Kristen Dragotto, Staff Writer
If you grew up watching the classic TV show “Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” chances are you are aware of the Netflix reboot titled “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” While this reboot was highly anticipated, it has not turned out to be what fans expected.
This 10-episode Netflix series takes a darker spin on the original Sabrina, including satanic and occult references as well as some cannibalism thrown in for good measure. While the darker aspects of the show are prevalent and act as a major component in character development, they do not take themselves too seriously allowing for comic relief when the audience needs it most.
What fans may not have known is that this Netflix series is an adaptation of the comics written by Roberto Aguirre Sacasa and not a reboot of the family favorite TV show starring Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Spellman. While the two series are completely different in content and family friendliness, there is a new standard set for the role of Sabrina Spellman in this series. Actress Kieman Shipka does a marvelous job in portraying the character of Sabrina, giving new life to Sabrina Spellman.
The favorite characters from “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” still make an appearance, but are presented with a twist. The much-loved aunts Hilda and Zelda are played by Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto, respectively. Salem the cat, who won over hearts with his wit and sarcasm in the original series, is seen again. Even though he does not talk, Salem still steals the hearts of viewers in this reborn Netflix series.
Throughout the 10 episodes it is evident that Sabrina is facing an internal and external struggle making sense of the two sides she represents, mortal and witch. It is the struggle between good and evil that Shipka portrays in such a personable way. While the content of the show is highly unrealistic, the emotions she presents in her character are very realistic. This aspect allows for the audience to become attached and engulfed in the series.
The show has gotten some negative press in a review from The New York Times titled “Review: ‘The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina’ Pits Teenage Rage Against Dark Magic” by author Margaret Lyons. She said that the show “is frequently chilling, but it’s rarely much of an adventure.” This statement is not without merit—the show does lean more toward the eerie side of things rather than taking their viewers on an adventure.
The 10 episodes presented a lot of problematic situations and questions and unfortunately, the finale left most of these unresolved. While this is aggravating, it acts as a reassurance that we will be seeing more of this series in the future; there should be a second season. The show is worth trying to watch but it falls into the category of you will either love it or hate it. It cannot be compared to the original show much of us grew up watching, but if you are fan of the CW hit show “Riverdale” this show might just be up your alley.