Truly Spellbinding

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a show about a witch, Sabrina Spellman. A witch who is actually half witch and half mortal. Sabrina is torn between her two worlds, having to decide whether to leave her mortal life behind and write her name in the book of the beast or to keep her mortal life and try and balance her two worlds at once. Sabrina’s choice affects her and everyone around her and in this world with amazing characters and fantastic writing it makes The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina my new favourite show.

When I was supposed to be studying for my final high school exams I ended up just binging all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since then, and many years of recovering from that ‘error’ (was a great choice to be honest) I’ve had a Buffy shaped hole in my TV schedule. When The Chilling Advenures of Sabrina was announced I had high hopes, I’m a fan of Riverdale but it isn’t the most well written show in the world. Something like a darker version of Sabrina needs to be well written, well acted and constructed to perfection. I can tell you after binging it that it certainly is all of those things.

Let’s start with the characters who are quite plentiful. Sabrina and her Aunts, Hilda and Zelda, are stand out hits with the Aunts bringing the comedy and an extra dosage of drama. Sabrina’s friends are interesting and intriguing with Sabrina’s relationship with Harvey being crucial to the story. Lastly, we have the villains, an area in which most shows fail where Riverdale really does falter because it could just be anyone. I can safely say that the villains in Sabrina are top notch as each character seems like they could sway at any moment but, true to their devilish ways, they stay on course for the destruction of Sabrina’s life.

The one thing that made Buffy the Vampire Slayer so good was the character development and it’s ability to show the character’s lives normally and have you still be interested. Sabrina leans more towards this way of making TV instead of it’s Riverdale counterpart which relies on drama drama drama to keep you intrigued. The main difference here is that the main character Sabrina is smart and relatable despite being a half mortal/half witch. Riverdale’s Archie just isn’t relatable mainly because well he’s dumb. Sabrina tries to protect her friends and family wisely but fails because that’s how life is sometimes and that is a character you want to root for. At it’s core Sabrina is really all about family and how you should always cherish your family and friends. The show questions what you would give up to get to keep them all in your life.

Crucial to the show’s core is it’s satanism and how religion is shown. Sabrina goes to school at Baxter High, the Greendale equivalent of Riverdale High School, but has to make the decision as to whether to go to the Academy of the Unforsaken Arts as well, the Sabrina equivalent of Hogwarts I guess. The two schools are differentiated by the religions that surround them. The show is riddled with The Church of Night, the Devil’s church, taking jabs at the ‘false god’ otherwise known as any religion in the normal human world. The show does a great job of making Satanism look appealing but Sabrina always ends up finding out their devilish plans.

The season is well made with no episodes suffering from being that one episode that is the boring episode. People might be disappointed with the fact that Salem doesn’t talk and fans of the previous Sabrina show should expect the show to be vastly different. The entire design of the show feels original and unique with every set looking spectacular and it’s good to see the amount of effort put in, something that shows the advantage of the show having Netflix as it’s home.

Sabrina being on Netflix also clearly allows for a much more gruesome version of Sabrina with the show going towards more of a horror vibe, it’s not scary or anything but just freaky. There are moments where Sabrina and other characters do things that you get to see that you just wouldn’t find on the CW or any other TV channel.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is already filming it’s second season and thank Satan, I mean god, that it’ll hopefully return soon because I want more. You should certainly watch  Sabrina if you’re a Riverdale fan but you should also watch it if you were a Buffy fan or a fan of Vampire Diaries and you want to see how its all done…well. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina feels fresh, new and original and that is something you don’t get often enough in the current state of TV. The show is a fantastic example of how you can reboot a show well for the modern day. I found myself spellbound to the screen as I wanted to binge the whole show because The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is simply one of the best shows Netflix has made.

Score: 5/5

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