The Dark New Tale Sheds Light on the Classic Sabrina
By: Salvatore Cento
There’s certainly a reason as to why the name of the show was changed from “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” to “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.
When dealing with witches, we’re also going to deal with demons. That’s logical in this day and age.
And sure, demons do possess people, so let’s jump to exorcisms next, which are also present. Where we do jump off the rails a little bit is with cannibalism.
Also, the fact that everything is overshadowed by a slight theme of Satanism is just a little bit crazy.
These are but just some of the highlights of the show regurgitated by reviewers and watchers alike since it’s release on October 26th, 2018.
While these darker, grittier aspects are explored and exposed to their limits, it hopes to bring a new crowd in to an old idea. This in turn could turn some fans off, that’s what also made this retelling distinct from its predecessor.
All of the severe changes from the original series did throw the viewers off. The lighthearted fumbling around with spellcasting was gone.
The bright and cheery tone was missing, everything is also dark, literally. A bloody kind of violence had seeped it’s way into almost every scene.
Also, Salem the cat doesn’t talk anymore which is nostalgically upsetting, personally.
While seeing what the writers and producers took away, what they gave us in return was what the audience learned to love over time.
Kiernan Shipka is charming and absolutely brilliant in her role as Sabrina Spellman.
In the beginning, the chemistry between Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto, who play Hilda and Zelda Spellman, Sabrina’s aunts, seemed unlikely.
Ironically, the duo magically sparked when Hilda came back from the dead after being killed by Zelda for accepting Sabrina’s independent ways.
The back and forth between the two of them after she rose from the grave helped viewers see that they would have no problem meshing.
Another character in the series is Ambrose, Sabrina’s cousin who’s forbidden to leave the Spellman grounds because he attempted to blow up the Vatican.
It seems odd that the writers decided to split Salem’s traits onto two different characters. They are both voices of logic to Sabrina and Ambrose, which shares the cataclysmic-event punishment just as Salem did.
But nevertheless, he does become likable, as he helps Sabrina accomplish numerous tasks she cannot do herself. For some time, he is her partner in crime, so to speak.
Two of Sabrina’s mortal friends, Roz Walker and Susie Putnam, have the same issue as Ambrose.
At first, it’s questionable as to what purpose they serve other than a subplot that’s not really needed. After being a mouthpiece for the writers, delivering socialistic messages, the character identities finally transform and flourish, helping to create memorable scenes.
Coming off of his spectacular performance in “My Friend Dahmer”, Ross Lynch gives another knockout showing here as Harvey Kinkle, Sabrina’s boyfriend. Since his Disney Channel days, Lynch has improved miles when it comes to showing emotions, both verbally and physically.
The hook for the show is that even though the characters are rooted in a form of organizational wickedness, they still deal personally with what’s right and what’s wrong.
Surprisingly, those that are fully devoted to the Church of Night deal with this dilemma the hardest.
Father Blackwood, who is the high priest, Prudence Night, the leader of the most popular trio of witches at the Academy of Unseen Arts called the Weird Sisters and even Aunt Zelda all stray from what they’ve been taught to help those in need around them.
The contrast is pulled off in such a way that it shows no matter the overwhelming influence to do something one way, it’s not always the right way.
This statement stands for the show as a whole as well. This new iteration of everybody’s favorite teenage witch challenged the ways and notions that the previous series was known for.
And that’s exactly what makes the reboot so spellbinding.