This comic of course is based on the original Archie Comics version of "Sabrina The Teenage Witch," which inspired the darling 1996 sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Inspiring many people to compare the two shows.
To those that are displeased with the most recent book/comic adaption, I am with you. I am annoyed with this adaption of my beloved Sabrina. Here's why…
The original television version had a light comical almost "Bewitched" era outlook on the Witch community while this new series took their witches to the most literal and dark form. Let it be known, I love witches. I love young adult witch books and television versions. I fell in love with spells back in Hogwarts and as a proud Gryffindor, I never looked back. With that said, I find the Light Witch, White Witch, or Stevie Nicks to be my kind of witch. The dark satanic kind that inspires the fear and mass killings of women prime example being the Salem Witchcraft Trails and many massacres in Europe, not my cup of tea.
However Morticia Addams is for sure my cup of tea... media3.giphy.com
When I was younger, ABC Family played reruns of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and as a muggle twelve-year-old, I found myself obsessed. I loved the sarcastic quick wit of front-runner Sabrina played by Melissa Joan Hart.
This is my Sabrina. She is adorable. media1.giphy.com
Hilda's almost Samantha (Bewitched) Homemaker humor always managed a great laugh, a good cry, and ever a moral by thirty minutes time. While Zelda was always the more serious of the sisters with her sly smirk, clear book smarts, and funny zingers provided a strong backbone to the family and the show.
Zelda (Left) and Hilda (Right) also seen being adorable. media0.giphy.com
Am I missing anything that made the show amazing? Oh right, Salem, the talking cat. Salem in the television sitcom's backstory was that he was once a wizard imprisoned in the Spellman household in the form of a cat. For what you ask? Using his magic to make a mortal fall in love with him. Salem is the best cat, funny, sassy, and purely self-absorbed. While the Chilling Adventures version of Salem is a real-life adorable cat he does not provide the moxie of the animatronic 90's cat. Another reason that the original Salem was the best is that he is what makes everything happen in the show. Basically, Zelda and Hilda tell Sabrina "no or ground her" as her parents should and then Salem gives her ideas, spells, and tons of bad advice. Which Sabrina probably shouldn't listen to a 500-year-old imprisoned wizard cat but it made for some hilarious hijinks.
Honestly, Salem is never not adorable. media1.giphy.com
Whereas the former show was funny and lighthearted with good intent bleeding from its ears this new darker take on the Archie Comicbook character has blood gore mixed in with casual Satanism. I will admit, at first, I liked the dark groove of the show and how they had feminism and Riverdale cast members in the mix. With that said, I didn't enjoy the twist of the Bible, the adoration towards Satan, and the worst "False God," comments throughout the show.
I have encountered things like this before and for the most part, it didn't bother me. I enjoyed horror movies like the Conjuring series. I continue to love American Horror Story including the most current season. So why is this series such a problem for me? I believe the problem lies with how they depict witches and also that the age restriction is TV-14 meaning that young influential minds are susceptible to these beliefs.
Let's use American Horror Story: Coven/Apocalypse as an example. The witches are not truly evil in American Horror Story. The witches do not agree to year and year as a dark thanksgiving to eat one of their own. The witches do not each episode praise Lucifer. The witches are fighting the antichrist. The witches may kill humans but there are usually legitimate reasons. A prime example is that Madison Montgomery maims the humans that are also her attackers. The witches in American Horror Story are flawed but have humanity. Whereas the witches in "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" don't. They have no problem roasting a child, twisting a man into madness, eating one of their own, apparent bestiality, plain murder, and bringing upon an apocalyptic end to the lives of eight billion people. In fact, most of the characters dream of it!
Although, the show's front-runner, Sabrina, hasn't truly gone to the dark side and is not down for the apocalypse. Her character has also stated that she wants to be mortal and a witch in order to kill the devil. All that is well in good, however, she has been groomed for Satan and still believes in him and his power. She will still say, "praise Satan." She is not a role model as my Sabrina was. My Sabrina brought down the bullies by outsmarting them and making them look foolish. My Sabrina never intentionally almost killed anyone.
My Sabrina brought wit, humor, and justice to the show. This Sabrina however… this Sabrina is not the teenage witch I grew up admiring. I grew up wanting magical powers but never at the expense of my soul. With that in mind let's look at the target audience. Teenagers fourteen and above. Which Netflix cannot control for the most part, as any child can be watching this show. Any teenager can be exposed at a fragile age to the Satanism for immortal power attitude. Also, most modern witches have a much different form of religion than what is displayed in the show. So the show is truly just glorifying Satanism and showing youth that it is okay. With all this in my mind, I have decided not to watch season two.
While there is a lot of good going for the show, I can say firmly that I won't continue watching. The well-developed character writing, feministic plot lines, diversity and scare factor make for a great show in theory, yet, I also cannot look past the devil advocating to wait in any sort of anticipation for a season two.