When I watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a young person, I don’t recall the devil taking goat form and I definitely don’t remember blood ever oozing from Sabrina’s mouth.
There is a reason I don’t recall this happening. Because it didn’t happen.
Netflix has given us a reboot. They promised all kinds of dark and boy did they deliver!
So how good is this show and is it worth binging? Read on to find out. This is The Digital Worm’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina review.
Very Different Sabrinas
Melissa Joan Hart played the original Sabrina back in the 90s. She did a great job. The show was funny and wholesome. Netflix has taken a different path.
This Sabrina, played by Kiernan Shipka, is much more typical of what teenagers are actually like. There is darkness in her. But there is also love and hope.
The character loves hard and goes to bat for her loved ones, putting her life on the line to try and outwit the devil himself. She makes quite a few honest mistakes throughout the show, and that’s ok. She’s 16. People who think heroes can’t make mistakes are unrealistic.
This is a coming of age tale in a lot of ways. Sabrina is going to screw up. But she always tries to fix it.
This show reminds me less of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and resembles more of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer kind of show. In this version of the show, Sabrina has her aunts, played by Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto, but also has a cousin, a powerful warlock named Ambrose, played by Chance Perdomo. She also has what I refer to as a “Scooby gang”, which is a reference directly from Buffy, hence the reason I see similarities.
Upgraded With a Scooby Gang
At first, Sabrina’s friends seem quite normal. However, as the season goes on, all of them find they aren’t as normal as anyone originally thought.
I’m going to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, so I’m not going to mention how they change. But I do want to touch on a few things, as these characters are sewn flawlessly into the storyline. Every decision they make affects the main character, which in turn creates chaos with her family or the coven of local witches. In some case, The Devil himself becomes involved.
Harvey, played by Ross Lynch, is Sabrina’s boyfriend. They have a sweet and honest relationship and clearly care for each other quite a bit. Ros and Susie are her two bffs. Each one brings something to the table in the friendship. And this includes a lot of weaknesses. Ros is slowly going blind and Susie is a non-binary human being, constantly picked on and physically beaten by the football team.
This show portrays real teen issues. Unlike other shows, Netflix kept these characters fairly wholesome. They aren’t evil and they don’t do evil things. They do what most teens do when they’re bullied: They try to forget about it, the repress it, and they vent to their friends.
I like how real this show is when it isn’t being magical. It stands apart from other teen dramas in that way.
There is some odd filming going on with the show. And a lot of people don’t like it. The screen kind of distorts and gets blurry whenever something magical is happening.
The main character or characters in the scene remain in focus. And I completely understand how this could be a turn off for a lot of people.
However, I’m personally digging it. It’s different. It’s clearly done for dramatic effect.
I can tell that the purpose of this effect is to make the audience focus on either dialogue or a character’s response to something happening. In my opinions, it’s done for a cool reason and I think it’s a neat idea. But this is the kind of thing that is subjective.
The 90s were a much different time and Netflix is a much different network.
Talking about The Devil was something you just didn’t do in a sitcom aimed at young people. However, he plays a major role in this show.
He’s everything his character should be, in my opinion. He’s power hungry. He wants to control everyone. And everything he does, even the good things, will end in him coming out ahead in one way or another. He isn’t in human form. He always appears as a giant goat standing on his hind legs.
He is scary and adds an extra level of darkness to this teen drama to really take it over the top.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Review – The Takeaway
No one is making me binge shows on Netflix. And it honestly takes a damned good show to make me go through an entire season worth of programming in a short period of time.
But Chilling Adventures of Sabrina had me hooked from the jump. Bodies drop early and often in this show. It was everything I was hoping it would be.
This is one of my top shows of 2018 so far. Unlike other Netflix shows that start slow and increase their pacing, this show maintains a medium pace throughout. The storytelling and acting are both phenomenal, which is something rare when you’re using such a young acting squad. Rotten Tomatoes is rating this show as 90%, which is something you don’t see often.
I recommend this show. I loved every second of it and I’m looking forward to the second season.