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5 Reasons Why You Should be Watching “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

As children, we all had dreams of being a witchy feminist goddess, right? Well, at least I did. 

When Netflix announced that they would begin putting a modern, unique twist on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I was ecstatic. Sabrina Spellman was the grunge icon of my elementary years. I aspired to match all of her chaotic-good energy and practice whimsical spells on crushes and teachers alike. 

Though the original Sabrina premiered before I was even born, she had a catastrophic effect on my development, and even now as I journey deeper into the terrifying, bewitching world of adulthood. The Spellman’s seem to find ways to sneak back into my life. 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the slightly-horror, teen drama audiences have been craving for years. With an aesthetic homage to Riverdale and the charm and cheekiness of 90s Sabrina, the show is a sweet escape from a world of mortals.

As a self-proclaimed Spellman, having the opportunity to live out my own Sabrina-era as a teen in the modern age is exhilarating and makes for some great convo with my other witchy gals as we binge each season. With the release of the third season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I want to recruit as many audience members as possible. 

Here are five reasons why you should be watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix (or the darkweb, if you’re into that kind of stuff).

Queer inclusive

Within the very first few episodes of the first season we are introduced to my favourite warlock and Spellman cousin, Ambrose. Not only is Ambrose a Black warlock, which are vitually non-existent in much of fanasy and mythical creative content, but he is also queer! Having queer, Black male represenation on screen is so exciting and refreshing to see, especially because Ambrose’s social identites are only a fraction of his complex and interesting personality and storyline.

The show also includes a spectrum of sexuality and actively displays the fluidity of sexual and romantic attraction among all of our favourite witches and warlocks. Plus, in the new season we are reintroduced to a Sabrina favourite, who is in the process of transitioning. The way his storyline is introduced and handled throughout show just demonstartes how seamlessly Sabrina is able to include all branches of identities without tokenizing or exploiting marginalized communities.

Leading powerful women

Whether we are watching the Spellman Aunties kick-butt and wittily guide their niece through the trials of teenage girlhood and witch-hood, or biting our nails down to nubs as Roz navigates her cunning ability while finding love. Any tropes or stereotypes explored on the show are quickly turned on their head and made into a narrative of empowerment and ruthless feminism.

As we ride the third wave of feminism in the 21st century, having a show like Sabrina is quite fitting for the times. We have long-passed the days of manic-pixie dream girls and bobble head blondes and brunettes who have nothing more to say than “I love you.” On Sabrina, we have real women living out their lives in all of their complexity. They fall in love, go to school, form friendships that are sure to last a lifetime, and kick-butt, all while dismantling the patriarchy one sexist jerk at a time.

The female characters on this show are fearless and vulnerable. We get to watch them blossom and develop into characters of substance and purpose and become entities much greater than the men in their lives.

Political and social commentary? Hell yeah!

In the age of activism, Sabrina is not afraid to tackle all the popular discourses happening right now in our lives. Within only three seasons, the show has already begun discussions on transphobia, hyper and toxic masculinity, sexism, and consent.

Though we don’t get the chance to truly deep dive into each social issue, Sabrina is sure to let us know that they’re not afraid to talk about these things openly and honestly. Instead of passively nodding to current events, the show makes politics an intrinsic element of every storyline. Watching a mainstream TV show be so unapologetic about its politics, especially in an era which pressures so many people to keep quiet on their beliefs when we need those voices the most, is exciting.

Witches and warlocks of colour

I breifly touched on this when discussing Ambrose and the inclusion of queer narrative, but can we just talk about the amount of leads of colour on this show? Sabrina is sure to let everyone know that the fantasy world isn’t just for white characters to explore with a dash of a Black voodoo empress every now and then (no tea, no shade). The witching world is just as diverse as our own and we deserve to see powerful, majestic, fantastical beings of all forms on screen.

I was in love with the world of fantasy as a child. Books like Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Narnia allowed me to access a world of magicians and fantasy that gave me control and a sense of resolution I often couldn’t find in my own life. I felt seen on the inside, and yet when I read about these characters and watched them on screen, I could never find myself in any of them. Sabrina is shifting the culture of mythical narratives to include people of colour as just as valid and important as white characters. Though it did not begin with Sabrina, they certainly are carrying the torch for narratives where diversity leads. I have no doubt that as the seasons progress we will watch diversity on screen grow and flourish. 

It’s pure fun

Finally, the show is fun to watch. It’s addictive and gives me a rush of adrenaline with each action-packed, intense storyline. Without becoming too heavy, Sabrina is able to keep their audience engaged with compelling characters and plotlines that are constantly reinventing the standard and shape-shifting cultural norms. If you’re looking for a new show to binge this reading week or on off-days from school, Sabrina is my #1 recommendation!

Zanele Chisholm

Toronto MU '22

Hello! I am a first-year student at Ryerson University majoring in English with a minor (hopefully) in Graphic Communications! I have loved writing since I was young, specifically creative writing forms such as poems and short stories. I am super excited to be writing for Her Campus and hopefully I will contribute some stories to the publication that will have a positive effect on people!
Sarah is a fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson University. As Ryerson's Campus Correspondent, Sarah is a self-proclaimed grammar nerd. In her spare time, Sarah is either buried in a book, trying to figure out how to be a functioning adult, or enjoying a glass of wine - hopefully all at once.