REVIEW: ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is darker, edgier version of classic

Like many of my peers raised in the Bible belt, the clear satanic references in the trailer of the new Netflix original, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” made me wary to begin the series. But since I loved “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” the sitcom based off of the same comic as the Netflix original, I couldn’t resist trying to watch it. Sometimes you just have to make the risky streaming choice.

Sabrina did have satanic references that made me uncomfortable and at times a little scared, but I don’t think anyone who has watched “American Horror Story” or “Supernatural” couldn’t handle it. I was comfortable enough to watch it alone at night (which I usually can’t say for dark TV shows), and the devil is portrayed as the bad guy overall.

The majority of the story line centers on Sabrina Spellman, a half witch and half mortal teenager, who is actively avoiding her dark baptism that signs her soul over to the devil. Sabrina doesn’t want to part from her witch heritage and talents, but she also refuses to abandon her mortal friends and boyfriend.

I found Sabrina, who is played by Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), to be a great character that reminded me a lot more of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy than Melissa Joan Hart’s Sabrina: dark, spunky and righteous. It does get annoying watching her meddle in everything, but then where would we get the drama, right?

But the lead isn’t the only noteworthy character. Aunts Helda and Zelda had a perfect love-hate relationship and adored their niece (even if they had different ways of showing it). New character Cousin Ambrose was a flawless addition bringing a charming and funny spin on family drama of the Spellman women.

A new character I couldn’t seem to understand until the end was Mrs. Wardell. She is easily up to no good, and one of the worst parts of the show is seeing courageous and innocent Sabrina fall right into her insidious plan.

Then there is Harvey Kinkle, another former Sabrina the Teenage Witch character. Harvey is a sweet character, and his love for Sabrina shows. However, being her biggest tie to the mortal world makes him a huge target.

Finally, the character we’ve all been waiting for: Salem. Salem is in the show and is the cutest black cat that pops up fairly often to protect and help Sabrina. However, tragically, disappointingly- he doesn’t talk! He meows and Sabrina supposedly understands what he says so they’re “talking”, but I’m not satisfied. There was a hint in the finale that shows that Salem might be chattier in the next season—so here’s hoping.

Overall I loved the plot of the series. It reminded me a lot of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Supernatural,” where they tackled a variety of problems daily while the big issue of the season simmered in the background.

The show had a fantastic look and feel that was timeless and sometimes cheesy in its attempts to be spooky. It was a lot like “Riverdale” in the way that it looks like it’s set in the 50s but it isn’t— no surprise since they have the same producers. The old lady in me was annoyed at how dark all the scenes were and that some scenes had this weird blurred effect in the background.

For someone who likes witches and to be a little scared, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” was the perfect dark show that didn’t leave me afraid but excitedforthesecondseason.

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