A Leap In Time
A University Witch
Stolen Shadow, Witch Forgotten
The Festival Of Candella
The Ritual Of Forgetting
The Time Portal
The Final Trip
Split between 1646 and present day Colombia, Colombian Netflix Original Siempre Bruja is a surprisingly engrossing, supernatural young adult drama. While there’s a whole smattering of romance at the heart of this show, it’s ultimately the characters who make this as endearing as this one ends up becoming. Siempre Bruja certainly isn’t for everyone; the expository laden dialogue and formulaic plot lean heavily toward the young adult and teenager market. With that in mind, there’s enough twists and turns here to make for an enjoyable watch nonetheless with a plot mostly resolved at the end but one big cliffhanger left for a possible second season.
The story begins in 1646 with 18 year old Carmen. Tied to the stake and about to be burned for being a witch, Carmen somehow manages to teleport herself at the last second to the lively shores of Colombia in 2019. It quickly becomes clear that she’s a woman on a mission and through a flashback we learn what this is. Her lover Cristobal is killed right infront of her back in 1646 and she’s traveled to the future to find an ancient stone, and those who would help wield its power, to travel back and save her lover from certain death. Of course, changing the past isn’t something to take lightly and it quickly becomes apparent that things are not what they seem.
What follows is a story that becomes so much more than it first appears, weaving danger and supernatural forces into each individual episode with an overarching plot revolving around a sinister man referred to as “The Fire Killer”. Through 10 episodes we learn more about Carmen, her group of friends she bonds with in 2019, Cristobal and everything in between. All of this culminates in a final battle where Carmen and her group tussle for survival with The Fire Killer. While most of the plot is resolved, we’re left with one final scene that leaves things wide open for a possible second season.
There’s some good chemistry between the characters too which is good, especially given the emphasis on romance here. In that respect, this is a series that’s likely to resonate more with females and there’s a good dose of quirky slapstick humour for good measure too. Most of that revolves around Jhongy Ki who plays the comedic role for most of the show. A plot twist late on does turn this on its head somewhat as he becomes a more prominent figure and breaks free of his comedic shackles but to give much more away about the show would be to spoil the various plot twists waiting within the episodes.
For all the positives, Siempre Bruja isn’t perfect. It’s a little silly at times and the various special effects range from decent to disappointing. It doesn’t detract too much from the show but the black shadow effects in particular don’t look wholly convincing and does cheapen the show a little. Given the dark storyline, there’s a strange juxtaposition here between danger and tension with white sand beaches and gorgeous tropical sunshine. While this isn’t a deal breaker, seeing a final showdown take place on a beautiful beach while the sea glistens like diamonds is a little unconventional.
Still, despite all of this Siempre Bruja is a really enjoyable show. It’s a series that knows exactly who it’s marketed for and delivers everything you’d expect for that age group with little deviation. This narrow view does make for a bit of a subjective watch at times but despite this, the plot is well written and, for the most part, well paced. The characters are what make this show as endearing as it eventually becomes and around the halfway point, the show gets a whole lot more exciting. While there are more prolific supernatural shows out there, I hope this isn’t the last we see of Siempre Bruja now it’s settled into its groove, and a second season might just be the perfect spell to conjure.
Verdict - 7/10