The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch officially sprang up on Netflix this fine Halloween weekend and thanks to a fresh batch of insomnia I’m here to review it for you.
If you’re unaware, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is the story of Sabrina Spellman, a half human, half witch she must battle with the forces of good and evil inside herself to decide who she’s going to become.
Staring life of as a nemesis in the Archie comics during the 1960s, she eventually got popular enough to carry her own comic book series and then eventual 90s sitcom and TV movies.
This new television show isn’t a simple cut and dry reboot, as with many comic books there have been various adaptations over the years. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes its inspiration from the 2014 comic book of the same name.
In this one, we have the familiar setting of Greendale and the familiar cast of characters including Harvey as well Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda. There’s a smattering of new characters as well including Cousin Ambrose, best friend Jaz and mean girl Prudence.
I’ve been super excited about this show since it was first rumoured to crossover with Riverdale and so far I’m pleasantly happy with the new series.
In the first episode of this new show we see Sabrina Spellman in the week leading up to her birthday and ‘dark baptism’ when she will finally become a witch, however, she still finds herself tied to her old life as a normal high schooler.
This show manages to maintain a level of fun creepy that’s thoroughly enjoyable all the way through without a big push on the story then check it out
Now let’s get into positives and negatives…
What I love
- This show is insanely beautiful; director Lee Toland Krieger did a fantastic job of creating the ambiguous and mysterious world of Greendale. Parts are shot like a horror film, others like a dream sequence and some like a music video yet it all manages to feel cohesive, the visual element of the storytelling was gorgeous.
- Again with show aesthetic, costume design and set design, you’re completely immersed in this world, and it’s very easy to get sucked in.
- Furthermore, I appreciated the delicate balance of horror and comedy, the show itself isn’t afraid to delve into the macabre
- The central conflict of Sabrina being reluctant to take up her dark baptism is a nice metaphor for girls/change/growing up.
- A certain scene towards the end was beautifully executed.
What I want to love
- I don’t feel like I know any of these characters yet, I’m not putting too much of an onus on the first episode, but I feel like I’ve seen a rough outline with no real complexities give me morally grey characters!
- Would have loved to learn more about the witch stuff and how that builds up, it was briefly mentioned with Harvey, but I would have liked to know how she learnt spells and how it worked
- I love Michelle Gomez as Ms Wardell/ Madam Satan but I think it’s criminal they wouldn’t let her use her Scottish accent. I suspect she plays a more prominent part later on in the series because having her as a henchman/side villain would be very sad
- I’d also love to know more about the high school
Stand out moment
Magic happy dance around the house
Stand out character
Prudence played by Tati Gabrielle- pitch perfect mean girl with a gothic twist
Let’s see what the next one brings