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Television Review: New “Sabrina” is bewitching

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David Gonzalez
Staff Writer

Everyone has heard of the Salem witch trials, but Greendale, home of Sabrina Spellman, had one of its very own. 

“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” a Netflix original series, is an adaptation of the Archie Comics character Sabrina Spellman, the same character that inspired the 1990s ABC show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

While the 1990s show was very light hearted and fun, this new adaptation is a more devilish, darker take on everyone’s favorite witch. 

Sabrina, played by Kiernan Shipka, daughter of mortal Diana Spellman and powerful Satanic priest Edward Spellman, is half witch and half mortal.

She lives in Greendale with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, played by Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto respectively, and cousin Ambrose, played by Chance Perdomo.

As half mortal, she attends Baxtor High with her friends Susie Putnam, played by Lachlan Watson, Rosalind “Roz” Walker, played by Jaz Sinclair, and boyfriend Harvey Kinkle, played by Ross Lynch.

As a half witch, she is expected to denounce all things mortal and sign her name into the Book of the Beast to become a full-fledged member of her coven, Church of Night, meaning she must also attend the Academy of Unseen Arts.

As is Church of Night tradition, every young witch and warlock must sign their names in the book on their 16th birthday in an event known as a “dark baptism.”

Though it is tradition, Sabrina does not want to denounce all things mortal by signing her name away to the Dark Lord. She has a deep attachment to her friends and does not want to abandon them.

Sabrina struggles to balance her mortal life with staying true to her witch heritage, which evolves as the main conflict of the series. 

As a darker “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” storyline, the series does not shy away from dark imagery.

The witches of the series practice dark arts like necromancy, which means graphic blood sacrifices are shown, as well as different demons and ghosts that terrorize the town, more specifically the people closest to Sabrina. 

This new take on Sabrina is filled with minority representation that feels natural while tackling issues of social justice in its own way. Susie is a non-binary character who uses they/them pronouns, while Ambrose is pansexual attracted to other men.

Baxtor High is full of misogynistic men who ignore the pains of female students. As a result, women on campus form a club called the “Women’s Intersectional Cultural and Creative Association,” or WICCA, to tackle feminist issues on campus. 

Will Sabrina pledge her allegiance to the Dark Lord by signing her name into the Book of the Beast, abandon her coven to stay in the mortal realm or will she follow another path?

Set aside a few hours one night, preferably with snacks, and join Sabrina as she breaks the status quo in “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

David Gonzalez can be reached at david.gonzalez9@laverne.edu.

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