“In the town of Greendale, where it always feels like Halloween, there lived a girl who was half-witch, half-mortal who, on her 16th birthday, would have to choose between two worlds: the witch world of her family, and the human world of her friends.”
Witches, warlocks and last but not least, Satan. One unconventional coming of age story if I ever did see one. From the same universe and the creators of Riverdale, Kiernan Shipka is America’s favourite born again witch, Sabrina Spellman. This extremely opinionated and powerful young woman has a very big decision to make on her sweet sixteen: she must decide whether or not to pledge her soul to Satan and agree to serve his dark agenda for all eternity. You know, just normal teenage girl things!
Oodles of Personality
Sabrina spends her mornings having breakfast with her two eccentric aunts: Hilda, who is sympathetic towards her niece and the tough decisions she’s about to make. Then there’s Zelda, who is ecstatic and wants nothing but to watch her niece fulfill her dark destiny. Last but not least, her witty, warlock pansexual cousin Ambrose, who she likes to get into frequent troubling situations with.
It’s great to see some representation here, not only because Ambrose being pansexual matches his portrayal in the original comic books. Also because there aren’t many pansexual characters on television.
Her aunts and cousin work at the Spellman Mortuary which is also inside their home (as if the show couldn’t get any creepier, she lives in a literal funeral home). She attends Baxter High School with her lovely dreamboat boyfriend: Harvey Kinkle (played by ex-Disney Channel heartthrob, Ross Lynch) and her two best friends, Roz and Susie. However, things are about to get a little more interesting.
Coming of Age in Greendale
Sabrina spends the days leading up to her birthday trying to find more answers about her upcoming ritual and cherishing the time she has left with her loved ones.
A number of important faces will need to be remembered as we go along. We’ll start with Ms. Wardwell, who is conveniently and very quickly killed and possessed by Madam Satan. Her strongest desire is to bring Sabrina over to the dark side. The Weird Sisters, consisting of Prudence, Agatha and Dorcus. Three witches who attend the Academy of Unseen Arts: a school for witches that Sabrina will attend if she pledges to the dark side. The witches look down on Sabrina and make fun of her for being a “half-breed”. They don’t believe she is qualified enough as a witch to attend the academy.
Discovering a Destiny
In the second episode, our favourite witch and her family receive a visit from Father Blackwood, the high priest and leader of the Church of Night. The church consists of a coven of witches who worship the Dark Lord, including the Weird Sisters. We learn that this coven was founded by Edward Spellman, Sabrina’s late father.
Blackwood pays the Spellmans a visit in order to try and ease Sabrina’s mind and answer any questions she has about the baptism. He is simultaneously manipulating her into officially joining them.
The Dark Baptism
Sabrina’s birthday finally arrives and she decides to spend her last hours of freedom with her friends at a Halloween party. As the dark baptism gets closer and closer, she heads towards it anxiously.
The ritual is not at all what Blackwood described it to be and at the last minute, Sabrina runs away. When she gets home, she announces her refusal to sign the Book of the Beast, ending the baptism once and for all. The viewer can really tell that it took Sabrina a lot of guts to do this. We see her going against her families’ beliefs and taking a chance that could cost her life.
Sabrina is then summoned by the coven and the high priest, who are suing her for breaking her promises. She hires a lawyer who specializes in witch law to help her successfully win the trial. In the end, they offer Sabrina a deal that she may remain in the mortal world. To have this privilege, she must also attend The Academy of the Unseen Arts. Accepting the offer reluctantly, she still wants and needs to find a way to stop Satan.
Unleashing a Secret, and a… Demon?
Staff and students haze Sabrina at her new part-time school, but she finds a friend in Nick Scratch, a fellow warlock. Sabrina’s dire wish at the academy is to be enrolled in conjuring class. Blackwood gives her a nifty looking puzzle called the Acheron Configuration for which he gives her an ultimatum. If she can solve the puzzle, she may join conjuring class.
The Weird Sisters haze Sabrina specifically by harrowing. After doing a little research, she discovers that there is a history of countless young student deaths due to harrowing. This causes her to recruit the friendly ghosts behind the academy’s walls to help her stop it from continuing.
Later on, she finds out that her father created the Acheron Configuration. Nick then gives her a helpful journal so she can solve it, and that she does, while also unknowingly unleashing a demon.
Who knew that as a 16 year old you would have to deal with unleashing deadly demons?
A sleep demon known as Batibat puts Sabrina, Ambrose, Zelda, and Hilda into a deep sleep where they are tortured in their dreams. Madam Satan explores their dreams in search of Sabrina in order to wake her. When she wakes up, she attempts to get rid of the demon but is unsuccessful. With the help of Hilda’s spiders, Sabrina successfully traps the demon, finally waking up her family. After Batibat is placed back where he came from, Sabrina visits Madam Satan after realizing she is not mortal.
Sabrina is a Breath of Fresh Air
In my opinion, this was one of the best introductions to a new series in a long time. I’m at the halfway mark of the first season, and by this point in a new series, viewers are either in or out. I’m all the way IN. I wish this show was around when I was sixteen. Growing up religiously watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you can imagine how excited I was when I read it was getting a reboot.
I’m super hopeful that this series won’t disappoint me, and I’m really excited to see where they go with this. Stay tuned for a recap on episodes 6-10!
What are your opinions on this charming Sabrina reboot? Are you in or are you out?