The King is Dead

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Salem


I gave up cable to help afford a mortgage, so I have to wait (and wait and wait) for a lot of interesting programming.  Right now I'm missing Turn, the series about America's first spies during the Revolutionary War from AMC, but thankfully I don't have to miss Salem, the freaked-out reimagining of America's most famous witch trials from WGN.  It's airing on Hulu Plus which (for my money) is the better investment over Netflix (though I admittedly subscribe to both).  I just watched the pilot of Salem right before bed last night, and it is one crazy show.

The thing the pilot most reminds me of is my arguably favorite movie, Brotherhood of the Wolf, minus the kung fu.  "A rational-minded gentleman soldier returns from time amongst the Native Americans to a supposedly civilized village embroiled in occult conspiracy; based on real events (contains strong sexual content and violence) " is a pretty good description of both properties.  I didn't know that American basic cable channels could get away with so many bare bottoms; c'est tres European!
 
I can't say I thought the pilot of Salem was actually good.  The acting is kind of wooden, the dialogue is occasionally laughably modern, and the politics of the series are... weird (which is surprising, given that Brannon Braga of Star Trek: The Next Generation/Voyager/Enterprise and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is in charge) but Robin suggested that the point might be that the rational skeptic is the only sane person in the whole town.  Regardless, it's going to make for a fun colonial Gothic fill-in until Sleepy Hollow comes back.
 
(And it's making me reconsider the role and themes of the Sorority of Belquis in The King is Dead.)

(Also, it's obviously a great source for imagery and characters for The Savage World of Solomon Kane and other Gothicky, colonialish RPGs.)
 
 

 

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