5 Reasons Why The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is Overrated

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix has gotten a lot of press lately, almost all of it good, for being a reboot of the teen comedy we all loved from the late 90s and early 2000s. Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina both follow Sabrina Spellman, a 16-year-old half-witch who must learn to harness her powers while hiding them from her friends and boyfriend.

 Pharaoh by Onistocke

 

Unfortunately, that’s about where the similarities end. Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch spends the series getting into magical hijinks and trying to get her magic license. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, however, is much darker, with themes such as death and devil-worship.

 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is good for sure, but I think it might have been overhyped. Here’s why:

  1. Salem. Yes, my first complaint is about the cat. He was such a major part of the original series, and as her familiar, it seems wrong to short-change him by only including him in a few scenes and taking away his ability to speak - especially since it’s been established that familiars are goblins and are therefore capable of speech. I got that Ambrose was meant to be Salem’s replacement, but it still felt unfair to our beloved Salem.
  2. The sub-plots. Y’all there are so many sub-plots in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. For a ten-episode series, they have probably about eight un-sequential sub-plots. Things get brought up and dropped only to return many episodes later. I felt like I needed a corkboard with some yarn to follow along.
  3.  All the Satan jokes. We get it, they worship the Devil. It was funny the first couple of times, but it seemed to get a little out of hand. If you made a drinking game out every time Zelda said “Praise Lucifer” or “Thank Satan,” you would be playing a very dangerous game, my friend.
  4. It’s slow. I try to stick to a two-episode rule. The pilot is almost never what the rest of the show is like, so I watched the second episode before making any judgments. After watching the first three episodes I felt like there was still practically nothing going on. I really wanted to like it, so I watched the fourth episode, and that’s where it finally started to pick up. But in a ten episode series, I wanted more sooner.
  5. Characterization. Pretty much everyone is one-sided. Hilda is the sweet caring aunt, Zelda is an overzealous Satan follower, Ambrose is the sassy pansexual cousin, and Harvey is the clueless but loving boyfriend. That’s it. And oddly, Zelda is nothing like she is in the original series, to the point of being cruel toward her family, which just made her unlikable overall.

 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina isn’t an inherently bad show, but it’s made by the people who made Riverdale, so keep that in mind if teen dramas aren’t your first choice. Overall, it was alright, and I’d be willing to watch more of it in hopes of it fitting more to the original. We shall see soon enough with the holiday special coming out December 14th.