TV Review: ‘Salem’

Originally posted on Variety:

Marking WGN’s concerted foray into original series, “Salem” wants to have it both ways. This late-17th-century dive into the Salem, Mass., witch trials paints the Puritans as hypocritical scolds, yet also embraces the notion that there really were witches operating at the time, which makes their capital punishments seem a little less crazed and paranoid — never mind that it runs counter to the rather more dull historical record and lessons learned about the true nature of witch hunts. Mostly, this basic-cable drama plays like a rather flat supernatural soap, despite the lush period trappings.

While generally lacking in distinguishing characteristics, “Salem” does push boundaries by experimenting with just how much nudity can be displayed without actually showing genitalia (kudos to whoever had the job of gluing on those strands of hair).

Created by Brannan Braga (a veteran of various “Star Trek” reboots) and Adam Simon, the series certainly doesn’t…

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