New Netflix show delivers on plot and writing

Sabrina Spellman. Image courtesy of

Matthew Tamez

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is a new Netfix series developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, best known for his work on the television show “Glee.” Based on the comic book series of the same name, this new series is a more mature and horror centric portrayal of the original character from “Archie Comics” and the sitcom “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) has it pretty good being half-mortal and half-witch. She’s able to enjoy the magic that comes with her heritage as well as the friends she’s made at her high school, including her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch). However, with her sixteenth birthday soon approaching, and with it her Dark Baptism, she will need to choose between her happy mortal life or her freeing, empowering life as a witch. With her aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) urging her to embrace the life of a witch and her aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) encouraging a more free-willed approach to life, Spellman is torn between the two lives she loves. Sinister forces are also at work behind the scenes and Satan himself seems to have his interests set on Spellman’ soul.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is certainly a dramatic series with heavy horror elements and supernatural occurrences. Jokes and laughs are few and far between as the reality of the situation bears down on the Spellmans. Although the show is certainly not a comedy, there are moments of brevity provided by Sabrina’s cousin, Ambrose Spellman (Chance Perdomo), who takes Salem’s role from the original series as the warlock imprisoned for his actions against the natural order.

Salam Saberhagen, meanwhile, has been reimagined. Gone is the quick witted and sarcastic cat. Instead, Salem is a silent familiar to Sabrina, assisting and protecting her throughout the show. Although Salem is intelligent, his form as a cat means we only ever hear one side of the conversations he has with Sabrina.

While the change in Salem’s role in the series is an interesting one, he ultimately would have had no place in the new show without the change in his role. Salem’s role as a competent protector to Sabrina is very welcome, and the live cat they have playing the character brightens up any scene he is in.

The acting in this show is superb with not a single actor seeming underqualified. All the lines and actions are delivered with an astounding level pf professionalism, with special mention going to Richard Coyle’s character, Father Faustus Blackwood.

While the show has a great plot and great acting, certain viewers may find the show to be too intense, especially in scenes depicting the practice of their satanic religion. The Christian God is often referenced in conjunction with Satan. Along with the allegories to both Christian and Satanic religion, the subject matter is very dark.

While the show may strike some sensitive viewers as too much, those who do not mind such things will find a greatly written, well-acted and deliciously dark story to watch on Netflix during the quiet witching hours.