We're sampling all the new pilots this Winter. Check out our thoughts on...
Call it another “lost in translation” moment, but there’s an added layer of unintentional comedy in how this show’s playing with far deeper notions than it probably realizes. At first, it seems like it’s going to be a lighthearted trifle on the order of SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH. The whole opening scene has the basic set-up of every CASPER short ever, wherein terrified villagers approach what they expect to be a terrifying monster, only to realize she's a harmless little scamp who hilariously can’t live up to fearsome expectations.
There’s similar humor then - - or at least humorous intent -- in how this witch is a virgin, and therefore far from the type of girl who’d ever be take congress with the devil. And, of course, that contradiction’s doubled by how she has a succubus as a servant, a creature that was traditionally meant to explain men’s wet dreams.
I think the crew gets all that to the extent. When we first meet the succubus, she hints quite strongly that she’s just come back from… ah… pleasuring some men in a faraway castle, and the oral sex reference is comically lost on Maria. After that point, though, I have to think the crew’s experiencing their own funny gap in understanding.
See, there are “witches” and then there are witches. It seems like our lead was intended to be a slightly more risqué riff on KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE. The people behind it did enough research to realize there’d be a bit of added significance in naming her “Maria,” but not enough to realize that doing so would explicitly make her a sort of Antichrist Madonna. Sure, they’ve set the show in a real European war from history, and they've put Maria in cutely forbidden romance that’s (logically?) barred by the Catholic Church of the era. I suppose they could be trying to make some high-concept satire of sexual politics and religion, et al, but…
…something about the other witches’ cocktail attire during their little battlefield tea party makes me think that’s a far more serious than what they’re actually going for.
Watch this pilot and decide for yourself.