"Sabrina's chilling adventures" and the increasingly gloomy Archie Universe

adminOctober 26, 2018


After the success of the CW's darkly absurd "Riverdale" – in a recent episode, the cheerleader Veronica rooted for Archie's team at the Leopold and Loeb Youth Detention Center – we now have another elegant and sinister version of the "Archie" universe , "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina", on Netflix. Here, in a television environment in which teenagers say things like "You're talking about necromancy, right? At what time?" Kiernan Shipka, afternoon of "Mad Men," faces even more distressing challenges than being Don's daughter. and Betty Draper, Shipka plays our old friend, the teenage witch, from Greendale, a neighbor of Riverdale, where "it always feels like Halloween," she says.In the pilot, Sabrina turns sixteen and endures something called Dark Baptism. Also for fans of "Riverdale," their chilling adventures can be thrilling per minute, for those loyal to Sabrina's previous incarnations, they are simply another sign that the world is officially out of place.

From the first appearance of Archie, in Pep Comics, in 1941, he, Sabrina and the gang have lived like kind teenagers, enjoying benign adventures in a residential area with clean lines. As a child, he devoured the "Archie" and "Sabrina" comics, although they were not funnyThey exactly created a slight Print of fun, like "Bazooka Joe" or "Hi and Lois". (Until the last few decades, they were also very white, I was disconcerted to discover, on a visit to the Library of Congress, that an old slogan of "Archie" was "THE LOOK OF A NATION!") Much of its appeal was in the drawing and in the exoticism of the old American that they evoked. Jughead, known mainly for his asexuality and love of junk food, wore a whoopee cap, a fashionable trend that can be seen in 1929. New Yorker cover; Archie's "jalopy", disconcerting in the seventies and incomprehensible now, is an old-fashioned thing about Duesenberg with a rumble and running boards; Veronica's wealth is like that of Rockefeller, which involves mansions and butlers; Sabrina rides a broom. Comics did not always seem to understand children, or have our best interests at heart. The ads tried to sell us shady products: X-ray specifications, Sea Monkeys, the Charles Atlas dynamic tension program. And although they had a significantly feminine readership, their stories could be sexist: Betty and Veronica compete eternally for Archie, and superficial Veronica usually wins.

Two programs improved in the comics: the fabulous 1970 cartoon "Josie and the Pussycats" and the great "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" by Nell Scovell of the nineties, starring Melissa Joan Hart. "Sabrina" was a staple of Friday night for millions of teenagers and at least two twentysomethings, my roommate and I, who enjoyed it with devotion, with Miller Lite and garlic pizza. He was innocent but blissfully strange, with a variety of comedic talents: Paul Feig as Sabrina's science teacher, Caroline Rhea as aunt, Nick Bakay as the ironic, middle-aged voice of Sabrina's cat, Salem, an animatronic model that seemed poignant. Taxidermy "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" had intelligence and heart, and may be the only "Archie" product that achieved a genuine mood.

Which brings us to the sandy reboots. I was baffled by the "Riverdale" phenomenon, and ignored it until "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" appeared, at which point I decided to investigate. I was a complete pig: some thirty-seven hours of "Riverdale", "Chilling Adventures" of ten hours, an update course on "Sabrina" and a lot of comics from my local supplier, who did not laugh at my choices . Archie Comics, I learned, is now directed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; he developed both "Riverdale" and "Chilling Adventures" from the Archie-horror comics he created, starting with the successful and disgusting "Afterlife with Archie", and including "Jughead: The Hunger" and "Vampironica".

Aguirre-Sacasa gave the kingdom of "Archie" a new point of view, at the same time agile, glamorous, sincere and horrifying. In "Riverdale", everyone is being killed constantly, but the city's economy focuses on maple syrup. Without disrespecting Aguirre-Sacasa, but it seems possible that if a runner of the race were a serial killer Y an obsessive "Archie", "Riverdale" would be the result. Executive co-production of Greg Berlanti, combines the aesthetics of "Blue Velvet" with the plot of "Dawson's Creek": when the series begins, Miss Grundy is a sexy pedophile who sleeps with Archie. The only thing that the program likes as well as the numbers of gore, abs, Gen X and army sex dances ("Milkshake", on the roof of Chok & lit Shoppe) is the timid deployment of Archie tropes: Jughead, still with his whoopee cap, he has become a bad-tempered writer; Moose, still in his varsity jacket, is now attracted to men. I got mad at the lack of a jalopy, they can not possibly I thought of a jalopy for this, I thought, until, at the end of season 2, Archie takes his father, Luke Perry, to his garage, and removes a dust cloth from something that looks like a Model T. " She needs a lot of work, "he said. He says. Luke Perry breaks into tears, and the theme "90210" plays in my head.

Unlike comics, the program takes teens seriously (their passions, friendships and frustrations are intense and heartfelt), but everyone is so busy trying to avoid being brutally murdered that it is difficult to devote much time to matters of the heart. To guide me, I spoke with an expert: my thirteen-year-old cousin, Elle. As she suspected, she and her fellow friends from "Riverdale" did not know "Archie" and are more interested in, say, the romance of Betty and Jughead (!) Than in serial murders. What they will think of the merrily satanic "Chilling Adventures" remains to be seen.

"Chilling Adventures" begins each episode with a sequence inspired by comics, featuring irregular fonts, spooky music, propulsive and illustrations of witches, crows, skulls and the like; It's long and entertaining, and you should probably get an own development agreement. As our story begins, we approach Sabrina and her friends in a movie theater of yesteryear, enjoying "The Night of the Living Dead." It's almost Sabrina's sixteenth birthday, which is when she'll have to choose between "her witch's world". The family and the human world of his friends. " She lives with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and her cousin, Ambrose, in an imposing gabled mansion that is also a morgue, where they occasionally harvest things from the corpses. His adorable human boyfriend, Harvey, has no idea that he is supposed to swear allegiance to the Dark Lord, signing the Book of the Beast with his own blood during a strange ritual in the forest. Worse yet, he is expected to change schools. Worse yet, he might have to do it before establishing an intersectional club called WICCA, to defend his non-binary friend Susie. Later, in a pumpkin patch with Harvey, she takes a bite of malum malus, an evil apple, and has a vision of the witches hanging from a tree. What week!

This is only a fraction of the plot of the first episode, and the plot seems to expand exponentially as the series continues, but keeps us at all times in a boring and confusing dialogue. "Succubitches!" Murmur Sabrina, after three thugs inspired by the "pagans" cursed her. "Penny terrible for your thoughts, cousin?" Says Ambrose. Music, too, is wrong next to affinity. I sat very upright during Episode 7, when I heard the unmistakable sound of John Cale's electric viola: this youth drama played "Venus in Furs", to accompany a scene that would make Velvet Underground go back. "Chilling Adventures" throws everything it can into its narrative cauldron, including a cave like Hellmouth and a prep school like Satanic Hogwarts, replete with helmets and staves. (Interestingly, Aguirre-Sacasa went to Georgetown Prep.)

Like "Riverdale", "Chilling Adventures" is populated by attractive, complex, well-acted and skilfully written adolescents who are stifled in the genre: in this case, lace necklaces, gables and goat blood. Sabrina's choice between the worlds becomes an operatic drama, and reminds Harry Potter structurally as well. Not only does he have dead parents and magical companions who spit on him as a "mestiza", but a powerful weight that rests on his shoulders. . The series encourages our suspicion that Sabrina is more important to the mephistopheleic realm than she understands, which explains why everyone is fighting for her soul. This is perhaps a more narcissistic view of the world than necessary, and it does not make the series more interesting.

I played "Riverdale" and "Chilling Adventures" while surrounded by the "Archie" and "Sabrina" comics, which had so many cereal ads that I ended up getting Captain Crunch at my house. Seeing, I was often caught in a strange purgatory of boredom by the darkness of the shows. Y Because of the stupidity of the comics; only the cereal gave me pleasure, but eating it made me hate myself. I did not feel better until I returned to "Sabrina, the teenage witch." In the first episode of the series, Sabrina accidentally turns the most popular girl in school into a pineapple, and then turns to her wise aunts for help. "I can fix this," says Hilda, picking up a knife. "Pieces or rings?" Reader, I laughed. It's good to see that Sabrina has a little fun with her magic, without having to worry so much about Satan.


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