the chilling adventures of sabrina
Let’s start off by saying that, by far, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is my favorite teen drama I’ve watched in a very long time. While it definitely leans into its younger demographic, it still tells an engaging story with interesting characters in a unique setting. For a TV show, the teens are much more teen-like than most teen drama types, actually worrying about classes and making clubs and thinking of teen solutions to teen problems (most of the time). They aren’t adults acting like college kids while we’re pretending it’s high school. They’re adults acting as high school students who act like frustrated teens. It’s honestly impressive, in the world of absurd Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars, and the like.
Now to the problematic shit. (SPOILERS galore, so be warned).
The first episode of any Netflix series sets the tone, whether you’re watching nightly, weekly, or binging the entire series in a day (get ready for that judgemental “are you STILL watching this?” message, spelled with a silent “don’t you have a life?”). The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is no different. First and foremost, trying to distance itself from the cheesy Teenage Witch version from the late 90s to the early aughts, Sabrina comes out swinging and doesn’t pull its punches. But is it enough to keep the entire first episode strong and set up watchers with enough stamina to last the series? Warning! Small spoilers ahead!
Reboots and remakes have become exceptionally bountiful in the past few years, and that has been particularly true for film and tv. The most successful of the lot, however, have historically been reborn kids’ shows. For example, the recently ended TMNT cartoon was heavily praised, the recent Voltron, Ducktales, and She-Ra remakes have been hits, and trailers/rumors for reboots of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Teen Titans have been very well-received.
Teen/Young Adult stories have been getting more buzz in their remakes, though, as of late. With the success of Riverdale, properties like The Heathers and Charmed are getting new updates for the modern teen. The one that’s caused the most talk, however, is the dark remake of Sabrina Spellman’s teenage life: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.