One-season wonders: ‘The Secret Circle’ (2011-12)

"The Secret Circle" (2011-12, The CW; now available on Netflix) shouldn't be nearly as good as it is, but because every actor plays the witches-and-spells mythology with total seriousness, and because the Pacific Northwest imagery is gorgeous, this series based on L.J. Smith's young-adult books from 1992 ends up being one of my favorite one-season wonders.

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Five buzzworthy season finales

It's that time of year when summer movies start to steal the headlines from TV, but boob-tube fans have one last gasp, at least: The May season finales. Due to the evolving TV calendar, it's not as jam-packed of a month as it used to be; "Parenthood," "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," "Ringer" and "The Walking Dead" had their finales in previous months, while "The Killing" and "The L.A. Complex" will run well into the summer.

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What happened to Sophia? (and six other burning TV questions)

Part of why it's been a great TV season is that there are so many compelling questions that keep us watching from week to week. And these aren't just a matter of "Oh well, I've followed it this far so I might as well keep going" like I sometimes felt with "Lost." A lot of shows this fall actually have mysteries where I want to know the answer. Here are seven of the most burning questions among currently airing shows (No, I haven't forgotten about "Who killed Rosie Larsen?," but I'll save that for when "The Killing" returns). (All times Central.)

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Is ‘The Secret Circle’ secretly one of TV’s best new shows?

With a great midseason finale this week, "The Secret Circle" (8 p.m. Central Thursdays on The CW) put itself in the company of the best new shows. Entertainment Weekly might not have noticed, since it dropped the show from its weekly recaps awhile back, and it's probably destined to never be a huge darling of the media or fans. But that kind of makes me like it all the more.

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The new fall shows — not too shabby so far

I've done "first episode impressions" of the noteworthy new shows this season, and many TV critics have done the same. We do this because it's fun and quick-hitting more so than because it's an accurate and fair way to judge a show. Indeed, my views of some shows have changed quite a bit in the month or so since the pilot episodes aired, so here's a rundown on where I now stand with these series, ranked in order of quality. (All times are Central.)

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First episode impressions: ‘The Secret Circle’

I like just about everything about "The Secret Circle" (8 p.m. Central Thursdays on The CW) except the fact that -- I am stifling a yawn just typing this -- it's yet another show about young people with superpowers. In this case it's witch powers rather than cat powers ("The Nine Lives of Chloe King"), vampire powers ("The Vampire Diaries"), werewolf powers ("Teen Wolf") or random powers ("Alphas"), but that's a minor distinction.

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