September 25, 2020

‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ puts devilish twist on classic series

Praise the dark lord: Netflix dropped a new show about teen love, fitting in, and witchcraft.

The new show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which dropped on Oct. 26, has been taking its intended millennial audience by storm. It’s by the creators of Riverdale and takes place in the same universe as the hit CW show. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based off of the Archie comic with the same name, as well as the older show Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Kiernan Shipka takes on the role of Sabrina Spellman and does so with passion and eagerness.

However, this version of the Spellman family is a bit darker than the first.

This new series isn’t the Sabrina we know and love; Salem isn’t a sassy talking cat, but rather a loyal familiar that does everything in his power to protect dear Sabrina Spellman; Zelda and Hilda aren’t the kind, maternal aunts that they were previously portrayed as, but instead they’re harsh and conflicted owners of a mortuary; and the magic isn’t quite as whimsical: instead, it’s consequential.

Not to mention Sabrina’s cousin Ambrose who was put on house arrest for attempting to blow up the Vatican.

Ambrose (portrayed by Chance Perdomo) and Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) are looking over a body in the mortuary’s examining room.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is dark, to say the least. Sabrina and the other witches are all worshippers — and dare I say, servants — of “the dark lord,” or Satan. 

The witches and warlocks sign their lives over to him and then attend the Academy of Unseen Arts — a more intense Hogwarts, if you will —  where they learn how to hone their skills and study an area of specialty such as herbs or conjuring.

The goat-like symbol that serves to represent Satan appears frequently throughout the series.

In the show, Sabrina is rejecting the Academy and her faith to Satan, mostly because of the lack of free will that results in signing her name over, partly because she’s only half-witch anyway, and partly because of the very dreamy mortal Harvey Kinkle that she’s in love with. 

The show seems to throw some new, daunting problems at Sabrina. Whether it’s getting revenge on her friend’s bullies through magic-assisted blackmail, or dealing with a sleep demon that
got loose in her home, the show brings new excitement with each episode while ultimately tying in the continuous storyline.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina keeps it modern and inclusive, as well. Ambrose is pansexual, and both the actress and the character of Sabrina’s friend Susie are non-binary.

There’s something about the show that’s comedic, however. The absolute obnoxiousness that lies within the witches’ and warlocks’ love for their deity seems mocking of any devout religious follower. The characters in the series are in constant fear and praise of Satan, saying things in passing such as, “thank Satan,” or “praise the dark lord,” in passing. They also consistently refer to the Christian god as “the false god.”

Additionally, the show is cheesy, although nothing less should be expected from the creators of Riverdale.

But the series works with its cheesiness in the same successful way that Riverdale does: it embraces it.

The 16-year-old true love story between Harvey and Sabrina is exactly what it sounds like: it’s cringey and unrealistic. The hopefulness and naivety of the young characters is far from reality, and the determination and real-life capabilities of the teenagers that the show is centered around are far from accurate of true high-schoolers.

Ross Lynch plays the role of Harvey Kinkle, Sabrina’s mortal boyfriend.

But the writers seem to know that and they milk it. They give the viewers the moment where Sabrina and Harvey say that they love each other and are given intimate moments of semi-nudity in the woods, which is weird but that was the point.

Overall, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a dark, devilish take on a classic story with well-known and loved characters that bring a fresh take to a classic series.

  • Sydney is the managing editor at the Chimes and a senior professional writing and journalism major at Capital University pursuing a career arts and entertainment writing. Some of her favorite things are cold brew, books about dragons, horror films, and her cat, Sterling.

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