What we liked and loathed about Sabrina's chilling adventures

adminOctober 29, 2018

"What's wrong, witches?"
Stock Photo: Netflix

The hour of witchcraft is upon us. Sabrina's chilling adventures has arrived. One of the most anticipated series debuts of the year has flown to our hearts in a wind to the east, but it is not free of imperfections. Following our review, here are some of the important things that we loved about the first season of Sabrina's chilling adventuresand some things that we wish would have been better. Hail Satan!

We loved it

Miranda Otto and Lucy Davis as Zelda and Hilda, Sabrina's aunts.
Stock Photo: Netflix


Sabrina Spellman would be absolutely lost without her aunts Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto), and fortunately, they are two of the strongest and most convincing characters on the show. While the couple begins as quite enthusiastic supporters of their group and the imminent induction of Sabrina, as the series progresses, they deal with the ideology of the organization in a way that really gets to the heart of the internal conflict with which they are facing. Sabrina

The first season of Sabrina's chilling adventures it explores what it means to rebel against oppressive institutions of power and, ultimately, to retain people of all their potential. It is an idea towards which the series is built, with Sabrina as its focus, but it is in Hilda and Zelda that we really see those themes explored in much more nuanced ways. Although Hilda is an exceptional witch, she is excommunicated from the Church of the Night for having witnessed Sabrina's Catholic baptism and, by becoming an outsider, can finally become a relatively independent person in the world at large. Although Zelda remains comparatively firm in her faith in the Dark Lord, she also comes to see the failings of the Church, and the ways in which it has been a problematic presence in the life of her family. To make matters worse, Davis and Otto have a fantastic chemistry that both remember the dynamics of the aunt of the characters in the original Sabrina the teenage witch series, and a twist in their comics counterparts.

Theme and conflict

Sabrina's chilling adventures Technically, it is a witch half, half deadly navigating magic and high school, but it is also something much larger. The series covers a battle of generations between female power and male dominance. This is evident in the Church of the Night, a patriarchal organization in which women do not occupy positions of power, which reflects other traditional religious groups that systematically oppress their female members. Sabrina's challenge to the Church is not only that she refuses to give up her soul to Satan, she is also challenging the status quo … and that has a domino effect, affecting all women (and some of the men) to your surroundings.

Stories like this can seem tough, and sometimes peanut butter gets a little thick, like in that scene involving Father Blackwood, his new heir, and all the men basically shouting "yay for the cocks! " But this conflict is at the heart of witchcraft narratives: women are powerful and that makes men afraid. That plot is also being developed in American horror story: Apocalypse, where a handful of greedy sorcerers are literally causing the End Times because they do not like the idea of ​​women telling them what to do.

Lachlan Watson and Jaz Sinclair as the friends of Sabrina, Susie and Rosalind.
Photo: Diyah Pera (Netflix)

Friends of Sabrina (Mortal)

Sabrina has friends on both sides of her family tree. Your sorcerer friends at the Academy of Visual Arts are fine, mostly evil, with a touch of sometimes, no. It's Sabrina's deadly friends who really shine. The program does something smart by including Sabrina's friends in the central narrative in a way that previous versions have not. I like it Sabrina the teenage witchFor example, most of Sabrina's magic was a secret to her mortal friends. This made some funny jokes, but also hindered the growth of the series.

In this version, Harvey (Ross Lynch), along with Sabrina's friends, Rosalind (Jaz Sinclair) and Susie (Lachlan Watson), are introduced to magic fairly early in the season, not through Sabrina, but because the uncle Susie is possessed by a demon. . This causes a latent fear in Harvey, who once saw Satan lurking in the local coal mine when he was a child. This event arouses their curiosity, and each one of them discovers that they are connected to something much bigger and magical in the city of Greendale. Harvey comes from a line of witch hunters (hopefully not involving a real pair of denim "genes", as in Sabrina the teenage witch) and Susie is a descendant of the woman who gave Sabrina's ancestors the safe passage to America. Then there is Rosalind, whose family was cursed by witches for generations with the "Astuto", a gift of foresight that also comes with blindness.

This felt like an intelligent choice, since it gave Sabrina's friends more things to do than stand like idiots wondering why a girl who looks like her best friend was flying in a vacuum in the middle of the night. Of course, you can feel a bit like The Vampire Diaries, as each character discovers the surprises connections and familiar powers that they did not know they had, but it works.

The scenography

We praise Sabrina's chilling adventures Creative design of sets in a previous publication, but it is worth observing how well the series looks on the screen. Every scene is full of sticky details, from the spooky knick-knacks in Spellman's house to the slightly awkward educational posters in the school library. Our attention could be on the characters, but it's worth going back and looking through their creative environments. Production designer Lisa Soper helped make a program that is not only interesting to watch, but also beautiful to watch.

Michelle Gomez knows how to spray liquid eyeliner.
Stock Photo: Netflix

Lady satan

Mrs. Satan, played by Michelle Gómez, is a diabolical delight. She enters the series as a mysterious figure who possesses the body of Sabrina's teacher, Mrs. Wardwell, making the instructor normally mousy a powerful power. For a while, we are a bit in the dark about what your plans are. All we know is that she wants Sabrina to sign the Dark Lord's book, no matter the cost. There is also this vague notion of a "prophecy" thrown there, although I feel it is more a guideline.

It is not until the final episode, "The Witching Hour", that we learn about the identity of Madam Satan and her plans. In a change of the rest of the season, Gómez feels like the narrator of the episode, describing the events already transpired to the school director (whom she then murders). She talks about how she put the pieces in place to tempt Sabrina to finally sign the Devil's book, not out of revenge, boredom or anything else. The lady has ambition. She is Lilith, Adam's first wife of Jewish folklore, who was "saved" by Satan and became his concubine. Lilith believes that Sabrina is destined to take her place, allowing her to ascend to eventually become the Queen of the Demons. If that is not the case, well, then Lilith will take matters into her own clutches.

This revelation is very different from comics, and I love to die. Instead of turning Madame Satan into the rejected lover of Sabrina's father, she is now a famous mythological figure with a thousand-year history. According to folklore, Lilith left the Garden of Eden because she would not capitulate to all the demands of God and Adam. Lilith has been demonized ever since, if you forgive the play on words, like a temptress, a succubus or the source of a childhood illness, depending on the version you're seeing. But there is the underlying story of a woman who is punished for not obeying the men around her. In that sense, Lilith is the perfect villain for a story like Sabrina's chilling adventures, where female power continues to clash with patriarchy. Where will Lilith be at the end? Only future seasons can say it.

She is a true witch now.
Stock Photo: Netflix

The revelation of Sabrina's hair

It may have taken a full season and a bargain with the devil to get Sabrina's white hair, but it was worth the wait.

We do not love

Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman.
Photo: Diyah Pera (Netflix)

Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina

Being the main character in a series can put a lot of pressure on an actor, and while Kiernan Shipka definitely joins her role as Sabrina for a large part of the series, there are also several moments in which her presentation is direct. Disagree with the tone that the program is trying to establish.

Sometimes, her Sabrina seems not to be familiar at all with the basic elements of witchcraft, such as when she is being spellbound (which, to be fair, can be attributed to the writing of the program). More than that, however, she never quite He feels that he is really embodying the role compared to the rest of the cast of the program. You always have the vibe that she interim, what kind of attention draws attention away from the show itself.

Not Edward Spellman

For the most part, we were fine with the changes made from the original Sabrina's chilling adventures Some of them really were for the better, like doing it so that Harvey was not a vine that would pressure Sabrina to have sex with him. However, there is a noticeable loss, and that is the way the program changed Sabrina's father, Edward Spellman. Or rather, get rid of it.

In the comics, Edward Spellman was. do not a good person. He rejected his lover, who became Madame Satan, leading her to suicide. Then, he magically made Sabrina's mother go crazy so she would not expose the Church of the Night. Sabrina's aunts eventually turned him into a kind of evil tree because of all the shit he was throwing, only escaping after Madame Satan burned him alive, giving him the chance to own Harvey's body and disguise himself as his daughter's boyfriend. It's disgusting, but that's Creepy adventures of Sabrina.

Here, the only thing we really learned about Edward Spellman was that he was a super cool High Priest who loved Sabrina's mother and was not an imbecile at all. Throughout the season, I was waiting for some kind of terrible truth to come out of Edward, giving him the chance to emerge as something more than just a dead dad. The signs were there. He had secretly signed Sabrina's name in the Dark Lord's book, and Sabrina's mother had been lost in limbo. It did not have to be the same story as the comic; After all, Mrs. Satan's story also changed, but it could be more than "the perfect dad is dead now."

Then, Harvey's brother, Tommy, died and Sabrina resurrected him … alone without his soul. We think: yes Finally. We are going to see that horrible turn that we all know is coming. Edward will come back and it will be a nightmare. It would have been so easy to take him into the program as a new threat, to put him in Tommy's body so that he could wreak havoc on the Church of the Night that had rejected him. That would have taken away the terrible angle of incest, but it would still let Edward be a version of the comic book monster. Unfortunately, Edward is still in a vacuum, the perfect ethereal figure of the father. What a waste.

Too shallow focus

There were some smart camera jobs in the season, especially the way it worked in the spaces of the Spellman house and the Invisible Arts Academy to make everything look a bit off-center. But many of the outdoor scenes were filmed in a superficial approach that blurred the edges and made everything feel a little muddy. We understand that it was to make the scenes look like "witches", but sometimes they just confuse things. It should have cooled a little.

Batty Bat has great lighting.
Stock Photo: Netflix

"Dreams in a witch house"

Most episodes in the first season of Sabrina's chilling adventures they are interconnected, with events from one that directly affect the next. However, there is an episode of a bottle, and it is a doozy.

In episode five, "Dreams in a Witch House," a demon named Batty Bat puts the inhabitants of Spellman's house under the curse of sleep, a creature that can control dreams and trap people in their own nightmares. . This provides an opportunity for the audience to look into the minds of Sabrina, Aunt Zelda, Aunt Hilda and Ambrose (Chance Perdomo). There's some horror to the decent body, and some really scary moments (like Sabrina's in that torture device). But we do not really learn anything new about these characters. All are simplified versions of the conflicts that had already been established, such as that Ambrose hates the fact that he is under house arrest.

We enjoy a good bottle episode, even when they do not have a narrative purpose, because they are a way out of a program's routine: limiting one's space provides the opportunity to tell an inventive story. Unfortunately, "Batty Bat" was not a "Duet" of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was not interesting enough to work on its own, and the season as a whole did not justify its existence.

Racial subtext

This should not be explained, but it is in very bad taste to represent black people hanging on television without an extraordinary amount of context and attention that makes it clear that a) the creators of the television program understand the meaning of that image; b) said pendant serves for a narrative point.

Tati Gabrielle's prudence is one of the best parts of Sabrina and still, the program repeatedly handles his character in a way that can be read as extremely ignorant of the race.

Opinions about sexuality

While there is a series of queer characters in Sabrina, the program never gets to recognize their identities in a significant way, which makes them feel a bit hollow. At first, it seems that the program will give Susie a secondary plot in which she explores her gender identity, but instead, repeatedly presents people with queer phobia that misinterpret her to drive the plot. "Misgender" feels almost like an inappropriate term because, again, the program does not do the job to really transmit to us as an audience if its genre is something that it is really trying to unpack.

In addition to Susie, Sabrina he also ventures into more than a little easily avoidable gay panic for reasons that do not really contribute anything to the show. The applause of Sabrina and the Weird Sisters to Susie's thugs in the mines is not much more than "oh, would not it be funny if we made them kiss each other?" the series when it is revealed that one of the thugs is attracted to his friend.

Bonus: We thought it was good


"What's wrong with Salem?" That question has been formulated in the comments of almost all Sabrina's chilling adventures Article. Everyone keeps asking about that cat! It is not that Surprising: Salem Saberhagen is a beloved part of Sabrina. In this version, Salem is a goblin who responded to Sabrina's call and came to serve as his protector. We hear him speak, once, and the rest of the time they communicate telepathically. It was not great, but it was not terrible either. It has a valuable purpose and can save a lot of the day. We thought it was fine.

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