‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ TV show review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is way more satanic than I thought it would be. At the same time, it feels exactly like a cliché teen romance. After watching the first episode—which is one hour long—I’ve concluded that it might not be the show for me. However, I may continue watching it just to see how it plays out.
Sabrina Spellman, played by Kiernan Shipka, is about to turn 16 years old. It’s a big day for her because she must choose between her mortal life and her witch life. She is half-human, half-witch because her late father was a warlock and her late mother was human. Sabrina’s boyfriend Harvey Kinkle, played by Ross Lynch, lulls her toward the mortal life since she does not want to leave him. However, her aunts tell Sabrina that they, as well as her late parents, want her to pursue the life of a witch—meaning she must undergo her “dark baptism” when the clock strikes midnight on her 16th birthday.
The first episode alone has so much to it, from teenage sweethearts saying “I love you” for the first time, to a teacher being stabbed in the neck by a young girl possessed by an angry witch’s spirit. There is constantly so much going on and the mood changes back and forth so often that not only is it hard to keep track of, but it makes the plot itself seem messy.
One thing that I really enjoy about this series so far is the correct usage of anticipation. The build-up to frightening scenes is slow and steady, with just the right amount of suspense to keep you on your toes. Sometimes the scary creature isn’t shown directly, which is good because that’s a fatal mistake many horror movies have been making lately. Our biggest sense of fear comes from the unknown—and in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we often really don’t know what’s going on. This surprisingly helps the plot, since Sabrina herself is continuously asking questions and trying to learn more about her two lives in order to make an informed final decision about her identity.
We learn alongside her, which makes up for the messy plot structure a little bit. It feels as though we are watching someone’s real life play out, in all its strange and seemingly random sequencing of events.
The show is set in the town of Greendale, which is within the Riverdale universe. Upon watching more episodes, I hope to see some Easter eggs and familiar places.
I couldn’t tell you much about the correlation between the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, since the former was mostly before my time. However, from my recollection of seeing my sister watch it when I was four, I do think the original was much lighter-hearted and had a lot less of Satan himself. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is now available on Netflix and the entire season is already out for all your binging needs.