So many people were looking forward to Netflix’s new show Siempre Bruja, or Always A Witch. From the very beginning the viewer is greeted with some triggering and tired tropes. As always I’m doing my best to write this review without any real spoilers, but you probably want to pass on this one anyway.
According to Netflix ” The series follows 19 year old Carmen, a Colombian slave and witch from the 17th century who, with the help of a wizard, travels in time to escape being burned at the stake. Carmen finds herself in present day Cartagena starting a new life… but once a witch, always a witch.”
When in trouble our heroine Carmen recites her Mojubas to her ancestors. This is both a prayer and a litany that is most often said when leaving offerings. But for our protagonist these make her restraints fall away and the light go dim. She claims her only sin was falling in love with her captor, but it looks more like Stockholm syndrome to me than a historical romance.
For all those who will criticize me for pointing out the glaring issues with this fictional tale, let me start by saying I’m not a moron and I know this is fiction. However, these stories are how people make meaning out of the unknown. If I had a dollar for everyone who asked me questions about Papa Legba or Marie Laveau based on the wrong information in American Horror Story, I would be a very rich woman. The irony of it all is the stories more directly based on reality are even more entertaining. Magick contains infinite possibilities, not just the power to levitate and control the local stray dog.
Even our main Bruja says it in the start of Episode 3, “I’m not the Witch you are looking for.” Sing it sister, because ain’t it the truth. Siempre Bruja, or Always A Witch, is sadly always a disappointment. It plays more like a telenovela, and a bad one at that.
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