Season #: 1, 2
Salem Image
Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In 1692 Massachusetts, John Alden (Shane West) returns from war to find his friend Cotton Mather (Seth Gabel) leading the Salem witch trials and his former lover Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), married to the elderly and wealthy George Sibley.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Suspense, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 5 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Apr 17, 2014
    80
    When Salem isn’t being deliberately outrageous, it’s cultivating a dynamic that could be fruitful as things move along.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Apr 18, 2014
    70
    There's plenty of room in the graveyard for Salem, although it's way too early to tell if it can effectively build on the scary and sensual elements introduced in Sunday's premiere.
  3. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Apr 18, 2014
    63
    Salem as a whole reflects the difference in the work of West and Montgomery. Yet its wildly uneven premiere has enough going for it to make me watch at least another episode.
  4. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 17, 2014
    42
    Salem is replete with scenes that make little sense. It’s mostly a jumble of decent enough special effects, less-than-decent acting, a script that also should be lashed with “10 hard ones” and lots of blood-curdling screaming.
  5. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 17, 2014
    40
    The Salem pilot is rather plodding except when occasionally punctuated by these more gonzo scenes.
  6. Reviewed by: Zack Handlen
    Apr 18, 2014
    33
    Salem uses real life to prop up its shallow theatrics, and the result is too distractingly tacky to be enjoyed as pure foolishness.
  7. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Apr 17, 2014
    25
    It’s like watching the cast of “One Tree Hill” put on a production of “The Crucible.”

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29
  1. Jun 18, 2014
    10
    Salem delivers quality entertainment and a fair amount of historical accuracy in one swing. This show is fast-paced, dramatic, creepy, verySalem delivers quality entertainment and a fair amount of historical accuracy in one swing. This show is fast-paced, dramatic, creepy, very entertaining, and leaves me on the edge of my seat after every episode. I highly recommend this show, and I definitely see myself tuning in every week for the rest of this shows existence (which will hopefully be a very long time). With such a fast-pace, I have no clue how they'll stretch this show out for multiple seasons, but I certainly look forward to finding out. Expand
  2. Jan 19, 2015
    10
    This is an excellent show all around. Top notch acting from most of the cast especially shane west, janet montgomery seth gabel and iddoThis is an excellent show all around. Top notch acting from most of the cast especially shane west, janet montgomery seth gabel and iddo goldberg. The time period, mood and cinematography are compelling and refreshing. The writers have created some very believable conflicted characters that you really feel for. Cotton Mather and Anne Hale both have a ton of depth and Mary Sibley's conflicts are heart wrenching. Finally a strong female character that isn't a stock male character with a gender change. I love John Aldon, another strong realistic and empathetic character. I would think if you like Game of Thrones you would like this show, they arent the same genre but as far as strong dramatic writing and great characters this show has them in spades. Expand
  3. Apr 26, 2014
    10
    Fantastic series and great concept. Love it. loved the first episode, surely the rest of the season is gonna be awesome.
    with elementary,
    Fantastic series and great concept. Love it. loved the first episode, surely the rest of the season is gonna be awesome.
    with elementary, sapce dandy, big bang theory and da vincis demons soon ending their seasons this is gonna be an awesome expierence during the summer
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  4. May 16, 2014
    8
    Excellent unpredictable script with good actors.Fresh idea and totally rewarding the the time you invest.
    It's getting better with each
    Excellent unpredictable script with good actors.Fresh idea and totally rewarding the the time you invest.
    It's getting better with each episodes and can't stop hooking with it.This is way better than Rob zombie's Lord of Salem movie.
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  5. Oct 9, 2014
    7
    Salem is a show filled with untapped potential....

    Having some truly great characters played by good actors/actresses, this show has all
    Salem is a show filled with untapped potential....

    Having some truly great characters played by good actors/actresses, this show has all the elements necessary for making something truly great. However, it's not there at the moment. In fact, as it currently stands the show is pretty decent. Some episodes are truly great, but they are not often enough. Yet, I was compelled with completed the season out of pure interest.
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  6. Sep 18, 2014
    5
    Salem is a highly original TV show and the acting is good. Unfortunately the script is very weak and the characters simply aren't sympathetic.Salem is a highly original TV show and the acting is good. Unfortunately the script is very weak and the characters simply aren't sympathetic. I think if better writers had been put on the project this could have been really great entertainment, but over and over again gratuitous gore is substituted for plot, and the final product reaches very little of its potential. Expand
  7. Nov 22, 2014
    0
    I am appalled in the extreme!

    The promotional blurb says "This drama series set in 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts, explores what really
    I am appalled in the extreme!

    The promotional blurb says "This drama series set in 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts, explores what really fueled the town's infamous witch trials, uncovering some dark truths". Not only is this misleading, it is an outright LIE! I was hoping for a historical-based drama. What I got was some dark fairy tale based on belief systems 400 years out of date.

    Did the writers and producers get their 'truths' from the Malleus Maleficarum or did they just collectively decide to throw history, truth and reason to the winds? Even Salem itself admits that what 'fueled the ... witch trials' was politics and greed. There is actual factual and physical evidence now available that proves beyond any doubt that the girls that started it all were, in fact, 'playing a joke' on the town because they were bored. Further documents confirm that Magistrate John Hathorne and Reverend Cotton Mather conspired with these girls to grab land and wealth since convicted witches forfeited all their property to 'the crown' who auctions it off to locals at bargain rates.

    Worse than the outright misrepresentation of the story-line, this show not only perpetuates, but actually embellishes upon the negative image of witches and witchcraft as devil-worshipers that was held in the 18th century. If you tried today to depict Native Americans as blood-thirsty savages, Black Americans as ignorant vicious voodoun practitioners, or Muslims as intrinsically violent woman-haters, the critics and sensors would be all over this show, shutting it down. But the writers and producers think nothing about a show that degrades and humiliates REAL witches - yes, they do exist - who are peace-loving, earth-protecting, animal-loving individuals who live by the law of "Harm None".

    Wicca, along with all other Pagan denominations is a Federally-recognized religion discussed in the Military Chaplains Handbook as a religion which "Worships the sacred as immanent in Nature, often personified as Mother Earth and Father Sky. It is very important to be aware that Wiccans do not in any way worship or believe in "Satan," "the Devil," or any similar entities. They point out that "Satan" is a symbol of rebellion against and inversion of the Christian and Jewish traditions. Wiccans do not revile the Bible. They simply regard it as one among many of the world's mythic systems, less applicable than some to their core values, but still deserving just as much respect as any of the others."

    It's about time people stopped degrading and misrepresenting both Salem and Witches for the sheer purpose of sensationalizing a money machine. I has taken 400 years for the hatred and violence caused by the witch hunts to begin to wane. Now this show purports to show us the 'truth' about Witchcraft as a Satantic, violent, blood-thirsty, power-hungry cult!

    I, for one, will NOT be watching this show and I am very sorry to see such talented actors, whom I have long respected, allowing themselves to become a part of this bigoted hate-fest that is targeting a very valuable section of the population and labeling them, yet again, as Evil.
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See all 29 User Reviews