Beware! This article will contain swear words (as used in the series CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA) and mature themes (as used in the show as well). If you are under the age of 17, please refrain from reading this article. Here is our screener spoiler review!
All photos are courtesy of Netflix (2018) & Diyah Pera.
Remember your sixteenth birthday? The time you had to make a decision of whether or not you’ll become a witch or stay a mortal? Yeah, us too. Thankfully, we decided to stay a mortal. However, Sabrina Spellman’s decision in CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA isn’t as easy as ours.
She has a decision to make that could change her entire life on the night of her sixteenth birthday. What’s a girl to do? On one hand, she has a great mortal life; she has great friends and a great boyfriend who loves her. On the other hand, she loves being a witch, often calling it, “delicious.”
So, what choice does she make on the stroke of midnight of her sixteenth birthday during the 66th yearly eclipse?
As far as main characters go, these will be the characters you see throughout all ten episodes. All the witches galore and beware as we get into our spoiler review of CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA. Let the spooky vibes commence.
A Quick Recap For Our Favorite Witches
At the start of episode one, you are dropped into the lore of CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA. If you haven’t read the comic and don’t know a general idea of what the show will be about, you should check out our article. In turn, however, the major points you do need to know are: Sabrina Spellman is a witch, her boyfriend is Harvey Kinkle, and her father (a high priest) married a mortal.
He died loving a mortal, so she lives with her aunts, Hilda, and Zelda (who are also full-witches). Her cousin, Ambrose, is forbidden to go outside considering he is under house arrest by the Witches Council. He’s pansexual, from England, and quite the partner in crime. Her familiar is Salem, a cute wittle kitty she summoned in the first episode of the series. Okay, that is about all you need to know for a quick recap.
The series is based in the present day (from what it seems), however, the comic is based in the 1960s; that is something to keep in mind. Some aspects will be the 60s vibe (Zelda’s cigarette) and some won’t (themes).
A Witch-Ful Season Full Of Bad Witches
Now, let’s talk about Sabrina Spellman and her sixteenth birthday. The series begins with an hour-long first episode. In this episode, we get major witchy vibes, but also thriller vibes just as well. What is surprising is that CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA is truly spooky. We didn’t expect to be spooked as much since the genre is between PG-13 and MA (for language), but it is just in time for Halloween.
The series, we would say, is rated MA for language and themes. Obviously, witches are seen as a mature theme, but they do swear in this series. It is not so much Sabrina, The Teenage Witch just dark. It is Sabrina Spellman thinking of turning her life over to the devil, essentially. The devil is also an animal creature with huffs? (Keep that in mind because it’s super weird!)
My Name Is Sabrina Spellman…
The main character of the series, Sabrina Spellman, is a force to be reckoned with. Such as with her comic book venture, Kiernan Shipka, makes a wonderful addition to the Archie family. She is the ideal actress for the empowering Sabrina Spellman. Throughout the series, she constantly leaves us with a willpower to stand up for ourselves. In this new version of the comic adaptation, Sabrina and her friends, Harvey, Rosalind, and Susie are here to defeat the patriarchy. Or… die trying?
…And I Will Not Sign It Away!
In this 2018 version of the comic, the male patriarchy is alive and well, but the main characters of Baxter High won’t tolerate that. With plenty on her plate from selling her soul, to defeating the devil; there is nothing a Spellman cannot do. Throughout the series, Sabrina will stick up for what and who she loves, her respect, and the decade-old rules she does not have to abide by anymore. As a half-breed, (half-mortal, half-witch), Sabrina does not have to follow the same rules as her fellow companions.
In episodes 3 and 4, we see Sabrina in action. If she isn’t saving her friends from turbulence, she is saving ghosts at The Academy of Unseen Arts with her aunts’ help and Ambrose just as well. Her growth throughout the ten episodes, ranging at about an hour each, is miraculous. From episode 2, when she stands up for herself and her body, she keeps progressing. She finds out answers on her own, defeats demons, and above all else, builds a better relationship with Harvey.
High Priest Or Not, You’re Still A Man; And, I Feast On Male Flesh
Each episode throughout the season of CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA leads into an overall climax. From the start, we are told Sabrina is going to sign her life, body, and name over to “The Dark Lord.” She does not, at the start. Already baited and considered a ‘half-breed,’ she must fight for her rights. Sabrina’s rights to have a mortal life as well as a witch life. It is capable to have both like her father, Edward, did.
The content of the episodes may not always seem like they are important. Some may come off as filler, but they are not. Each episode means something; it is either Sabrina learning more about her powers, her friends learning more about themselves, or the Spellman’s trying to figure out their own mysteries. Always remember, no episode is left unnecessary. It should all make sense to the overall premise of the series.
There are spells, murder, pansexual-ism, cannibalism, and mature themes. What more could a catty bitch-witch want?
Fight For What’s Yours!: A New-Aged Version Of CAOS
While the comic was based in the 60s, this series is based in the current decade of the 2000s. We have feminism, misogyny, and gender binary themes weaved within this show. The first three episodes of the season deal with misogynist men picking on Sabrina’s friend, Susie, because she is gender binary and “looks like a boy;” and, seems to identify as a boy, as well. We, in turn, also deal with the principal, who is a misogynist and ‘forgives’ these same football players on many occasions.
He often states that Susie should just “move schools” if they feel that threatened. Sabrina chooses to take things into her own hands. After about episode three, we take care of those football players and they are never seen or heard of again, for the most part. They don’t even bother Susie anymore for a few episodes until the second half of the season. This happens again with Rosalind when she finds out she is going blind – she wants to read a few banned books (more on this in the next subsection).
A new-aged Sabrina was the perfect route to go. While we all love the original source and the 60s theme of the original series, but to have CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA set in 2018 was witch-velous. It gives the new-aged watchers, (who have yet to read the comic), something to relate to. A timely set of issues that are happening now.
Virginia Wolff? She Could Throw A Dinner Party
These banned books are banned for a reason – when they go and talk to the principal he is, again, in turn, a misogynist about the ordeal. Sabrina helps her friend, Ros, and they create a secret club, a book club for banned books that Rosalind wanted. In the beginning, they created a club called Women’s Intersectional Cultural and Creative Association (WICCA) before Sabrina was set to leave after her initiation. This was set to secure women in Baxter High with safety.
Another occurrence of timely issues, but in witch fashion, was in episode seven. The concept of Feast of Feastsis when a queen is chosen to be eaten, exactly like cannibalism. It began decades ago, however, Edward banished it when he was high priest. After he passed, it was reinstated. Sabrina demands this entire episode to talk Prudence into not accepting her queen-man-ship. To deny the concept of Feast of Feasts.
Prudence, however, thinks it is her job to relinquish to the Dark Lord’s wishes as it has always been. Sabrina explains to Prudence that you don’t always have to submit to a man, that is not how it should be. You are allowed to say no and change things. We, as females, are all allowed to.
Oh, For Satan’s Sake!: What Is Mortal Life Without Friends?
The characters and friends of Sabrina are what make up the series. Harvey Kinkle, who is Sabrina’s boyfriend; he is a light amongst the darkness in Sabrina’s constant witch-fulfilled life. Rosalind is a wonderful friend, human, and person just trying to stick up for what she believes in. She also has visions, a new family realm she learns about in episode seven. Susie is a gender-binary character who truly does the best she can.
She also sees a ghost, which is kind of weird; but, what in CHILLING ADVENTURES isn’t? And, lastly, Nicholas Scratch (played by Gavin Leatherwood), he’s a new friend from TheUnseen Academy Of Arts. He likes Sabrina, he’s polygamous, as stated in about episode eight when he asked Sabrina to date him as well as mortal Harvey. He likes Sabrina, which means he will do what he can for her. And, he does this in episode nine by stopping the twin sisters and letting the Spellman’s take care of what they have done, mostly Sabrina.
Can Balance Be Restored?
These characters truly make up who Sabrina is in her mortal world. And, at times, her witch-world as well. By the end of the series, Harvey truly knows who and what Sabrina is as well as her friends. Everyone is onto who the Spellman’s are, and, at this point, it was Sabrina’s doing.
Granted, she did it for love, and everyone does crazy things for love. Nonetheless, by episode nine, Sabrina truly knows what it means to be a half-breed. To have loved and have lost, but also to have gained – but, at what cost? The cost of her soul, of course.
And, May The Lord Have Mercy On Our Souls In CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA
CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, by the end, is immaculate. If you thought before that nothing made sense or that certain episodes were seen as filler, it all comes to fruition by episode ten. In the last two – over one hour – episodes, it pieces together. By now, Harvey and Sabrina are broken up, Rosalind and Susie know that Sabrina is a witch, and, Wardell is plotting to have Sabrina sign her name once and for all in the Devil’s book.
SPOILER – And, she does, in episode ten. Immensely after, her hair changes, her attitude changes, and she is now a part of the three weird sisters, making four. Who would have thought Sabrina Spellman would do the very thing she worked nine episodes not to do? Well, in the world of witches, anything is possible, right? Just ask The Dark Lord, he’ll tell you.
*wink* (an omen to the ending of episode 10 of CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA).
CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Jon Goldwater, and Lee Toland Krieger
The newest @Netflix Original is @sabrinanetflix from the CAOS @ArchieComics series. You asked for it and you got it, and boy did you get it. This season is witchy, it's spooky, and it's intense. Would you sell your soul over to the devil? Sabrina Spellman makes that decision throughout CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA season 1 now on Netflix! Welcome to the world of witches...