Trailer of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Property of: Netflix
I am actually a very peripheral fan of the original Sabrina. I watched the show a bit as a teen and liked it well enough, but I read the books and comics and they left a bigger impression on me. My fave character was always Salem, the cat who plotted world domination. However, I didn’t go into The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina with hangups and expectations as I am not fan enough to be bothered by the changes.
The Synopsis of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
So basically Rotten Tomatoes describes it as:
“This adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature — half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.”
A little more of a detailed plot synopsis (spoiler-free) is:
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is an adaptation from it’s Archie comic series, which itself is a horror genre take on Sabrina the teenage witch. Sabrina Spellman is a half-witch, half-mortal teenager, who must choose between her two worlds on her 16th birthday. She faces the horrible decision between giving up immortality and power or giving up her friends and boyfriend. However as things go on Sabrina discovers that she doesn’t know anything about being a witch and that sinister beings are waiting in the shadows of Greendale.
The Good Points of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Setting and Setup
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is engrossing and overall weird and quirky enough that even if you dislike it you will keep watching. Some of the plotting and writing on this show is actually really good, making it a fun and engaging romp. The show’s setting and atmosphere are done masterfully, leaving the the watcher in no doubt that they are watching a dark horror fantasy series.
Some of the actors and characters are amazing and really good at both acting and written well enough to make the show enjoyable. The side characters in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are especially personable and sympathetic. You can connect with and understand very easily, and some of them are marvelously well-developed. My personal favorites are Hilda and Zelda Spellman. Both of Sabrina’s aunts have solid motivations and character traits that the average person can identify with.
The villain’s minions are oftentimes compelling and intriguing characters that make you very interested in what they will do next.
The Bad Parts
Sigh. Did you guys get the feeling while reading the upper half that I was struggling to find good things to say about The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina? If you did, that is because I was. I mean there is just sooo much wrong with it that I don’t even know where to start… actually let’s start with the most important and biggest hurdle to my enjoyment of this show:
The MAIN CHARACTER!
Sabrina Spellman is one of the most entitled, selfish, disrespectful, disloyal and vain characters. A horribly whiny teenage girl who gets everything she ever wants handed to her on a silver platter. People have been praising the show for being such a great subversion of the original Sabrina show, and even I agree that the core ideas behind the show are interesting and promising.
However in focusing so much effort on the setup and setting the writers forgot to make their hero a worthwhile person. I find, to my utter astonishment, that this is actually the case with many shows today, they make the protagonist unlikeable, forgetting that the viewers must actually connect and be able to support them.
(Minor Rant here: People think that they are emulating Game of Thrones by making their characters utter and complete dislikeables, but they forget that almost every character in GOT has redeeming traits. Even freaking Cersei Lannister loves her children, and that is her redeeming quality.)
Anyway Sabrina is utterly and completely selfish that it will actually blow your mind. She uses people, and then betrays them; she doesn’t care about anyone else’s problems but her own.
She is a big, big part of why I think this show is quite bad. Another reason is the dubious nature of the villain’s motivations. I don’t think I am spoiling anything by telling you that there is something “special” about Sabrina that leads to the villain obsessing over her and is one of the reasons that she just gets away with doing whatever she wants with no consequences.
The Show’s Writing
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina goes out of its way to make Sabrina seem sympathetic; however, due to the fact that she never faces any consequences for her actions, she comes off as whiny and entitled instead. And just, she is a genuinely bad person; she doesn’t even feel guilty for scaring a man out of his wits so she can get her way in school. That moment in the show is passed off as a win for Feminists everywhere; however it just left a very bad taste in my mouth. The victim in question was just doing his job and gets psychologically scarred for life by the good witch that is our protagonist. A bit of a spoiler here:
Sabrina at one point actually says, “I want freedom and power both.” And while I would usually love a character like this, when they are self-aware enough to not act like the victim and when the show doesn’t treat them like the victim. I hate Sabrina because she acts like she is such a good person when she is just as bad as those others. If she acknowledged the fact that she is selfish I would find her far more compelling.
Overall The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is not as bad as it could be and quite enjoyable at times; however it is marred by the protagonist. Watch it at your own peril. If you want a recommendation try my review of “Anne with an E”.
I rate this show a 5/10.
Disclaimer: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and all of their materials are owned by their Netflix. We are merely using some of them in this post to illustrate a point (fair use). If you wish for your materials to be taken down please contact us and we will remove them immediately.