Nothing says “Happy Easter” like debuting a show filled with sex, Satanism and forced abortion.
WGN America’s drama “Salem” debuted Easter Sunday to a total of 2.3 million viewers, showcasing a forced abortion by witchcraft in return for “all the world.” Taking place in 17th century Massachusetts, “Salem” delves into the town’s notorious witch trials while exploring who the real witches are – sex, nudity and devil worshipping included. The show, rated for mature audiences, stars Janet Montgomery, Shane West and Seth Gabel.
Beginning with a flashback, “Salem” opens by explaining the demise – or rather creation – of “Salem’s most powerful enchantress,” Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery). Confronted with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy by her beau John Alden (Shane West) who left her for war, Mary relies on her mysterious confidante, Tituba, for help. Tituba and Mary decide on abortion in return for power from the devil.
But as they head into the dark forest to commit the deed, Mary hesitates, “I've changed my mind. I want to go back.” Tituba warns, “There is no place for that child in Salem,” and questions what the town’s leader might “do to you when he finds out you're pregnant with John's baby?” She continues, “Do not fear the woods. The woods are gonna take care of that little soul. And you.”
Against Mary’s repetitive pleas, Tituba threatens more harshly, “You want to live? Lie still.” and pushes, “You don't have a choice, Mary.” Article continues after the video.
When Mary cries at the sight of her flat stomach after the ritual filled with a dark demons, flesh-eating beetles and black ooze crawling up her spread legs, Tituba consoles, “All the world shall be yours in return.”
Fast forward seven years, and Mary (both villainess and heroine of the show) is in love with her power, from possessing a girl to telling one character, “Can you imagine how good it feels to take everything you have, destroy all you've built, and devour your very soul?”
Many in the media have expressed praise for the show, including The New York Times.
— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.