Motherland: Fort Salem

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Motherland: Fort Salem TV Poster Image
Army of witches fight for USA in sometimes-violent show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It's a fictional world in which witches are an important part of the U.S. military, and have served the country for centuries. The drafting of witches is controversial. Female empowerment, friendship, loyalty, teamwork, and related themes are present. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Raelle, Tally, and Abigail are strong women, and are very powerful when working together. One of them is troubled and doesn't always behave according to the rules. 

Violence

Disturbing scenes of mass suicides are featured. Occasionally bruises and bloody injuries are shown. Conversations about fighting and killing are frequent, and the death of a parent is discussed. A cast member often lights her face on fire, but it does not her cause harm.  

Sex

Sexuality includes brief scenes of people engaging in sexual acts (no nudity is shown). Virginity is discussed. 

Language

The word "s--t" is frequently incorporated into military jargon. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The occasional consumption of natural herbs with properties that heal, give mystical powers, or do damage. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Motherland: Fort Salem is a dramatic series about witches who serve in a unique military force. Violence includes scenes of women engaged in physical combat, people lighting themselves on fire (but no damage), and disturbing (and occasionally bloody) scenes of mass suicides. Cursing is frequent, especially "s--t," and there is some sexual content, including brief scenes of sexual activity (but no nudity). Suicide is addressed as well. Teens may be drawn to the interesting premise, but it may be too mature for some of them. 

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What's the story?

MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM is a supernatural series that features a group of young recruits in an army of witches. Over three hundred years ago, witch Sarah Alder (Lyne Renee) signed the Salem Accord with the leaders of what became United States government, ending the persecution of witches and allowing them to fight for their country. Now the rebellious Raelle Collar (Taylor Hickson), the enthusiastic Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton), and Abigail Bellweather (Ashley Nicole Williams), who comes from a long line of military witches, have been drafted by the Witch’s Army as new recruits, and are training in combat magic under the watchful eye of now-General Alder and Drill Sergeant Anacostia Quartermaine (Demetria McKinney). But the threat posed by "The Spree," an ancient evil force that uses contemporary terrorist tactics, is growing, and the trio may be deployed sooner than they think. 

Is it any good?

This dark series creates an alternative universe in which a powerful matriarchy is fighting at the front lines to defend the United States. It features lots of predictable drama, ranging from personality clashes to strong sexual tensions between characters. The attempt to rewrite American history from the witch’s point of view isn’t very nuanced, either. But the lack of a male voice throughout the show is unique, and the mystic training and combat style of the witch military force is what makes it fun. If you like this sort of entertainment, Motherland: Fort Salem is worth tuning into. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about witches. How does Motherland: Fort Salem portray their culture within this alternative universe? What are some of the show’s attempts to break common stereotypes about what it means to be a witch? Does it challenge stereotypes about women?

  • What makes a series feminist? Is it because it has an all-female cast? Because it features strong women? Should this show be classified as a feminist series? Why?

  • The show deals with suicide. Talk about what to do and who to call if you or someone you know is suicidal. 

TV details

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