Netflix reboot ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is captivating


Photo courtesy of Netflix

Kiernan Shipka showing her inner witch in promotional poster

Savannah Anderson, Staff Writer

    On Oct. 26, the new adaptation of the dark, comic series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. brings back Netflix’s tendency to reboot shows or movies from the past and it was an major hit.

    Besides the obvious similarities to the ‘90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, with the main characters names and connections to the Archie Comics as a character introduced in the ‘60s, it stands alone as a fantastic thrilling show to binge during late nights.

    The series stays very close to the comics. Especially since comic writer for the series, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is one of the shows screenwriters as well the showrunner for Riverdale.

    Riverdale is pretty dramatic storytelling — it moves quickly like an out of control train,” Aguirre-Sacasa told Variety. Sabrina is a little bit slower paced and a little more methodical and thoughtful.”  

    Which is true, in every episode of Riverdale the climax is always something so extreme that one can forget it was supposed to be realistic fiction about four teenages at the age of 15 somehow can balance tacking murdering psychopaths  and chemistry homework.

But in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the plot is based around teenager Sabrina Spellman and her struggle to be the witch that her coven, the Church of the Night, wants her to be as well as the mortal that she desires to be. Sabrina herself is a witch, so it makes sense to have dramatic storylining and extreme solutions to every problem compared to Riverdale.

    The show tackles issues that other shows do not try to address in fear of backlash: racial slurs, religious stands, and partial nudity giving it the TV-14 rating.

    This makes the show more intriguing compared to Riverdale. Sabrina is in fact quite innocent compared to Riverdale excluding the witchcraft.

     The cast of Riverdale ages in real life range from 21-26, and they play teenagers however in Sabrina, the main actress Kiernan Shipka is in fact 18, so it makes sense to not have as much as adult theme as Riverdale.

    The first season is only 10 episodes and each one lasts about 50 minutes, which none of the episodes showcase Sabrina and her boyfriend Harvey dealing drugs or having sex, because they are teenagers.

       Currently, however, it has been confirmed a christmas special, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale will be dropping on Dec.14.

    This Netflix series has certainly lived up to all the hype it was given, with easter eggs connecting to Riverdale, scenes to cause the audience to bite their nails, old-school songs and stars such as Wonder Woman’s own Lucy Davis playing as Aunt Hilda and former Disney star, Ross Lynch playing as Sabrina’s mortal boyfriend Harvey.

    However, the show is not a smashing Netflix Originals hit like Stranger Things or Orange is the New Black as there are some major plot points that makes Sabrina less interesting such as Salem the familiar cat in fact does not talk despite having always talked in the ‘90s show and in the comics.

    Though Molly Freedman from Screen Rant said, “The new Aunt Zelda says it best when she says there’s nothing human about Salem, so it makes sense the cat doesn’t talk throughout Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

    Despite the mythology of the familiars, the writer may have intentionally made Salem take on a completely different role than in the ‘90s version to truly play the part of Sabrina’s protector.

    Addressing the concern that the show is just another high school drama, involving basic stereotypes and cliché filler episodes, this is not the case. Most of screen time is surrounding the story of the Spellman family Sabrina’s time at both her mortal and witch school.

    It clearly informs the audience that this show is focused on self-growth and women empowerment rather than another overwhelmingly mediocre TV show involving teenagers acting like grown ups. The fans could actually relate with the characters and their morals more closely.

    Even though The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina is surrounding a half-witch, half-mortal, the issues and characters’ lives are in fact realistic to some extent.

    The show is highly recommend for those who crave thrillers and inspirational lessons with a hint of spellbinding madness.