Over the past few years, we’ve seen some great original UK shows hitting our screens, and ITV’s new supernatural show Switch seems likely to join the ranks. With one of the girls accidentally microwaving her boss’s cat and another romantically enchanting a customer who turns out to play for the other team, what’s not to like?
The series centres on four witches in their early twenties who are all part of the same coven, having known eachother since they were young, and who all live together in Camden, London. Each character’s personality differs greatly from the rest, and each represent a particular element, essential for spell-casting; Stella (Lacey Turner – Eastenders), the ambitious, business woman battling a horrible boss represents Earth, Grace (Phoebe Fox – New Tricks), a hopeless romantic physiotherapist who holds traditional views on witchcraft represents Water, Jude (Nina Toussaint-White – Eastenders), the fiery, aspiring fashion designer who is always looking for a good time represents Fire, and Hannah (Hannah Tointon – Hollyoaks), the free-spirited explorer who frequently jets off around the world for a number of months at a time represents Air. There are also many other familiar faces which crop up unexpectedly within the first episode, namely Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly) who plays Grace’s overprotective mother, Gloria, who is intent on persuading her daughter that she is too great for her current coven, and Amanda Drew (Eastenders) who fills the role of Stella’s intimidating, boss from hell.
With such a strong cast, an equally strong plot is to be expected, and although it definitely isn’t Oscar worthy, so far it seems to deliver. Honestly, my initial expectations weren’t too high because although supernatural dramas are usually right up my street, many seem to fall flat with their cheap special effects and cheesy rituals. However, Switch has the perfect balance of both which, with the added comedy, makes it truly fun to watch. Admittedly, I was thrown off by the first spell they cast; each chucking objects which represent their assigned elements into a giant saucepan, holding hands and circling the odd mixture, whilst chanting cliché phrases. As expected, this did result in a little sigh and a lot of eye rolling on my part, but the immediate witty one-liners which followed managed to balance it all out.
For me, Lacey Turner is the stand-out performer of the show as she effortlessly yet convincingly fulfills the role of Stella, so desperate to please her unbearable boss whilst caring for her three friends as the mother hen. Also worth a mention is Phoebe Fox, a relative newcomer to television with a strong background in theatre, as she subtly reveals just how vital her role is as the unexpected head of the coven who possesses great power.
All in all, I’d recommend Switch to anyone who is interested in both supernatural drama and comedy as the show has a neat combination of both which introduces a much more light-hearted approach to the genre. The first episode ended in an interesting cliff-hanger which leaves you wanting more, and despite only being a few episodes in, the programme shows great promise. Without a doubt, it already has me hooked, drawing me into the lives of these four witches who are so relatable with their typical friend, family and love life dramas which they only seem to make worse through their use of magic.
Switch is a six-part series which airs every Monday on ITV2 at 10pm.