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Why You Need To Binge-Watch ‘The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’ ASAP

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

I will be the first to admit that I was not looking forward to this more edgy take on Sabrina. After giving up on the disaster that I find Riverdale to be, I dreaded this new take on Sabrina that supposedly took place in the same universe as the Archie kids. Even knowing that Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch and (the love of my geek heart) Michelle Gomes played the main leads, it didn’t persuade me.

But after seeing the Netflix pop up promoting it and the other promotional material, including a clip of Aunt Zelda walking back with a shovel after burying Hilda in the garden for annoying her, I was intrigued. As fate would have it, the final push was me getting sick and having to spend the day in my room. I gave into the temptation, and boy was I glad I did.

The first thing I loved about the show—the casting. Not only was the show really well casted, but the characters actually looked their age. Sabrina doesn’t look like a 20 year old, but she is a very believable high schooler and so is every other character. The fact that teenagers weren’t sexualised or held to a high beauty standard isn’t something I want to praise, but in context of all the high school based TV shows is something I should point out, because YES I want more of this. Not only that, but the “older” female characters were never denied their grace and beauty; Zelda and Ms Wardwell embrace their sensuality.

Reason two why you should watch CAOS? The show as a whole embraces the witch lores of past. Birthmarks identifying whether you’re witches or not? Cannibalism? Worshipping Satan? Complex spells in latin? This show checks off all these boxes without coming off as campy. In fact, by embracing these darker and very non mainstream ideals, the show manages to do what many fail—it creates a world where realities blend so much that you could imagine this happening around you.

While embracing the darkness, they also don’t shy away from showing the hypocrisy of this so-called church based on the free will forced on women and how very similar the mortal world is to the witch world, despite their vastly different interpretations on life and faith. The show deals with sexism and the subtle, yet impactful ways patriarchal ideals affect women. It engages in topics like male domestic abuse victims, transphobia/homophobia and the suppression of students of color via taking their choice to read away. 

Sabrina herself isn’t like your typical protagonist who wants to be good and gracious. She will defend and cross boundaries to save those she loves, and yes, she does sometimes come off with a “holier than thou” attitude, but she is always called out for it, making the story much more realistic. In 10 episodes, not only do we go through the growth of Sabrina as a character, but we also see how the decisions she makes affects those around her and how people grow when facing their own demons.

Speaking of demons, the show deals with moral, social and literal demons in a fun, yet hair raising fashion. Ms. Wardwell is honestly my favorite character, and that has nothing to do with the fact she’s played by the delicious Michelle Gomez (okay maybe it does play a part, sue me). As she combines the literal demons and the demons us mortals face to become a most formidable opponent, dare I say she is more dangerous than The Dark Lord himself.

I can go on and on about everything CAOS does right, but that just sounds boring when you can go on Netflix yourself and see for yourself. Go on, join me in the sinfully fun world of Greendale witches with morally ambiguous characters you will love, mortals you want to protect or curse and the nuanced and intricate Church Of Night.  

Meghna is a writer for the HerCampus UCLA chapter. She is a second year who is double majoring in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics & Communication Studies. She loves photography, martial arts and is a huge superheroes and science fiction fan. While she isn't writing, she is part of a research lab in Gonda Neuroscience Building and is a part of the UCLA Debate Union amongst other things. Hit her up with a nerdy science joke to start a conversation.
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