Not-So-Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Netflix has adapted our favourite childhood comic series—Archies—before so when it announced that it would be taking Chilling Adventures of Sabrina under its wing for a live-action series, it didn’t come as a surprise. The only thing we all had our fingers crossed on was the producers not ruining another beloved comic like they did Riverdale. And all hope for that was lost, after we began watching the show that aired on the online streaming platform on 26th of October, 2018. After watching the first few episodes, it was clear that this series was also heading in the same direction Riverdale had, from the beginning in this case. However, imagine our surprise when the series actually picked up after the sixth episode (praise Satan)!

From the acting to the storyline, everything became much more gripping right until the very end. In the CAOS storyline, Sabrina is an orphan teenage half-witch—result of a mortal mother and warlock father—who is awaiting her 16th birthday, followed by her dark baptism where she would completely lean towards the witch life, thereafter cutting ties with her human life completely. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Sabrina herself is in love with a mortal, something that’s forbidden by witch law. She lives with the aunts who have raised her, Hilda and Zelda, and her exile-ridden warlock cousin, Ambrose. The series follows her steering into hilariously dark situations trying to make up her mind about choosing either side, as her family tries to clean up her messes.

The beginning of the series, first six episodes to be precise, just did not have the magic. They had every element a horror series would need, a highly indecisive heroine with supernatural powers? A cute, oblivious love interest? No parents to help her make the right choices? Strict guardians who compel the heroine to rebel? A devious villain (or a group of, thereof) to sway the heroine from making independent choices? Take a check on all of these. And maybe it was because of this being painted as another typical predictable horror series that we just didn’t feel the magic. Some of the episodes were unnecessarily stretched.

Just when we were about to give up all hope and dismiss this as a repeat of Riverdale with supernatural twist, the series started winding up towards the finale, which was—surprise, surprise—actually pretty interesting. The plot became a whole lot more messed up and I mean it in a good way, and the acting gave just the touch it needed to keep us wanting more after the final episode. Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sabrina, is a brilliant actor who breathed life into this snazzy new portrayal of the character. Her on screen chemistry with Ross Lynch, her CAOS boyfriend is also seemingly very real. Having grown up seeing Lynch as the typical boy next door character on Disney’s shows, his role in Sabrina was not that different, albeit has a lot more emotions. The rest of the cast also passed off pretty well, give or take, and developing a special liking for Madam Satan was inevitable, because of course, she is one of the most iconic villains one could come across.

Apart from all of these, the fact that CAOS is one of the few shows that actually uses LGBTQ+ actors to represent their community in the storyline, is very important the upcoming ages. Susie, played by Lachlan Watson, is a queer character still confused about her identity. Where most shows go the typical way of character getting bullied, doing some soul-searching and coming out, Susie is given her own space in the show and the fact that she doesn’t adhere to a particular label and just focuses on her journey of figuring herself out, at her own pace is very commendable. That and the fact that Lachlan herself is a non-binary individual who is given the chance to play the part on screen instead of pawning the role off to another CIS white actor, is praise-worthy. The show has also gotten its representation of ethnic minorities right with cousin Ambrose, a pansexual warlock who is open about his sexuality and yet, nobody really pays it any special attention. He also has an amazing personality that is not limited to his sexuality and gets adequate screen time to show his own character development. The fantasy show, in this way, presents an ideal for our society and modern television.

The new CAOS Sabrina is very different from the original comic book Sabrina. Her character in the Netflix series is darker, more risk-taking and sadly, not as intelligent as compared to her comic book counterpart. However, the Netflix adaptation might just be a bit more fun.

Sabrina : A Midwinter’s Tale

The show-runners graced us with a much awaited Christmas special episode on the 14th of December and sadly, it did not live up to the hype. It did however, live upto the CAOS standard, Sabrina portraying her typical rebellious self by screwing around with forces she has no idea about without the knowledge of her aunts and of course—against the counsel of her wise cousin, thereafter making a mess and her family coming forward to clean it up. However, it did bring about the beginning of a warm Christmas—or dare I say it, Solstice spirit, at least in the Spellman house.

The disappointment mainly stems from the predictability of the plot and the underuse  or even complete absence thereof, of quite a few interesting main characters-cough-Father Blackwood. And of course, CAOS episodes aren’t complete without Sabrina messing with poor PTSD afflicted Harvey’s family using magic (seriously get the hint and leave the poor chap alone)!

All in all, it was a rather rushed episode and IF that was the point, for this episode to serve as a teaser of sorts until the release of the next season, then Netflix did its job right. The next season is gonna come out on April 5, 2019 so you’ll find us tucked in our beds, nipping on some of aunt Hilda’s famous baked treats and enjoying the warm Yule fire until then.

Wishing you and your folks a Bright Solstice and a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at Whistles and Echoes.

Don’t let the Yule log burn out 😉

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