My Thoughts While Watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The new Netflix original show, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has been a highly anticipated show since its early development. This is in part due to the classic favorite, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, as well as the success of Riverdale, its companion series. Here are some things I thoroughly appreciated from the series pilot:

It is dark, dark and dark. Sabrina is filled with the same moody and gloomy color scheme as its predecessor, Riverdale. The beauty of the cinematography and lighting creates an eerie and retro atmosphere. Arguably, this fits the world of Sabrina much better than Riverdale.

The styling. The outfits of the characters add to the retro-feel of the show. The styling is a blend of contemporary style and retro. Jewel tones, lace, peter-pan collars, wool, plaid and flowy silhouettes. The red cape-coat and black headband is the quintessential look of Sabrina, reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s. The colors of the outfits also stay within a similar color scheme that pops well against the gloomy cinematography. They tend to focus on shades of red, green, brown, cream, black and gray.

The set design. The Spellman house is absolutely stunning and everything you could possibly imagine a house full of witches and one warlock would be like. I get mid-century modern, dark, and spook, Halloweentown vibes from it but on a grander scale. One of my favorite moments is in the first scene of the show when Sabrina runs into the house and dances up the mahogany split staircase dressed with a red rug. The architecture and interior design is done fantastically with a special attention to detail.

The writing. The episode is a full hour, as opposed to Riverdale’s 45 minutes that the CW network typically allows. The writers make mostly good use out of that hour, sprinkling in subtleties, high school drama, mystery surrounding family and drawing in on on the identity crisis of Sabrina having to choose between her human life and being a witch. Sabrina has always been a beloved character of mine since I grew up watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Kiernan Shipka adds her own flavor to Sabrina Spellman that is reminiscent of a modern-day classic heroine. She reminds me of Nancy Drew in many ways, with her relentless determination to help her loved ones and her sleuthing habits.