I’m really fascinated by the history of witchcraft and when I first heard about an upcoming TV series inspired by the real Salem witch trials of the 17th century, I just knew I would have watched it.
Salem is an American supernatural-horror-drama TV series that let us know the story of Mary Sibley, a powerful witch, and her long lost love John Alden that returns to Salem after he had been sent to fight the French and the Indians. In the meantime, Mary had married a rich puritan man, George Sibley, head of selectmen board and one of the founders of Salem. His sudden change of personality, from aggressive to passive, caused by witchcraft, was explained to the rest of the community as a natural paralysis. Mary has shown to hold no affection for his husband, and married him just to have the power to control Salem.
The director of the Marilyn Manson music video Cupid Carries a Gun, Brannon Braga, created this original TV Series, with another American film writer and director, Adam Simon. There have been made three seasons, and the third will premiere around Halloween 2016.
In my opinion Salem’s plot is really engaging, mixing intelligently history, magic arts, and realism.
Among the themes analyzed in Salem we have fear, revenge, hysteria and evil.
One of the things I loved the most about this TV Series are the beautiful and mystic locations, but also the costumes of the protagonists: everything is perfectly realistic and well made. For you that are interested in where Salem was shot, the location is Shreveport, the third largest city in the state of Louisiana. This place is known for the number of films that have been made here (among which Texas Chainsaw and The Town That Dreaded Sundown).
I find Salem particularly interesting also because it analyzes and tries to explain the real history of witchcraft, and let us now better about that particular period, through personalities that historically really existed, like the Protestant Reverend Cotton Mather (1663 – 1728). Politically really influential Puritan Minister and prolific author, in Salem he is represented as a man with a multi-faceted personality, since he is responsible for both horrible gestures and loving compassion.
In conclusion, Salem is a show that draws much from popular culture, history and literature, especially from legends and ballads, but it is also very modern, using elements of modern horror.