The debut of a 1962 comic led to a hit series “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1996 – 2003) which aired on ABC Family for seven years. After over a decade the iconic witch is back, this time played by Kiernan Shipka in a new Netflix Original, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
The original story line was rebooted by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, creator of “Riverdale.” The cast also includes Disney Channel star, Ross Lynch from “Ally and Austin” as well some new faces to Netflix such as Jaz Sinclair, Tati Gabruelle and Chance Perdomo.
Aguirre-Sacasa took from the Archie Comics version for this Sabrina reboot just as he did with the character Archie in the production of “Riverdale”.
“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is a dark coming-of-age tale in which Sabrina is half witch and half mortal. The plot of the story picks up right before Sabrina’s 16th birthday. On her birthday, Sabrina must become a full witch and leave her mortality behind.
The reboot includes the classic aunts Hilda and Zelda who are stereotypical witches while Sabrina is a modern American teenager. It also brings Salem, Sabrina’s pet cat back, however, the cat cannot talk like he did in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1996 – 2003).
Dr. Berniece Bruinius Alspach, associate professor of English, attributes the trend of show reboots to the novelty shared by an older generation.
“When you reach your 40’s and 50’s you start to reflect on your formative years and that starts to merge in what you see in films and television,” Alspach said. “The former “Sabrina and the Teenage Witch” started in the late ‘90s’ and now those people have gained power and have a say in what is written and produced in Hollywood.”
Jeremy Duket, junior sociology major, was a fan of the original work and has enjoyed the reboot series so far.
“This new reboot is very interesting. It is so much different than the original, but I really enjoy the new feel that Netflix has created for this show. I find the new show just as enjoyable as the original,” Duket said.
He said he enjoyed the new horror aspects of new show.
“Personally I have always enjoyed any horror show that Netflix has come out with and I think they did a wonderful job adding a layer of scariness to a show that was originally very light hearted and fun,” Duket said.
Sean McKinley, junior business administration major is also a fan of the new “Sabrina” because of how different is it from the original.
“I think some of the appeal of the show was the references to the original but then the story of the reboot catches and you are sucked in just as Sabrina is into these dark arts,” McKinley said. “I have put the reboot in a completely separate category from the original show. I’m very excited about the filming of part two because the show left on such a cliffhanger and I’m excited about how Sabrina gets out of this one or if she accepts the path of night fully instead of sticking to the path of light.”
While the original show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1996 – 2003) had a much lighter tone, the new “Sabrina” takes a few dark twists and turns.
Rotten Tomatoes gave the Netflix series a 90 percent rating and is doing well amongst fans of the original story. So far, only Part One of Two has been released, but Part Two is currently in the process of filming and will be released on Halloween 2019.