A warlock stalks a twink at a seaside resort. Rival witches seek control of ancient magic. Everyone has lots of sex. Dante’s Cove is a supernatural soap opera with a heavy dose of camp. A clever idea that suffers from poor execution. The acting is embarrassing. The scripts are repetitive. Even the softcore sex grows boring. But the show ran for three seasons. Think of all the good shows that didn’t get three seasons.
Learn more in this spoiler filled recap. Trigger warnings for sexual assault and self harm.
Season One (2005)
Scene One: Dante’s Cove – 1840
WITCH: If you touch another woman, I’ll curse you.
AMBROSIUS (A warlock): No problem. (Sleeps with a man.)
WITCH: Doh! (Curses him.)
Scene Two: Hotel Dante – 2004
STEPHEN AMELL (Pre Arrow): It’s tough being the only straight guy in a hotel full of gay dudes.
(Toby and Kevin, our dull leading men, are having sex.)
TOBY (A bartender): Happy anniversary. (More sex.)
KEVIN (A twink): We should break up. Then get back together. (Makeup sex.)
Scene Three: Magic Spells
AMBROSIUS (Old and grey): Only a twink can break my curse.
(He kisses Kevin and regains his youthful looks. Then hypnotizes Kevin into sex.)
WITCH: Ambrosius, if I can’t have you no one can! (Kills Kevin.)
AMBROSIUS: I’m the one with powers now. (Curses the Witch and revives Kevin.)
KEVIN: Thanks, but I must get back to my boyfriend.
AMBROSIUS: What boyfriend? (Throws Toby in the ocean.)
Season Two (2006)
Scene Four: The Chase
TOBY: (Washes ashore) I’m okay!
AMBROSIUS: I must have Kevin!
(Ambrosius tries Wile E. Coyote schemes to capture Kevin. They fail.)
KEVIN: Meep Meep!
Scene Five: Time Portal
WITCH: I’m opening a time portal to destroy my sister!
SISTER WITCH (Thea Gill from Queer as Folk): Nope! (They fight.)
LESBIAN ARTIST: Too late. I used the portal to save my dead girlfriend.
UNDEAD GIRLFRIEND: I hope this doesn’t cause problems in Season Three.
Scene Six: Hostage
AMBROSIUS: I’ve captured Toby. Become my sex slave and I’ll set him free.
KEVIN: Why me? I’m so boring.
AMBROSIUS: That’s a great question.
Season Three (2007)
Scene Seven: Sex Magic
KEVIN: I stole Bro’s powers with SEX MAGIC!
TOBY: I’m glad you’re interesting now, but I have a new boyfriend.
KEVIN: NO! YOU BELONG TO ME! Wait… Am I evil now?
SHADOW MONSTER: Surprise! (Drags Toby through a portal.)
Scene Eight: Shadows
(Shadow Monster goes on a murder spree.)
KEVIN: I’ll stop it with my new magic! (The Monster overpowers him.)
AMBROSIUS: Kevin no! (Ambrosius rescues Kevin.)
UNDEAD GIRLFRIEND: The Monster’s here because I came back from the dead.
(She kills herself and the Monster vanishes.)
KEVIN: Ambrosius, you did something altruistic!
(They have consensual sex for a change. Toby calls to them from inside a mirror.)
TOBY: Crowdfund season four!
Dying to Be With You
It was a series that combined Dark Shadows with LGBT shows like Queer as Folk… It brought a popcorn sensibility to a genre that we hadn’t seen before.Director Sam Irvin
It’s not a satisfying finale. Toby’s in peril, Kevin’s gone back to his abuser and the Shadow Monster killed half the cast. Of course, they didn’t know it was the end. A fourth season was planned. Instead, they got a spin off series, The Lair, which also lasted three seasons.
Most Dante’s Cove episodes follow a formula. Someone threatens someone. Someone warns someone they’re in danger. People have sex. Rinse, repeat. Characters rarely grow or change. Oddly the head witch, Grace, has the largest arc. She shifts from vengeful monster to concerned den mother. The writers give her a boyfriend, played by Noah’s Arc’s Jensen Atwood, and a mostly happy ending.
Did you watch Dante’s Cove when it aired? Would you like to see it rebooted? Have shows like American Horror Story and The Magicians filled the space it left behind? Is this the series David DeCoteau wishes he made? You can find my other reviews on The Avocado and Letterboxd. My podcast, Rainbow Colored Glasses, can be found here.