The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was available on Netflix from 26th October 2018, and oh is it worth the watch!
When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with Jonathan Schomich and Nell Scovell’s version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch starring the amazing Melissa Joan Hart, Nate Richert, Beth Broderick and Caroline Rheah. If you were hoping for the same glittered magic and happy endings which that series provided, then this isn’t the show for you, but I must say that this much darker series is a lot more gripping and dare I say, entertaining.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, ran from 1996 to 2003, and it was brilliant, funny, light-hearted and just what you wanted to watch on a weekend morning in your pyjamas. At the peak of its time there would have been no way any creator could have made such a mischievous series for such a young audience, but I’m finally glad Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has opened up such avenues with his other breath-taking series; Riverdale.
While this show still has aspects of magic, it focuses more on a satanic cult and coven theme. I can understand why this show is going to have a lot of controversy from the Wicca community, with it already being sued by the Satanic Temple, as the group claims the show’s statue of Baphomet resembles its own, but if you put all the witch and magic aside, the true heart of the show is about family and friends.
The main plot of this season is Sabrina fighting her family, her coven, and the rules to ensure she didn’t have to lose ties with her mortal connections to the world, most importantly her boyfriend and her friends. After running from her Dark Baptism, on her sixteenth birthday and refusing to write her name into The Book of the Beasts to be forever bound to the Dark Lord, she was able to make a deal with the devil himself. The deal was, if Sabrina wanted to retain her mortal life, she would also have to attend the Academy of Unseen Arts, as well as a few other conditions thrown in there too.
Kiernan Shipka is sensational as Sabrina and at first, I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Melissa Joan Hart playing her, but if anything, she has given this character a new light, or should I say, a more original one. The brilliant thing about Roberto is that he stays relatively true to the Archie comics group, and being an avid fan of Riverdale I had high hopes for this series. I am so happy that Roberto continues to knock out thrilling contents with every episode he commits to. Slay Roberto, slay!
Roberto also has never shied away from having a large group of actors and characters from the LGBTQ+ community, along with the powerful feminine story lines he delivers with such poise. Within the first two episodes we were graced with the beautiful presence of Susie, Rosalind and Ambrose.
Chance Perdomo has stolen the show; he plays Ambrose, the sexy, British, pansexual warlock, who acts as Sabrina’s confidant, adviser and lovable cousin. Though he has been shown to be a protector of Sabrina and his two aunties, he’s got a very dark past. Ambrose was the only witch to be arrested for attempting to blow up the Vatican. Although he was offered amnesty in exchange for the names of his accomplices, he did not betray them, and for that reason he was confined to the Spellman Mortuary. Luckily for him, Father Faustus Blackwood, High Priest of the Church of Night Coven and Dean to Academy of Unseen Arts, played by Richard Coyle, granted him temporary leave and a form of freedom from his somewhat isolated lifestyle, to help at the Academy.
Ambrose has a knack for delivering witty lines and hilarious comedic banter, which in a way has filled the void for our not so chatty cat Salem, voiced by Nick Bakay in the Sabrina The Teenage Witch series. While a sarcastic puppet would look completely out of place in this gloomy take on Greendale, I do have to admit I miss his perfectly timed, over the top, one liners. Maybe one day we will hear this Goblin filled familiar’s inner voice, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
Along with Ambrose, Sabrina is very faithful to two other important members of her Spellman family, Aunt Hilda played by the talented Lucy Davis and Aunt Zelda played by the brilliant Miranda Otto. Once again, their takes on these fascinating sisters is spellbindingly beautiful. While they are both shown as being faithful to the Dark Lord, Zelda more so then Hilda, their love for Sabrina has shown that these two old souls can even break tradition if needed to protect her.
Hilda is the gentler and kinder Aunt of the two and just like her niece is willing to break all the rules if that means defending her loved one. Sometimes her choices don’t always go to plan and I think she is going to be in hot waters when Ambrose finds out that Luke, played by Darren Mann, might only have uttered his words of affection, thanks to a love potion she sneaked into his coffee. Let’s all pray to Satan that this isn’t true, because Ambrose deserves better, and so does Luke for that matter, no one warrants their free will to be taken away from them, even if all Aunt Hilda wanted to do was make sure Ambrose was happy.
I’m sure that Zelda, the stubborn and ruthless first born of the two Spellman sisters, will certainly have something to say about it, I just hope she can keep this, and her latest implication from the almost out-casted Spellman clan, away from Father Blackwood. Miranda Otto has a brilliant way of balancing out her characters strong loyalty for the Dark Lord and her love for her family in such an outstanding relatable way, you just can’t help but feel for her.
Susie, who is one of Sabrina’s best friends at Baxter High School, has an amazing story ahead of them and I can’t wait to join them on this journey of self-discovery. Lachlan Watson who play’s Susie, is very open and out spoken about being non-binary and has admitted in several interviews how Lachlan’s views on Susie has changed their character dramatically. There was a lot left open within Susie’s storyline, obviously with them being called an abomination, to how she is talking with their dead ancestor, I’m really hoping that we will get to touch on these important storylines in the next season.
Jaz Sinclair was another beautiful addition to the show as she played Rosalind, another strong feminine connection to the mortal world for Sabrina, her family were cursed by a witch and they were given a gift called The Cunning, which allows the females in her family line to see visions of the past, present and future. Not only does Rosalind have a killer singing voice, but I’m hoping to see her and Sabrina teaming up in the future with her new amazing powers. I do hope they find a way for her to keep her sight, so she can continue reading more powerful and controversial books, but I know that someone with a family curse isn’t going to get off that easy, even if her best friend is a witch.
I’m also pleased that the creators of this show didn’t drag out the powerful heroine telling her boyfriend and best friends her big secret. It has caused a few issues, like any big secret would, but at least this show won’t be using an over the top cliché of ‘when and will they find out’. Ross Lynch brought the better half of the beautiful relationship that is Harvey and Sabrina, the chemistry between these two was sweet, endearing and I will be shipping these two for a long time coming, be it, that they are together or not. Team Harvina all the way!
Michelle Gomez was a further stunning actor who stole the limelight, she played the witty and intelligent Madame Satan, mother of demons, and her sarcasm and all-around beauty has grabbed the audience with every line she delivers. She has possessed the body of high school teacher, Mary Wardwell, and even though she seems extremely loyal to the Dark Lord, I do hope a small soft spot is growing for our kind-hearted Sabrina.
Finally, I was so happy to see Tati Gabrielle, who I know for playing Gaia on ‘The 100’, gets to stand out and prove what an amazing actor she really is. She plays the somewhat vicious, intelligent, but strong-minded character of Prudence, alongside her equally twisted two sisters, Dorcas played by Abigail F. Cowen and Agatha played by Adeline Rudolph, they together portray the trio which are better known as the Weird Sisters. I can’t wait to see her grow and her relationship with Sabrina develop in the future.
By the end of the season, Sabrina was more or less forced into signing her name into the Book of the Beast, but I was delighted in a way to see her with her full powers and potential. Of course knowing Sabrina, I have a feeling that the next season will have her fighting the Dark Lord’s calls at all costs, and even though we saw her giving a magical goodbye to our beloved Harvey, I have a strong feeling that the kiss between the two of them, won’t be their last, even if that means breaking all the rules again, but would you expect anything less from our fearful Wicca leader?
Photos and Images: misscrazyworld