A few days before turning 16, Sabrina Spellman is in her room. There is a chill: one of its windows is open, and there are claw marks on each side of the windowsill. "What now?", He asks out loud.
It has been a long week. The director of her school will not take care of the fools who harass her friend She has already been bewitched by a trio of girls called Weird Sisters who interrupted her attempt to summon a "family" elf in the forest. And at the end of the week, she has to decide whether to sign her name to the devil for, like, forever.
Suddenly, an unknown entity shouts its name. "Show yourself", Sabrina orders it. A disturbing demonic figure sticks his head out from behind his old room divider, right next to a handful of Polaroid photos that are stuck to his wall. And then, poof! The formidable form of a macabre figure is gone. Instead, a cute black cat comes forward.
World, meet Salem Saberhagen.
This is how the new Netflix series, "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," presents Salem, the relative who has taken the form of a cat to effectively serve his witch teacher. The scene also doubles as the debut of Sabrina's room, which, in addition to the momentary demonic occupation, is the paradise of a teenager's dreams.
The space is decorated in an exuberant way, full of retro ornaments that permeate the entire city of Greendale (neighbor of Riverdale in the comic universe of Archie). From the old black cat calendar, she diligently uses "x" for the days until her birthday at her dollhouse, to a mix of pop culture references that continue to erase the period of the series (The Beatles, David Bowie, The Monkees, Jason Voorhees), there is a balance between the sudden movements and the typical ephemeral teenagers that reflect the dual worlds in which Sabrina finds herself: the magical and the mortal kingdom.
On his bedside table, he has a rotary phone and a Magic 8 ball.
"There are some things that are very much in the nose," said production designer Lisa Soper, pointing to the round window behind Sabrina's wrought-iron bed. "It's the only window that is different from all the other windows when you look at the outside of the house … It also has the shape of a cobweb."
Like any other teenage girl hidden in a corner of her family's home, the design of her bedroom has a manic sense, a result of aesthetics that is not completely under her control, about which she would like to leave her mark anyway. .
A lingering theme in the show is how Sabrina's dilemmas seem refreshingly teenagers (there are extremely soft spoilers ahead): Should she choose semi-immortal life and the ability to cast spells on her sweet but ultimately vanilla beau Harvey Kinkle? Should I learn magic with other witches or start a club with their friends at school? Should he obey his aunts and prepare for his dark baptism in the woods or … go to a Halloween party and dance in "Monster Mash"?
Compared to her non-magical companions, Sabrina (played by Keirnan Shipka of the fame of "Mad Men") is not only going through the unique trauma of growing up. Theirs is a complex seesaw between the heavier than normal expectations placed on its magical future and the pleasant weaknesses of the mortal world.
She is not a girl, she is not a witch yet.
Sabrina's room reminds me of my own adolescent room, in spirit if not in aesthetics. Unable to paint over the pink walls of Pepto Bismol I had grown up with, and a little scared, perhaps, of how I had felt once they were gone, I stuck them first with the posters of Leonardo DiCaprio and Volkswagen Beetle and then the disposable camera photos of my friends and fugitives in love and internal jokes, all with the hope of being able to look at the walls of my room and see myself, and feel at home.
In fact, many of the teen girls' bedrooms on the screen have left an impression on me, and on others, depending on the amount of Tumblr and Pinterest posts they have devoted to them over the years. The room "Clarissa explains everything", accessible in a staggered way, the floral bedspread of Angela Chase's grandmother with her great posters. This year, Kayla's cute bedroom in the movie "Eighth Grade" revealed a self she wanted to be, the sunny and confident teenager she portrayed in her YouTube videos.
And maybe the most visceral feeling was caused by the teenage bedroom in "Lady Bird", full of clutter, posters, old and new things. I felt painfully when I saw the titular character cross out the name of his old boyfriend, written on the wall, and replace it with his new crush.
Even the spiritual predecessor of the series, "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" of the late 90s, had an enviable and appropriate interior decoration for the epoch of the time: "witch" but filtered through a Fleetwood Mac lens, with paper lilac tapestry, colored and serene glass. – Looking at moons. A cauldron sat at his desk to hold pencils, just the kind of thing a magical being who also had math homework might need.
"With [Sabrina’s] "Space, and a little bit all the spaces that lead to your bedroom, everything is based on duality, or make a choice," Soper said about the design of the new version of Netflix. "Choose the path of light, choose the path of the night".
When Sabrina enters her house, she is greeted by a large staircase that divides in two, going to the left and to the right. Inside Sabrina's room, there are several small doors, which represent even more options.
"She's making her own way, so I'm always giving her a choice," Soper said. "The witches side of the story is usually the left side, so when she leans more towards the dark side, she can go and turn left, and when she leans more towards her Baxter High, the side of the mortal world , she can turn right, "Soper said.
And then there are the less obvious winks in Sabrina's bedroom.
"The wallpaper in his room was chosen because … the stories were a bit like a whisper about how the witches hid in the woods when they became rabbits … Instead of making a creepy, incomplete wallpaper or something that was old and distressed, I gave him something that was a bit older "and feminine, said Soper.
The pink colors of the wallpaper also match the beautiful red tones that are seen throughout the series, especially in reference to Sabrina, who is often seen with a red bag and coat. The main door of the Spellman is also a lush red.
As for the floor, Soper said that he created a tang form that coils itself, the spiral that represents a powerful symbol in paganism and witchcraft. The forms are also an important factor outside Spellman's home: the Academy of Invisible Arts, the witch school that Sabrina attends, is formed by a series of pentagons that connect, with the five points that remind the staff of five tips.
But it is the humanizing touches in Sabrina's room, the posters and the Polaroids that you can imagine that she took possession of herself, which makes the character more believable for her and her adolescent whims.
In episode 2 of the series, the benevolent Aunt Hilda of Sabrina talks to the teenager about her father, who allegedly died in a plane crash with his mother. Hilda puts her niece on the bed and sits at her feet, a maternal presence that reminds Sabrina and everyone who observes that the young witch has a lot of dark history to deal with, but in her room, she can stay safe for now.