Netflix released their highly anticipated new Colombian-produced, Spanish-language show "Siempre Bruja" (Always A Witch) 2 months ago. The story follows the protagonist Carmen Eguiluz, a witch and slave in Cartagena in the 1640s.
To save the love of her life, Carmen must time travel to present-day Colombia and meet with a powerful witch. Of course, things don't go as planned. The show's protagonist, a shadowy figure called Lucien, is hunting and killing witches.
The show is a colourful depiction of modern-day Colombia, with a great costume designer, relatable characters, and believable acting. However, the show has been criticised for its tone-deaf depiction of black-Latinx people and the reality of slaves in Colombia.
TL;DR Netflix's new show is a super entertaining, binge-able show about a time-travelling Colombian witch. Though people are loving the plot for its loveable characters and breathless suspense, it has also been criticised for its tone-deaf depiction of black-Latinx people.
I was so disappointed when I seen siempre bruja. I’m thinking it’s about to be about a black witch escaping and I get a white master and slave love story pic.twitter.com/oshFVEp9XO— Jj (@consanance) March 25, 2019
Always a Witch (or Siempre Bruja) woulda been my shit if not for the fact that she’s in love with her “master’s” son https://t.co/m8WRGnQan9— Nicholas J. Fury (@Nickmiddleton25) March 25, 2019
The show follows Carmen, a brave, quirky and loyal witch who is sentenced to death for "bewitching" her slave master's son. The story shows that, in fact, the two fell in love, though it doesn't address the power dynamics that this implies.
Not to mention that Cristobal isn't a particularly interesting love interest anyway, as far as Netflix dream-boys go.
Big issue with the romance - Christobal is THE most boring male love interest I have ever come across. As a viewer I was not interested in their relationship AT ALL. The whole show would be better if that element was taken out and Carmen travelled to the future to— Anna ❤️💙 (@annaleam11) March 23, 2019
save HERSELF.— Anna ❤️💙 (@annaleam11) March 23, 2019
Another glaring weakness of the show is how quickly Carmen adjusts to life 400 years in the future; she doesn't question contemporary fashion, smartphones, the huge change in woman's rights and the fact that slaves don't bloody exsist anymore!
*WARNING: Semi-Spoilers Ahead*
*You have been warned!*
Carmen's beloved Cristobal is shot by his father for defending Carmen against those who are accusing her of witchcraft.
A powerful wizard tells Carmen that he can help her travel back in time to before Cristobal died. However, she must first travel to the present and accomplish a task for the wizard.
In present-day Colombia, she meets a few friends.
The standout? Johny Ki, a kindhearted metalhead/rapper whom she quickly befriends.
The series ends on a cliffhanger and has left me with many, many questions. Most importantly - WHAT HAPPENS TO JOHNNY KI? (Who is, in my opinion, the best/most interesting character in the whole thing.)#siemprebruja#alwaysawitch @NetflixUK@netflix— Anna ❤️💙 (@annaleam11) March 23, 2019
The show is visually stunning.
It really showcases the beautiful streets of Cartagena, as well as some of the breathtaking wildlife.
I know Siempre Bruja is problematic, but it hits me in my production values plus fantasy feels.— Raven Campbell (@raven_mcampbell) March 27, 2019
Always a Witch (Siempre Bruja) is a visually stunning show. The show definitely has its faults, but it's fun fluff viewing. But, it is a gorgeous show to SEE. My eyes enjoy all the greenery and architecture and colors.— RBKmakes (@WinterlightHome) March 25, 2019
Overall, I definitely recommend that you watch this show and make up your own mind about the glaring plotholes. It's beautiful and it's got some really fun characters.
Netflix has not yet commented about renewing the show for a second season.