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Dante's Cove Season 3, Ep. 1

SULUM ALIO EXSPECTATA. “Each to another place welcome” was once carved into the sign in front of Dante’s Cove, a decrepit inn on a tropical island. But much has changed since last season.
Ostensibly, this tale follows the struggle between a witch and a warlock over “the power of Tresum.” Grace (the witch) was to have wed Ambrosius (the warlock) but caught him with his super-hunky butler and chained him up till “the kiss of a young man” freed him. One hundred and sixty-five years later, along came Kevin, chasing his latest love, Toby, to Dante’s Cove. Because he frees Ambrosius (‘Bro), apparently he is meant to be with him, forever. What followed was a cheesy low-rent mélange of “Dynasty”, “Dark Shadows” and “Charmed”, with a dash of “Buffy…” – albeit with none of their wit or craft.
Now…when last we saw our heroes, Grace and ‘Bro had lost out on the Libra Solstice power; Grace’s sister, Diana, had sent Van back in time to save Michelle from suicide; ‘Bro had taken Kevin as his lover and Toby was alone. It’s now six months later. A tsunami has wiped out part of the island, including Dante’s Cove. Van is dead. Michelle’s returned. More people arrive, each with an agenda. Grace reappears after a spin around the universe. Kevin seems happy with ‘Bro. Toby is still alone (unforgivable, dammit!) and life verges on chaos, again.
Man, has this series improved since Season One (which ain’t sayin’ much; it’s still on the low end of quality). But it helps having real writers write the “scripts.” Yes, characters still make insane leaps in logic to forward the story, but the dialog is getting better and gone are the outright chasms they had to jump. Sam Irvin’s directing is a bit more sure-footed, and Theo Angell’s cinematography helps him, immeasurably. Plus Hawaii is a LOT prettier than The Grand Turks for a location.
As Grace, Tracy Scroggins is grand fun as she shreds the scenery. Charlie David’s Toby exudes a natural warmth and sincerity that is invaluable; plus they were damn smart to cast someone who can really act in the role. William Gregory Lee just keeps on glowering as ‘Bro. And Gregory Michael? His Kevin was such a three-B (Bitchy-Blond-Brat), I never really cared about him; at least he’s more sympathetic, now. Thea Gill is perfection as Diana, Jon Flemming is better as Adam, and I’m glad they kept Michelle Wolf’s Britt. Adding Jensen Atwood as Griff, with his insinuating ways, is fun. But Reichen Lehmkuhl as Trevor? Well…he’s buff and he’s not bad…so the jury’s hung (pun intended).
Of course, no one tunes in to “Dante’s Cove” for great drama. We want cheese, nudity and sex, and it starts out with a “bang” (pun intended, yet again). But along with the fifteen-second hook-ups (seriously!) and near non-stop nakedness (male and, occasionally, female), we now sort-of-kind-of have a stronger “storyline” to follow because there’s this “new dark presence” in “Dante’s Cove.” So a lot more cheese…uh, story promises to come. Question is, will the series get even better and – dare I say it? – “Buffier?” Or are pretty boys all that matters in this genre?

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