A stylish, macabric TV series at home with sister Archie Comics property Riverdale, Netflix/WB’s take on Sabrina is a well-cast (but politicized) love-letter to classic horror & coming-of-age stories – and one of the better witch takes in media. 8.4/10.
Plot Synopsis: As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends; based on the “Archie” comic.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Review Summary: A stylish, macabric TV series feeling right at home with its sister Archie Comics-property Riverdale, Netflix/WB’s take on Sabrina is a well-cast love-letter to classic horror and coming-of-age stories. Bolstered by a unique blend of tone uncompromising in horror & its witchcraft roots, but also feeling light and palatable to mass audiences akin to Riverdale and one of my other favorite horror shows Scream Queens, gorgeously cinematographed with strong attention to visual detail and camerawork as one of Netflix’s specialties, and phenomenal show-stealing main actress Kiernan Shipka and actor coincidentally looking stunningly alike to magic/horror stars Emma Watson and AHS’ Dylan McDermott, but sometimes let-down by a not-as-strong supporting cast and over-politicization again pushing false-“feminist” narratives more out to divide genders & hate/generalize all men (even innocent ones just trying to watch some TV for escapism but feeling alienated/attacked for biological factors they have no control over.. little like racist’s logic) than unity/equality like the real movement’s message we support.. Overall though, CAOS stands out as an addictive new binge and one of the better witch-related properties in media.
Positives: Brilliant decision to involve Warner Bros and the executive producers of the wildly successful Archie Comics teen/high school television property of Riverdale in the related Archie property of Sabrina the Teenage Witch with Netflix’s resources, great comic book intro, phenomenal perfect casting in lead actress (Kiernan Shipka clearly the MVP carrying the and actor – shame the rest of hte cast is sometimes lacking in acting and fails to match them as they are perfect – and also coincidentally look like Emma Watson from Harry Potter and Dylan McDermott from American Horror Story as well, unmistakeable classic horror and Archie Comics tone/vibe with things like love-letters to classic horror movies and concepts in glorious black-and-white to the footloose-sounding nostalgic soundtrack, definitely delivers on horror and doesn’t compromise tone with brutal macabre and even kills like the scissors to the neck part in a unique combination and genre blending akin to other great horror tv series Scream Queens and Riverdale, strong cinematography with beautiful sweeping artful shots and attention to detail in shots with colorful filters and depth of range as Netflix’s specialty and camera magic shines through welcomely here, strong opening to the series and setting of a truly Archie Comics-feeling high school at Halloween, can’t get over how brilliant the main actress is in what can and should be a career-catapulting performance by Kiernan Shipka, accuracy to comis and introduction to classic Sabrina characters like black cat Salem but also putting it in a new light and expanding on the comics to create something bold and new better for TV value and storytelling like Berlanti has done time and time as showrunner of everything from Riverdale to Arrow to Black Lightning to Flash, strong overall opening (besides the agenda-pushing) laying the scene for what hopefully will be an equally strong season, strong antagonist making it the devil and primordinally-dark, dark macabre and twisted strong storytelling in human and supernatural alleys as more revelations come in about Sabrina’s parents and in things like the lawyer backstory, religious and supernatural warfare as well as academy storyline undeniably fascinating (as well as academy being quite Harry Potter-feeling), good mini-arcs adding tremendous character development like the Batibat drea, sequences,
Negatives: Too heavy/political on the clear “feminist” agenda-pushing to the point of alienating male viewers (quotes because it’s the new kind that’s not really feminism since its more about finding any excuse to hate men than the movement’s actual founding message of equality..) Case and point – dismantle the white patriarchy and black panthers mentioned by name, punching thing – Susie physically TACKLED the guys first.. yet only the guys are in any wrong and deserve punishment and even torment?? What kind of equality is that? Even the devil isn’t safe from this #feminist show.. More like double standards and just finding ways to reach their true goal of man-bashing/dividing (Guys just don’t act like the portrayals on this show and it’s a bit crude/insulting if you’re a male viewer trying to innocently watch a show for escapist entertainment being told “your kind is bad” in generalized, faulty logic similar to what racists use to paint vast pictures/statements out of few/isolated incidents), literally every man in the show except the boyfriend is presented in harsh light – if that was reversed it would certainly be rebelled against so why is it okay here?, CGI can be wonky at times, non-main cast actors can be shaky at times
Official CLC Score: 8.4/10