I think we were all pretty damn excited when Netflix released a trailer for their latest new release, a new TV series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I think everyone was even more excited when we realized that Sabrina is the Sabrina from the 90s TV show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I know I definitely was.
Sabrina Spellman has been around for as long as I can remember. She was first introduced in the Archie Comics before she later went on to have her own comic, and later in the late 90s, we had the Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The TV show is what I’m most familiar with as it was always on television when I was growing up, and I’m sure I could find it on RTE2 every now and again even still. I’ve probably watched every single one, and loved every episode also!
So I was really excited once it clicked that this new Netflix series was, in fact, a darker spin-off of a massive childhood favourite, and it was just in time for Halloween.
Something I’ve noticed is that each version of Sabrina has been different. The story of Sabrina Spellman is one that is repeatedly told and I’m sure will continue for years to come with many other adaptations.
Personally, for me, the first episode was a little slow, and not what I’d anticipated. However, I knew this wasn’t a testament to what the season may hold, and I was right. As the episodes went on, I found myself practically unable to wait for the next to start.
As the season progressed, I felt it was climaxing furthermore until the penultimate end, which left me quite a few questions, and hot on Google to ensure I knew there was going to be a 2nd season (I can confirm, there is meant to be one, hurray!). Each episode got better and more exciting.
I loved the whole casting of the characters and the storyline. It was definitely very different from the TV show that I grew up watching, but I’m not saying that in a bad way. Different can be good, I’ve learned.
Kiernan Shipka is amazing as Sabrina, I thought it would be difficult to fill the role after Melissa Joan Hart, but Shipka really made easy work of it, showing her character as not only extremely compassionate and supportive to her friends, but also headstrong and quite intelligent.
Sabrina is shown to be as strong-willed as ever, with a dark poignant twist to her character that I found the show thrived on. At only 16, she can be seen as quite a bold character, questioning much of what the other witches in the coven have never thought to challenge.
Zelda and Hilda were a little different to what I remembered, with Hilda sporting a British accent, but again different is good.
Hilda is even more scatty and ditzy than in the TV show. Zelda, on the other hand, can be seen as a very authoritative figure, similar to the TV show. Though their relationship as sisters can be questionable at times, I think they balance each other out, and we see that though she comes across cold-hearted Zelda really does care for her sister. As the season progresses we see a thorough development of both characters both as wise witches and Sabrina’s aunts/ guardians.
And there isn’t much bad to say about Ambrose, someone seen as new to me, but I believe to have been in the comics. How could anyone not adore Ambrose? As Sabrina’s cousin, Ambrose acts as the perfect confident as well as a bit of a guide to his cousin, Sabrina when she needs it most. Though his character isn’t exactly a character to laugh at, I found solace in his presence on the screen during some of the heavier scenes throughout the show.
The show isn’t completely centered around Sabrina and there are many sub-storylines given to the supporting characters, such as Harvey and his family history that we are shown, as well as her best friends Suzy and Roz. There are many sub-plots within the witching community also. One of my favourites was with Lady Blackwood, the wife of High Priest, Father Blackwood during her pregnancy.
I also loved the absolute sheer horror that came with bullies, the Weird Sisters, and how the developed as characters, particularly the ringleader Prudence whom I look forward to seeing more of come Season 2.
Though giving off a sort of 60’s vibe through the medium of clothing, the show deals with a lot of more modern issues about feminism and gender expression.
By the end of the final episode of the season, we see Sabrina in a different light to the near 16-year old that had a life-changing decision to make at the beginning. She has shaped into herself, and I’m so excited to see what the future holds for her.
Have you seen The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina? What did you think? Who were your favourites/ least favourites?