only have read the first one, I'm fairly certain that it was the series that turned me off of reading Anne Rice, though I don't remember what was the specific "Nope" event, just that there was one. I was curious to check out the series anyway, considering what an interesting job AMC has done with 'Interview with the Vampire', but I missed the premiere last weekend.

I have to agree with the 'meh' reviews. I'll probably keep watching since it's only 8 episodes, but, Lasher is not impressing me with his seductiveness so far.
posted by oh yeah! at 11:05 AM on January 16

I really loved this book back in the day and was excited to see that they are making a show of it after all these years. I have not (yet) watched this.

the trailer looked...really bad? I only want to watch it because Jack Huston is Lasher and he HAWT. (even tho Lasher is like, totes incorporeal for the entire first book...)
posted by supermedusa at 11:09 AM on January 16

I want to watch this because Anne Rice fan over here (well, teenage me was a huge Anne Rice fan) and I quite liked the first book--the subsequent two are not good, tbh--but I am not hearing good things. No Aaron Lightner, no Michael Curry? Well, I mean, it IS a hefty book to adapt...
posted by Kitteh at 11:52 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]

Wait, no Aaron Lightner or Michael Curry? Whoa. I guess I'm still curious to watch this, since I liked the first book. (And I agree on books 2 and 3 being not good. I'd always reread 1, and then think they couldn't be as bad as I remembered, but oh boy were they.)
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 12:11 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]

I was hoping someone would post this, because I didn't want to post something just to gripe about it. But holy hell, I really, really hated it. Some combination of the bizarre acting (Rowan never. stops. twitching.), Lasher's complete lack of charisma, the jarring time jumps, and the aggressively unsympathetic death of Rowan's mother really turned me off.

I haven't watched the second episode yet, though I probably will, just to give it a chance. But if it's more of the same, I am noping right out of this. Which is a shame, because Interview was so, so good.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:20 PM on January 16

the series that turned me off of reading Anne Rice, though I don't remember what was the specific "Nope" event, just that there was one

Perhaps giving birth to her demon lover and admiring the baby's tiny cock? Because...that sure noped me into the next galaxy over.
posted by praemunire at 12:26 PM on January 16 [5 favorites]

One of the things I liked best about The Witching Hour were the Talamasca files on the Mayfair witches. I loved the historical document aspect of that.

Ugh. I am torn. IWTV was so incredibly good and I had high hopes for a Mayfair witches adaptation. Boo.
posted by Kitteh at 12:47 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]

The first book was super spooky, read it several times, and my mangled copy has a family tree I made (mostly, iirc, because Julien is related to several generations). The book that came after is stupid and horrible for reasons already mentioned.

This show doesn't sound much like the book at all.
posted by Glinn at 1:22 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]

I don't remember much about The Witching Hour, which I read thirty years ago, and found an agony of what I would come to know much later as "Netflix pacing." But I did really like the first season of Interview, and so I came to Mayfair Witches with high expectations. It's...okay, but less daring than Interview, and it's frankly confusing. For instance: I didn't recall from the book that Dierdre was Rowan's mother, and I somehow missed any context clues that would have told me her story was set in (I guess) the early '90s; all of this was made even harder for me to follow by the age of actresses. Dierdre, who I guess is supposed to be in high school, looks about 25, and Rowan, who's evidently supposed to be in her late twenties, is played by an actress about a decade older. So I think I could be forgiven for not guessing their relationship, and largely finding the revelation at the end of the episode baffling.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:13 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]

Wait how do you even *adapt* that without Michael Curry?
posted by corb at 5:01 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]

They created a whole new character not in the books that not only works for the Talamasca, but also has the same psychometric ability of Michael.

Edited to add: boo hiss on that
posted by Kitteh at 5:20 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]

Definitely meh on most of this, but WOW was Beth Grant the perfect choice for Carlotta Mayfair.
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:13 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]

Beth Grant understood the assignment.
posted by Kitteh at 5:50 AM on January 18 [4 favorites]

Okay so I finally watched it.

I think the focus on the mask, as well as the absence of Graham, shows that they are trying to do an thing with the incest story factor to make them more palatable for modern audiences, where they make the men complicit but the women not complicit, which is certainly an *improvement* at least.

I still don’t know how they’re going to deal with the absence of Michael Curry and why they are doing it. Are they trying to simplify things by giving Rowan a romance with the Talamasca guy directly? But then I’m not sure how the baby plotline will work. Or is it just that they don’t want her to Come To New Orleans For A Man? Really unclear at this point.
posted by corb at 5:05 AM on January 19

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