Salem: Season 1 (2014)

salem season 1 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked: 

  • The intro song being a Marilyn Manson track. Yes, fan. Also, the intro itself was alright.
  • The animals that Petrus (the seer) has, and their crazy stitched up eyes. Creepy stuff I tell you.
  • Some of the effects are pretty good and the show can be surprisingly graphic.
  • Isaac Walton. Probably the only character I liked. He was so childlike and innocent, and always being used and walked over, which was really sad. But he was sweet, and passionate, and always did the best he could.

salem face cutting for necromancing

What I didn’t like: 

  • I was not a real fan of Shane West as John Alden. I think my biggest issue here was the fact that he plays someone so badass and it really, really doesn’t suit him – he comes across as a sissy trying too hard.
  • We all know Mary went all darkside and all that, but it was just so abrupt and sudden, not a fan of that. She’s also so completely darkside, which just seems a little sketchy.
  • The dialogue is just ridiculous, and cannot decide if it wants to be modern or traditional or what. No idea.
  • There are no characters that I like and that I am rooting for or anything like that.
  • The potential that this show just wasted.
  • The casting really sucked. And I was pretty excited to see Xander Berkeley in here, especially after The Mentalist. No such wonderful winning. Seth Gabel, too, whom I absolutely adored in Fringe felt so wasted and weak here, though he is one of the better characters, to be sure.
  • No real progression. Everything went in circles and was ridiculously predictable. Plus, no plot twist or revelation was ever delivered with any finesse, so it all just felt hollow overall.
  • The whole character progression of Mercy. I mean how the hell did she get so strong and knowledgeable so quickly? Pffff, it was just frustrating.

salem zombies

Rating:
GRADE 4
Well, it is rather evident that I was not a fan of this. I don’t know why my other half insisted on watching this. He was told by some colleagues/friends that it was really good and really interesting and blah blah blah. Now, we have never actually gotten anything good to watch from them before, or a great recommendation that stood out, and all I really wanted was to watch Deadwood, but this was short, so if not, why not? Right? Pffffff. This was such a painful experience for me to get through, but because it was only a thirteen episode long season, my OCD would not allow me to simply stop watching and move on. I hate that about short seasons sometimes. Dammit. Well, I figured that once I had started, I may as well invest some time in this, even if just to bitch and moan about it, and trust me, I will. The casting just felt all wrong, really. From the off. Like none of the characters was suited for their role… I know we are supposed to identify with Alden and all that, but I just wanted to cut his hair (the long hair didn’t suit him – and I am sure you all know how much that must kill me to admit it) and I thought he was such a sissy pushover. Not to mention my excitement levels went through the roof when I saw Seth Gabel as a cast member, I like him, and thought he was simply superb in Fringe. Queue a teeth kicking, cause that’s what this show was. There are so many holes in it, and so many stories that get introduced and forgotten and rushed away from. It’s like… why?! The worst is this show had potential. Like the concept, and the fact that the effects were halfway decent and there was some impressive gore. I was like yeahhhhh, let’s have a lookie here, and then this is what we got. There were moments that were pretty good, albeit predictable. It’s like Salem never catches, never finds itself, never draws you in, which is a pity. Also, I didn’t appreciate Janet Montgomery in the main role of Mary one little bit. Logic also makes some impressively confusing and mind-numbing leaps and bounds, which just adds to the irritations within this show. Also, the pacing was terrible. Something would happen and only be addressed again much later on, undecided as to whether something was relevant or not. Make up your minds, people, it can’t be that hard… The camera work was also incredibly sketchy, and sometimes the way it would rapidly flick between two characters in a single room made me think of a soapie. Meh. As much as Increase Mather was a twit, he was one of the more entertaining twits, and Stephen Lang had more screen presence than anyone I had actually seen this season. The one great thing about this show is the amount of laughter it provided for me and my other half due to ripping it to shreds and taking the Mickey out of it completely. I cannot, with a clear conscience, recommend this show – it could have been so much more if it wanted to!

salem reading

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18 thoughts on “Salem: Season 1 (2014)

  1. robbinsrealm says:

    I just saw this in the new release section on Netflix the other day, and added it to my watch list. Based on your review, I think I am going to take a pass on it. Thank you very much for the detail oriented blog, which outlined all of the many reasons not to waste so many hours of my life watching the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Oh dear, if I had known this is what it was going to be I would have skipped it all round! It sounds like it should be good but totally misses the plot. Glad I was of assistance!

      Like

  2. thycriticman says:

    These horror shows are either okay or terribly bad. I either cannot get into some of them (AHS or Penny Dreadful), watch them weekly to mixed reactions (The Walking Dead), or I completely miss out (Bates Motel and Hannibal). Salem is almost a guaranteed miss for me. Except I don’t think that I am missing out haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      I love that summation haha. There are some great ones, Hannibal and American Horror are right up there for me, Bates is alright, but The Walking Dead got bland for me ages ago. Wondering if I even want to watch the new season 😦

      Bwahahaha, nope, you won’t be missing out on ANYTHING. Promise.

      Like

      • snapcracklewatch says:

        I know right it is not great, funny yesterday we saw a preview for it and my husband said the same thing. The show really is going nowhere and the only reason we probably watched was because we watched them in a row. And yes don’t make fun lol!

        Liked by 1 person

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