10:30 am EDT, October 5, 2018

Netflix’s ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is everything ‘Riverdale’ is not

You're going to love this Sabrina Spellman

Though the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has yet to premiere (catch it October 26), I’ve had the chance to watch the first five episodes, and I can say with certainty: You’re going to love it.

Starring Kiernan Shipka and Ross Lynch, among other vastly talented stars, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a retelling of the story of Sabrina Spellman, who, on her 16th birthday, must decide which life she’s going to live.

Will she live out her days as a mortal with her friends, or will she embrace her half-witch darkness?

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the decision Sabrina makes, but it’s a promising decision that shows how clever, resourceful, and strong Sabrina Spellman is and will grow to be.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of the most compelling aspects of the show, which is going to quickly become one of Netflix’s top performers.

This ain’t Melissa Joan Hart’s tale

When a reboot of any story is announced, it’s normal to panic about whether this new version will honor the original. However, while watching, it didn’t even cross my mind that these two shows were the story of the same characters.

With how different the plots are, it’s difficult to compare the two because they’re unrecognizable from one another. Aside from sharing the same characters (in name only, at that), The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stands alone as a much darker, enveloped teen drama.

Where many have gone wrong, this series has succeeded in separating their story from that of the original take on the show, which is partially due to the vast difference in genre between them.

While Netflix’s take is funny at various points, it’s not about making people laugh, but instead calling into question our existence and whether the path we take is already pre-determined for us.

No reliance on the magic

If you’re looking for a series that depends on the supernatural to guide every moment of the character’s lives, this isn’t it. Instead, we see a balanced (if not slightly too slim) use of the Spellman family’s powers.

The characters, magical or otherwise, push the plot forward with their personalities, and the magic is occasionally there to remind us of the sometimes very dangerous reality of Sabrina’s life.

While one magical scene in the first few episodes will make viewers laugh, another will shock you, so there’s no use of magic for solely comedic outcomes, either. Everything has a purpose, which is something desperately needed in this genre.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

It’s everything ‘Riverdale’ isn’t

We’ve all hoped that Riverdale would somehow step it up and not be the joke of The CW, which is hard to do considering their recent slate of shows.

Both being from the same creator, it’s a bit unbelievable how wrong he got Riverdale while we’re now experiencing the opposite with Sabrina. It looks like he’s learned from his mistakes (or Netflix wasn’t willing to put up with mediocrity).

However, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a wonderful, well-spoken, thought-provoking series.

The characters are aware of the realities of society and they’re ready to stand up against injustice. The dialogue, while a little unusual for the average 16-year-old, doesn’t make you cringe every time someone opens their mouth.

The show is tackling social justice issues in a small way; much of the plot involving the human characters are about some great injustice at their small high school, which is unique in that it’s focusing on small issues that build to the enormous problems in society.

The characters, even though some of the younger actors are over the age of 18, look like they’re in high school. I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s infuriating to see grown adults that clearly look like they’re in their 30s playing high school students.

The stories make sense, too. Everything seems to tie together, even in the one almost standalone episode (of the five that I’ve seen).

There aren’t sporadic plots to create extra, unnecessary drama; the characters are growing up, in every sense of the phrase, and they’re learning from their experiences, even though it’s taken place during such a short time.


In a few short weeks, on October 26, the entire season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina drops. I’m incredibly excited to watch the remainder of the season and see where the characters go in the later half.

Additionally, there’s no way this show isn’t getting a second season, so I’m nervous, excited, and terrified to see what sort of twists they’re going to introduce in the finale.

If you watch The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, you’re going to love it. Go in skeptical if you wish, but it’s a surprise hit that everyone will be talking about.

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