Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season 1
October 27, 2018 3:01 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

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. Netflix, full season.
posted by lesser weasel (65 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 


Lucy Mangan (Guardian review) only appears to have watched the first few episodes.
posted by pharm at 4:16 AM on October 27, 2018


From the episode one thread, dorothyisunderwood wrote:

"You can't eat children and be a nice person."

Can you not? This seems more like a rule of thumb than an absolute prohibition.

This interpretation of Sabrina is strongly influenced by Bulgakov: Sabrina insists upon both her will and her power. Margarita and Natasha ride the night over Moscow in an apotheosis of witchery -- so, too, does Sabrina stride through Greendale in her blood-red peacoat and dazzling smile.
"And sometimes it’s worse still: the man has just decided to go to Kislovodsk – here the foreigner squinted at Berlioz – a trifling matter, it seems, but even this he cannot accomplish, because suddenly, no one knows why, he slips and falls under a tram-car!

"Are you going to say it was he who governed himself that way?

"Would it not be more correct to think that he was governed by someone else entirely?"
I find this show immensely interesting and appealing for precisely the same reasons it disappoints dorothyisunderwood: this is not broadcast fare. It insists, as Woland does in Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, that in the absence of shadow light reveals nothing.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:40 AM on October 27, 2018 [12 favorites]


Lucy Mangan (Guardian review) only appears to have watched the first few episodes.

And that's a shame because the first few episodes are okay, but the last episodes are on another level. I can't wait for season 2!

2 things make this a joy to watch: Kiernan Shipka and Michelle Gomez.
posted by Pendragon at 5:09 PM on October 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


From the episode one thread, dorothyisunderwood wrote:

"You can't eat children and be a nice person."


It seems that comment has been deleted....
posted by Pendragon at 5:11 PM on October 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Partway through the season and noticing the show wants to have its horror movie references and eat them. Making Sabrina a fan of classic horror so they can bring up Night of the Living Dead makes it a little jarring when she then doesn't recognise a Lament Configuration. Just as well the trapped demon turned out to be a Buffy level bad-un, rather than Pinhead I suppose...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:08 PM on October 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's actually not that weird. She lives in a world where horror films exist (ie The Night of the Lepus poster in the background) but the only horror film we see (partly) is Carnival of Souls, which is black and white. We don't see any modern horror films overtly acknowledged (ie a poster for Jigsaw of the Conjuring 2 or whatever.) So they exist but the characters aren't genre savvy necessarily.


This ties into something I like about Sabrina, which is the anachronistic feel. I didn't miss the use of cellphones at all or really much in the way of modern technology. Plus the fashion design....so gorgeous.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:50 AM on October 28, 2018 [10 favorites]


And my god, the CARS! Everyone in this universe has a classic car with a flawless paint job.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:53 AM on October 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh I do miss Salem. I get that they replaced Ambrose with Salem, but I do really miss a talking cat. Maybe next season.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:24 AM on October 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


I don't think they'll do talking familiars. All the familiars we saw didn't speak but the witch understood the familiar anyway.
posted by Pendragon at 6:19 AM on October 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm definitely interested to see where the show goes in the 2nd season. The witch/magic side of the show has been far more compelling so far then what goes on at Baxter High, so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Sabrina at the magic school full time.

I found these first 10 episodes quite watchable, although not perfect. However, it definitely got some momentum going by the last couple episodes, so I'm hopeful for the next season.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:26 AM on October 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


And as far as the talking familiars, I imagine at some point we'll probably get an episode where someone does some spell that causes the familiars to talk or something like that, just because how could you resist messing around with that a bit, but it seems like that won't be a permanent thing in this iteration of the show.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:27 AM on October 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oh man, when I posted about the cars I hadn't even gotten to the ambulances at the mine collapse. Freaking gorgeous.

I watched the first few episodes when I was pretty sleepy and I've still got a couple to go, so forgive me if this is covered at some point, but- do we ever see Zelda's or Ambrose's familiars? Do we know what they are, or if they even have any?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:02 AM on October 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


I don’t remember Melissa Joan Hart talking this much about pledging herself to Satan.
posted by guiseroom at 11:00 AM on October 28, 2018 [27 favorites]


Ambrose gets a familiar from the Academy of Unseen Arts... a mouse... I don't know if he kept it.
posted by Pendragon at 11:02 AM on October 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


Harvey. My man. My dude. Have you heard of pillows.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:56 AM on October 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


Fabulous Halloween fare but I'm very confused. This show is like the anti-good place. It is literally glorifying Satan worship and terrible doings - of which I whole-heartedly approve - but the tonal shifts between teen drama and genuine adult viewing are somewhat jarring. I love the gleeful amorality but doesn't it massively undermine the protagonist's motivations?

Also Kiernan Shipka doesn't quite work for me. She's great at the scooby stuff but seems a bit under-powered in the final episodes. Or maybe it's just that Michelle Gomez acts everyone off the screen. She is thoroughly awesome.
posted by freya_lamb at 12:13 PM on October 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


I thought that this was pretty good, but it had some weird blindspots and massive flaws (much like Riverdale). I do agree about the tonal shifts, though - especially with Zelda and Hilda, who get the bulk of the slapstick comedy.

I don't know that the morality is necessarily confused - Sabrina seems to always try to find some moral way to wield immoral power (like trying to stop the feast, or trying to trick death with the Cain and Abel soil while still getting a blood sacrifice). I guess as far as the show has a theme, that seems to be it - trying to recognize one's inherited power (or privilege) and use it morally while not denying it completely.
posted by codacorolla at 7:37 PM on October 28, 2018 [7 favorites]


No talking familiars? Didn't the crow talk to Mrs. Wardwell/Madame Satan there at the end?

Overall, I liked the season, minus the eyebrow-raising reprise of Riverdale's "Ha ha let's punish the jock boys by amplifying their homophobia". It was silly and overwrought despite the darkness, which mostly worked but not always. And I got emotionally invested in the To Literal Hell with the Patriarchy aspects, even if they were realistically but annoyingly inconsistent with how they were presented. I am looking forward to season 2.

But y'all, I HAVE QUESTIONS.

1. Soooo Nick Scratch is really just a hormonal teenage warlock and not the Dark Lord (or an emissary thereof) hidden in plain sight? I get that witches and warlocks choose a baptismal name and he may have chosen that as homage to one of Satan's common epithets, but Sabrina still went by Sabrina at school, not Edwina Diana. It's hard to tell for everyone else at the school, though--Dorcas as a name was contemporary with the vague range of time periods this show could have been set in, and it's unlikely that a modern, insecure teenage girl would have chosen the name Dorcas for herself even as a historical reference. And Prudence is an obvious homage to Salem witches, but that homage could just as easily have come from Prudence's birth mother or even father as it could have from her choice at her dark baptism.

2. Who killed the rogue warlock whose bf Ambrose ended up with? We kind of left the whole concept of current witch hunters behind after a few episodes. It really seemed like it was probably Luke until he got whammo'd with a love potion. And did I totally miss the part where it was clear he was also a warlock?

3. Zelda, could you not have just lied about the order the babies were born in? Yes, I get wanting to protect our girls in this infernally oppressive society, but stealing and hiding a whole baby seems so much more risky than lying about birth order.

4. Was Dorothea Putnam's spirit benevolent? I really thought that whole thing was part of Missy's manipulations for awhile, but maybe not? And how come Suzy can interact with her?
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:36 PM on October 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


Seriously Nick Scartch is basically Devil McSatan.

This was the first show where I could see all the bones - like I knew exactly what books and movies they had read and seen to make this. Hell half the songs where stuff I listened to in High School. Which is to say, I am totally here for this alternate universe witchy 1950s where no one has a cellphone and Monster mash merges into 16 candles and also its somehow Hogwarts with classic cars.

I mean it could STILL be Luke as a witch who hunts witches if it was revealed he had another intention until the love potion - this does really feel like we got half a season.

THAT BEING SAID. Loved the density of references, quotes from The VVitch, Death Becomes Her, all the Susprisa references, the Sandman Cain and Abel riffing, ALL THE REGENCY TROPES (She's half royalty and has to marry the lord but gets stuck with break of contract and is also Cinderella!)

Plus Wardwell's familiar is a crow named Stolas. Haaaa.

But yes, good on underlining and exclamation pointing your major theme : MAYBE THE REAL DEVIL IS PATRIARCHY. Zelda just totally being the good church member was great. Like halfway through I shouted "Is Sabrina trying to create ...Witch Protestantism?" (she rebels against rituals and creates a new form , the exorcism, that doesn't have a high priest and depends on the women working together)

I assume Suzy is a medium in the way that Roz is clairvoyant?
posted by The Whelk at 11:45 PM on October 28, 2018 [7 favorites]


This show missed the mark in my house, three of us made it five episodes before we stopped watching. One of us loves Riverdale, the other two including me have never seen it and had no idea who the showrunner was or that it was based off a recent comic book. I’m kind of boggled at how well-received this show seems to be, others are seeing something in it I didn’t and I’m just... so confused.

Personalities change abruptly in service of the plot. Sabrina is positioned as the moral compass of the show but also lies profusely to the guy she loves. The three sisters go along with Sabrina’s trick on the jocks solely because they like torturing human boys(???) even though they hate Sabrina so much they literally try to kill her a couple episodes later.

Things that were a huge deal an episode prior are unceremoniously dropped, eg Hilda wasn’t allowed near the school because she was excommunicated (gasp) and then three sentences of exposition later, she can go visit no problem.

Everyone on the magic side is irredeemably terrible to each other. Zelda is the ice cold tradition police one episode, then maternal and caring the next, whatever moves the plot forward. Plot holes pop up, like small children dying from harrowing well before they would have turned 16 and had their Dark Baptism in order to attend the school.

I think the thing that finally killed it for me was Wardell making bumbling errors that are out of sync with what I thought was meant to be a powerful (competent) antagonist role. Sabrina finds the scrapbook she made about the lawyer’s past, which was I guess supposed to steer Sabrina away from him, but instead drove her to meet with him directly and ask about his past. Like you can inhabit human flesh for months and project your vision through mirrors and one of your nicknames is Mother of Demons, but you couldn’t predict that the girl you’re literally stalking 24/7 (why is this show so full of adults obsessively spying on high schoolers) would go confront the lawyer about his past?

And then we hit the Batibat episode. Yikes.

The Sabrina show from the 90s was formative for me, so I was really looking forward to this show. I think my expectations based on the trailer really set me up for disappointment, I’m really sad I didn’t get the golden-era-of-TV Sabrina reboot I was hoping for.
posted by Snacks at 12:00 AM on October 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


OK I have a weird question.

So like a lot of shows with magic, "balancing elements" is part of it. We find this out when Sabrina attempts to cheat death (never a good idea).

But here's the thing-Tommy was killed my magical means and died "before his time" ending up in Limbo.

Wouldn't that mean bringing him back would be restoring the natural balance?
posted by miss-lapin at 5:48 AM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


No talking familiars? Didn't the crow talk to Mrs. Wardwell/Madame Satan there at the end?


I checked, and you are right ! So... talking Salem next season ?
posted by Pendragon at 6:07 AM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Death doesn't care how Tommy was killed, it is owed a soul, it will take a soul.
posted by Pendragon at 6:13 AM on October 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


I REALLY wanted to like this show but I've stopped after 4 episodes. I love Riverdale, I grew up on 90's Sabrina and I was really excited for the show. I'm glad others pointed out the wildly inconsistent characterizations and the jarring slapstick/horror tonal switches. It was almost like the creators had specific scenes they wanted to film and then cobbled together character and plot points around that, instead of vice versa.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:00 AM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


How Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Thinks About Female Power, Sophie Gilbert
And yet what Sabrina’s witchhood seems fundamentally about is bringing down male power. At Baxter High School, Sabrina battles the headmaster, Mr. Hawthorne (Bronson Pinchot) after discovering that certain books with adult content have been sneakily removed from the library. And as she approaches making her lifelong contract with Satan, she begins to ponder his motives while questioning the crueler traditions that are embedded in the patriarchal history and practices of the Church of Night. Sabrina bristles at the idea that she’s supposed to “give the Dark Lord dominion over [her] soul,” even more so when another witch, Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) tells her that Sabrina will only be giving up freedom for power.

“But I want both,” Sabrina replies. Impossible, Prudence replies. The Dark Lord will never allow her, or any woman to have both. Why? “Because he’s a man, isn’t he?” Satan’s gender is emphasized throughout the show, adding an extra element of misogyny to the Church’s traditions.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:33 PM on October 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


The first and last episodes seemed to hit the target square. I really enjoyed the show overall, yet it was really only at the beginning and end that I felt like it was owning its power, as it were. A lot of the lighter stuff felt a little too light. The tone was just right at the start and finish.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:19 PM on October 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


Three eps in and I am loving the explicit smash-the-white-patriarchy ethos. And the bouncing between goofy teenager silliness, mortal-soul-in-peril-seriousness, and the happy medium of mortuary cannibalism gags.

Honestly I'd have probably kept watching just for the reference to Elizabeth Montgomery, but there's lots of other reasons to love it, too.
posted by solotoro at 5:54 PM on October 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


I've just finished the second episode and is the cosmology ever more fully explored?
posted by Carillon at 11:33 PM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Just finished the first season. Bits of the cosmology are explored, but similar to the complaint about characterization above, it seems to be in bits strung together to serve the plot, I'm not sure the writers have a fully developed cosmology underpinning the beliefs of the church. In fact, in one episode Sabrina asks Hilda what she thinks happens when you die; you'd think they'd have had that conversation at some point already, like maybe when discussing the possibility of Sabrina signing her soul to the dark lord? And in that particular case, Hilda goes from saying she doesn't know anything at all about the mortal afterlife to an episode later having a pretty in-depth knowledge of how limbo works for both mortals and witches. In one episode, Prudence has a lot to say about her faith and beliefs, and the witches generally refer to the judeo-christian god as "the false god," though I don't think they're ever fully explicit about whether they mean he's* not a god at all, or that he is a god but is also generally a deceiver. Demons are definitely a real thing, and at the very very end you learn a little more about the power structure of Hell, or at least one character's imagining of what it will soon be. That character refers to Satan as a "fallen angel."

Wouldn't that mean bringing him back would be restoring the natural balance?

That's pretty much the exact argument Sabrina tried to make, but Zelda dismissed it out of hand. I don't think the idea is that any magical change to the world is an upsetting of the natural balance, even magical killing. It's more about paying the price for whatever magic you perform, kind of a magical conservation of energy. Sabrina tried to cheat death not by bringing Tommy back, but by negating the sacrifice she made to do it.

It does seem like there should be consequences for Agatha and Dorcas meddling in the mortal world at all, but maybe they get a pass since the target was a witch-hunting family?

*I'm not sure they ever actually state what they believe about that entity's gender, come to think of it.
posted by solotoro at 12:49 PM on October 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


Solotoro-

But that's kinda of my point. There's obvious consequences for trying slip one past Death, but there are NO consequences for killing two mortals who have done you no harm? In addition, there's the suggestion that Tommy is "killed before his time" which seems like it would kinda screw with the universe. That seems like a huge oversight in terms of "the balance" of things and so forth.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:38 AM on October 31, 2018


I think it makes sense that killing someone and resurrecting someone are on different levels of "screwing with the ruling forces of the universe" though. Searching for a simile here, it seems like the difference between... I dunno, like the difference between eating your roommate's last toaster strudel when you know he was really looking forward to having it for breakfast, vs. stealing his grandma's china in the dead of night so you can hock it to buy heroin.

That's not to say that the cosmology of this show is super rich and intricate or anything... but that's also true of all-time witchcraft classics like Buffy and Harry Potter, so it bothers me less than it maybe ought to. (I definitely got extremely strong Buffy vibes from this show, by the way. The mix of flippancy and seriousness, the teen-angst-as-super-obvious-metaphor stuff, several entire plotlines...)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:09 AM on October 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


What about the fact that Sabrina burning the ghosts of the 13 hanged witches with hellfire in the last episode definitely seemed really out of character / distinctly un-feminist? That's my main beef with season 1. I was also disappointed of course that she ended up signing the Devil's Book at the end, not asking more questions first, or making some snarky comment about it not exactly being the choice she wanted to make, but merely one that she felt she had to make. The idea that she takes on power not because she wants it, but because she feels that she needs to protect others, is also somewhat jarringly regressive given the overall themes of the season.
posted by eviemath at 11:28 AM on November 1, 2018 [6 favorites]


I thought the implication was that she was releasing them from torment by burning them? I may have misunderstood that scene, or maybe read too much into it.
posted by codacorolla at 11:50 AM on November 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Huh. Maybe
posted by eviemath at 3:37 PM on November 1, 2018


Solotoro-

But that's kinda of my point.


Then I expressed my own a bit poorly, sorry. When I said Dorcas and Agatha should have faced consequences, I meant consequences imposed by the Church of Night because they have a rule against messing with mortals for no reason (out of fear of discovery), not consequences imposed by the universe because it has that rule, I don't think it does.

I'm also wondering when/if the consequences will appear for Hilda slipping Luke what was presumably a love potion.

I too was a little put off by the witches being burned - I mean, maybe she thought they were no longer actors with agency, just a no longer fully sentient vengeful force that couldn't really be negotiated with? But it seemed like she tried to negotiate with them like two seconds prior, so maybe the idea that she was releasing them is a better one (but then again, why try negotiating first, why not just tell them she's going to end their torment?).

I'm kinda hoping at some point in the second season that they somehow discover both a) how to break the oath in the Book (without dying), and b) that there is no extra power granted by signing (and therefore none lost by un-signing), the only thing that changes is what they themselves think they are capable of, and the whole basis of the ceremony was Satan creating it purely to control power the witches already had, gaslighting them into thinking it was a gift from him.
posted by solotoro at 4:36 PM on November 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


I just binged the first three episodes, and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to watch more. I am sort of openly hostile about the whole Witches owe Allegiance To Satan thing. Because, for so many reasons, but the primary of which is taking a female power and making it all about the Horned God is just offensive, and a tired old trope. Especially when the story is theoretically about busting the patriarchy s balls.

I dunno, maybe I'm just tired of everything being turned into grim dark. Is it too much to ask that a story based on a 50s comic book being shiny and happy? I mean, the world is full of monsters, and I could stand for some of them to be turned into pineapples, I'm just saying.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:06 PM on November 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just binged the first three episodes, and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to watch more. I am sort of openly hostile about the whole Witches owe Allegiance To Satan thing. Because, for so many reasons, but the primary of which is taking a female power and making it all about the Horned God is just offensive, and a tired old trope. Especially when the story is theoretically about busting the patriarchy s balls.

They actually do get into this contradiction more, and into the patriarchal corruption within the church. And based on some stuff in the last episode I'm thinking it's going to be an even bigger theme next season.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:23 PM on November 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


So, I'm watching episode four, and they go into the academy of dark arts or whatever, and I thought, "Hey, wait a minute, I know that statue! I have a picture with that statue!", and sure enough, the show, without permission, has appropriated the Satanic Temple's Baphomet. (Which is different enough from other works of art that they were able to get a copyright.) The Satanic Temple is not amused.

I had to nope out at episode five: Slumber Party. I have a much lower tolerance for horror than I thought, apparently. I went and read recaps for the remaining episodes, to see how/if loose strings got tied up, but I'm kinda glad I stopped watching it.

The whole satan/evil/sacrificing/blood ritual/cannibal/ thing bothered me a lot. It's playing to old prejudices, and at its core it is deeply Eliminationist Christian, if I can be forgiven for inventing a phrase.

And perhaps because the 90's wacky version, and the old comics are my exposure to these characters, I've never thought of any of those characters as evil, and I was happier when they weren't. I guess the show just made me sad and angry because I'm sad and angry that everything in our world has been infected by this miasma of darkness, and we can't even have a joyful show about how much fun it would be if you were a teenager with magical powers, and had a talking cat, and a book of spells, and a loving family, without it becoming a cannibal blood fest hailing Satan.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:57 PM on November 2, 2018 [7 favorites]


the only thing that changes is what they themselves think they are capable of, and the whole basis of the ceremony was Satan creating it purely to control power the witches already had, gaslighting them into thinking it was a gift from him.

This seems more likely than not. At least, there's hints of it. The Witch Exorcism explicitly didn't call on Satan, it called on power inherent to the witch and her forebears. And it certainly sounded like Satan couldn't have helped out on it, which is why everyone had assumed that Witch Exorcisms were impossible. That, and didn't Hilda say that Death was more powerful than Satan? So there are other, non-Satan-sourced, powers. And the fact that Sabrina was a pretty capable witch without signing the book at all, and could attend Witch School without signing the book.

you'd think they'd have had that conversation at some point already

Every episode seemed to hinge on some rite or issue that nobody had apparently thought to tell Sabrina about before. "Don't astral project, it's dangerous." "It's fine, he can't hurt me if I'm not there" "Okay, do it if you want" "He hurt me!" "Oh yeah, actually some demons can hurt you if you're not there" well why didn't you say that before, Ambrose? It's one thing if she hadn't grown up knowing she was half-witch, but evidently she did, and it just seemed pretty arbitrary what she did and didn't need explaining to her.

I thought Sabrina and her friends were probably the best part of the show. They seemed very... teenaged. I thought it was a bit too bad that they weren't able to do that much interesting either in the Magic School or the Muggle School- they had about one episode each, and after that she was just teleporting from one to another, which I thought was too bad- they ended up being sort of backdrops for her to talk to her friends and/or enemies and felt less and less like real places as the show went on.

I thought the horror elements were well done, though I have no knowledge of horror and a relatively low tolerance for icky stuff, I found myself enjoying most of it here. All of the horror references flew straight past me.

I kind of loved the witches' names for everything in their theology, just sticking "Dark" or "unholy" in front of your usual Christian things. "Unholy godmother", really. Also, it seemed like they had some notion of sinning, but, like, in a way that was not good, even though they follow Satan. So their theology all seemed pretty confused to me.

Also, I couldn't call Father Blackwood anything other than Discount Jude Law the entire time. Young Dark Pope!

P.S. did they film everything in, like, super extreme anamorphic format? because that fuzzyvision was like nothing I've seen on TV before.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:03 PM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


There is one smartphone in Greendale! It is the phone Harvey uses to talk to his girlfriend while lying on his bed in his room. I'm about 80% certain those are the only scenes it shows up in. I don't recall any time where someone thought it might be used to check in on Harvey when he is elsewhere. Maybe Greendale is just a town with diabolically bad cell service?

I just finished the first season. I do want to see how Sabrina gets out of signing her name, and how the iguana warlock got killed, and how many episodes before Salem eats Ambrose's new familiar. And how a witch goes about hiding a stolen baby without leaving town, I guess, because what?

But I don't know. It's hard to buy that Sabrina grew up with witches in a small town where they've lived forever, and still didn't know any local history or how they celebrate Thanksgiving, and the worldbuilding overall seems awfully haphazard.
posted by mersen at 4:46 AM on November 5, 2018 [11 favorites]


the worldbuilding overall seems awfully haphazard.

That was the biggest problem my partner and I had. She loves the general 1960s feel, but then Ambrose had a laptop in one episode and they reference modern authors and artists and it just takes us out of it. Also, as a person who has been steadily working towards understanding and practicing Wicca And other forms of witchcraft, she’s frustrated (and I am too) by the funhouse mirror version of Chrstianity that thw Dark Church practices. As it has already been said, they just stick Dark or Night or Shaddow in front of everything. And like, the Feast lf Feasts? Like, I’m sure witches can understand metaphor and eat a symbolic meal.

Also, that Sabrina is fucking up hard FOR A BOY is deeply frustrating to my partner. I argue that she’s 16 and everyone is an idiot when you’re 16, but I get her point. We like Roz and Suzy though and we’re invested in their story. And Aunt Hilda. Team Aunt Hilda.
posted by gc at 8:47 AM on November 5, 2018 [9 favorites]




That incident with the demon and Susie did make no sense. What does a demon care about gender binary and/or sexual identity ? Witches seem to take a... relaxed view toward traditional morality, their whole schtick is rejecting Christian morality, what does an ancient demon care?

A plausible explanation is the demon thought it was an insult that would land, I guess? But it was a weird and jarring scene.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:54 AM on November 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Dis anyone else find it funny--given that CAoS is sorta kind of a remake of a 90s ABC TGIF sitcom--that there is an Uncle Jesse who lives in the attic?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:58 AM on November 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Just as well the trapped demon turned out to be a Buffy level bad-un, rather than Pinhead I suppose...

Man, that really was a Buffy villain, wasn't it? Talks a good game but actually sucks and isn't remotely scary at all.

Who killed the rogue warlock whose bf Ambrose ended up with?

I'm working on the assumption that it was Lilith, just because they were both Connor and (the real) Wardwell were stabbed. In the absence of any other evidence, that one detail is all we have to go on.

A plausible explanation is the demon thought it was an insult that would land, I guess?

Yes, that's exactly what I got out of that. The demon was just reaching for whatever would hurt. Because demon.

Apparently, Susie's character was originally written to be an explicitly out trans man, but the actor wanted to keep things more vague and non-binary, or at least not have a coming out scene in the very first episode. It makes Sabrina and Roz' aggressive "girl power!" gendering of Susie even more cringy in retrospect, but hopefully the show takes some time in the next season to address that.

I thought the implication was that she was releasing them from torment by burning them? I may have misunderstood that scene, or maybe read too much into it.

I think that's what we were meant to get out of that scene, too, although it really needed to be more explicit about whether that's what happened or whether Sabrina was making a judgment call that the lives of Greendale's mortals meant more to her than revenge for past wrongs.

I thought that this was pretty good, but it had some weird blindspots and massive flaws (much like Riverdale).

Anyway, this is also where I landed overall. Still really looking forward to season 2. Especially since it's now set up to be Sabrina and the Sisters against Blackwood's Proud BoysWarlocks

They're gonna have to do something about the magical negro shit, though.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:10 AM on November 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


Looks like there's gonna be a Holiday Special. I'm all in for a spooky solstice celebration.

I also felt that the last scene of S1 ended the season on kind of a weird note, so I'm definitely looking forward to a semi-self-contained story to explore the aftermath of Sabrina's dark baptism a little more before we dive all the way into S2.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:20 PM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


I loved this series, can't wait for more. I was shook when Sabrina signed the book, I thought for sure she was going to pull a fast one, doing some sort of trick or other to get out of the situation. Heck, I thought showing the 13 that some witches do stand by their peeps would be an alternate solution of sorts, though I guess that went out the window as almost everyone got dragged away. I do think signing gives her more utilities to eventually usurp satan but it's obvious she will have to do some nasty shit she doesn't want to do at some point. Still, it seems to be leading up to an eventually cool moment where Sabrina challenges Satan for supremacy and I'd love to see Sabrina do hell and satanism "right."

I also love the cosmology of the show. Even in real world Christianity it follows that there is more to the supernatural world than god = good and satan = bad. God clearly is an evil figure at times and doesn't make sense if it's as omnipotent as many Christians portray it. The show has enough dark stuff to make the satan team seem "bad" but also enough to make it seem tempting, improveable, and a worthwhile alternative to God.

As a fan of the old 90s show, I really enjoyed this take on things, and I'm glad both exist. One where magic is a real thing with consequences and ethical considerations, one where ethical considerations are non-existent unless it's the moral lesson of the episode. They also did a good job of having Sabrina act in ways you'd expect a teen to, her love for Harvey really does seem like the kind of dumb devotion only a teenager can really have.
posted by GoblinHoney at 1:14 PM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


for lack of making more episode posts that might not get much traction, I'm up through episode 3 and while I can see the complaints that I've read, I'm already expecting a "everyone will die" vibe, but I"m thankful the lawyer Daniel Webster is not dead yet.

My biggest disconnect/confusion is that the younger actors seem to be portraying a lighter-toned show than the older actors, who seem to understand the grimness of things.

I am loving Michelle Gomez though. She was amazing as Missy in Doctor Who and her devilish ways are just as great here.

From what I've skimmed through this thread it's worth sticking with, right?
posted by numaner at 10:35 PM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Hmm... this isn't a great show, but it does somethings fine:

> It's well shot except for the weird diorama-esque shots that are more prevalent in early episodes, and which I cannot remember the proper name of.
> I think the acting is generally pretty good, and the standout performances are wonderful.
> It does actually follow its plotlines through (more or less).

It does some things extremely not fine:

> It has the same bizarre blindspots around sexuality and wokeness that sexual Archie does (I think you've gotten to the very worst of these by episode 3), except it seems elss aware that it's trashy.
> It has a weird tendancy towards Christian morality, given the subject matter.
> The teeny, soapy stuff takes over too much of the show (IMO), and there isn't similar level of variety in b-plots as there is in THE ARCHIE WHOM FUCKZ. It's mostly just Sabrina, and if you don't like Sabrina, then you probably don't like the show.

Overall, I liked it enough to keep going, but I'm not going to look askance at someone who doesn't.
posted by codacorolla at 10:45 PM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


So nobody on this show has a mother. Sabrina is an orphan; Harvey's mother is dead; we've seen Susie and Roz's fathers and Roz's grandmother but not their mothers, right? Prudence's father is Lord Blackwell, but we have no idea who her mother is. The other weird sisters are orphans. Is the show going somewhere with this thematically, or does Greendale just happen to be a town with a shit-ton of single fathers?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:57 PM on November 17, 2018 [11 favorites]


that is strange.

I'm just now at episode 7 where you find out Prudence's father is Blackwood. I gotta say, I didn't like most of this episode's main plot with the Feast of Feasts. The witches blindly believing in eating one of their own is a big step up from what they've shown us so far. And no one is questioning why things were fine when Edward Spellman banned the feast while he was high priest? And then Blackwood says "oh Satan said we should do it again" and they all believed it? That's a little bit of a stretch.

Also, holy hell Prudence and the weird sisters are just complete assholes I don't know why Sabrina bothers to try to be nice to them. I would've totally agreed with Lady Blackwood that those mean girls can go right to hell, especially if Sabrina's hands are clean. Like, girl, they mock you all the time for being half-witch, and then literally tried to kill you for going to a school that everyone wanted you to go to.

One thing that has been bugging me that I'm hoping the show will resolve is that Blackwood seems to want to punish Sabrina all the time, and the Spellmans too, except for Zelda because she's useful. I know he probably resents them because Edward was the last High Priest and Blackwood probably killed him and Diana. And yet !Wardwell the "mother of demons" is set on getting Sabrina to stay at the school and become a full witch at the behest of the Dark Lord. And Blackwood knows this. Doesn't !Wardwell realize that all the crummy things Blackwood and the Weird Sisters are doing will basically drive Sabrina away from being eventually a full witch? I'm surprised she's not more strict with them.
posted by numaner at 11:12 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I had the same thought as SecretAgentSockPuppet and looked up the statue of Baphomet, sure enough it's the same statue. And I found out that the Satanic Temple is suing Netflix. I actually kinda agree with them about this lawsuit. The co-founder of the temple, Lucien Greaves made a good point as quoted in that article, that a mainstream religion's specific place of worship or symbol wouldn't ever be misappropriated in such a way.
posted by numaner at 12:24 AM on November 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


P.S. did they film everything in, like, super extreme anamorphic format? because that fuzzyvision was like nothing I've seen on TV before.

yeah that was annoying. God Friended Me has some scenes like that too and I hope it's not becoming a trend.

And speaking of weird visual choices, did anyone notice that some of the cast had strange yellow-ish make up? Like Aunt Hilda was basically yellow for almost the entire time. Then Roz and Prudence started having more caked on make up. By the last episode even Harvey had it too. Really only Sabrina seemed to have a more natural look.
posted by numaner at 3:02 AM on November 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


I finished the season. While I think I will watch season 2 to at leas find out what happened, I mostly agree with everyone that the plot holes are too glaring to ignore, and the shifts in tones between episodes are just confusing. Also dropped plots all over the place. I do like the acting though, but I kind of wish they found someone who looked a bit older to play Sabrina.

I was also disappointed that she signed the book at the end, and that !Wardwell aka Lilith basically wins. But I hope that ties back to the "down with patriarchy" sentiment they dropped after the first few episodes.
posted by numaner at 3:08 AM on November 18, 2018


numaner, that yellowgreen makeup! I'm so glad you mentioned it because it was really distracting! Everything was so dark that I had to crank up the brightness on my screen (seriously does no room in Greendale have overhead lighting?) and I wondered if the yellow was meant to offset that. Harvey started off fine but by the end he had a white neck and pink ears. And poor Hilda!

It really stood out when Sabrina was in the same scene and the cameras alternated. Shipka was luminous. I think every shot of Sabrina was done with a different quality of light.
posted by mochapickle at 12:48 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, that Sabrina is fucking up hard FOR A BOY is deeply frustrating to my partner. I argue that she’s 16 and everyone is an idiot when you’re 16, but I get her point. We like Roz and Suzy though and we’re invested in their story. And Aunt Hilda. Team Aunt Hilda.

So speaking of Harvey and Hilda: Sabrina's, uh, dedication to Harvey might not bug as much if Harvey were written as less of a cardboard cutout. There's a constant stream of assurances that their feelings for each other are deeep but I'm finding it hard to see why. I can kindof paper it over with "she's 16" and reminding myself that my crushes and feelings seemed intense in my teen years and I had lots of moments of idealistic dedication to things that I didn't have a well established relationship with. Or... maybe this is metacommentary on the missing interiority that many love interests of male protagonists often have? Or I could stretch a little further: maybe metacommentary on how the depth of a relationship is limited when you invisibly dedicate yourself to solving problems for the other person without showing them the full picture of who you are including your potentially frightening competences. But those feel like elaborate outs for the writers and I'm still not satisfied with it.

Contrast that with the relationship between Hilda and Zelda. Both characters have so much of their own personality, Hilda's iceberg of competence and independence beneath her agreeableness, Zelda's softer feelings beneath her assertive and orderly investment in system and status, elaborately distinct but interdependent, mixed resentment and need and care. And oh, wow, their nightmares. So... the writers know how to give us a relationship worth thinking and even caring about. Hell, Tommy and Harvey's relationship isn't bad for the screen time it gets. If Sabrina's and Harvey's were as good multiplied by its screen time maybe we'd all be in love with Harvey.
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:32 AM on November 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm kinda hoping at some point in the second season that they somehow discover both a) how to break the oath in the Book (without dying), and b) that there is no extra power granted by signing (and therefore none lost by un-signing), the only thing that changes is what they themselves think they are capable of, and the whole basis of the ceremony was Satan creating it purely to control power the witches already had, gaslighting them into thinking it was a gift from him.

I think this is probably right, or at least something the show will explore. Consider, for example, the fact that Hilda has experienced precisely zero loss of magical ability despite being excommunicated.
posted by asnider at 11:19 AM on December 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


The Solstice special seemed alright to me, although I'm not very happy seeing Suzy in distress.
posted by figurant at 9:39 PM on December 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


So is this dude really Satan, aka Lucifer, aka The Actual Devil?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:56 PM on January 24


Part 2 of season 1 dropped this weekend. Do we treat it as season 2 or are we discussing it here ?
posted by Pendragon at 2:12 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I think it should be Season 2 and get its own post, perhaps with some acknowledgement that they're called "Chapters" in an extension from season 1 numbering.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:57 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


Season 1 had chapters as well; when I made the S1E1 episode post, I called it "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Chapter One: October Country Season 1, Episode 1"

Perhaps we could treat individual episodes like this?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Chapter Twelve: One Of The Boys Season 2, Episode 1
etc.

I can make a post later if no one else does.
posted by lesser weasel at 7:45 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


Netflix calls them "Season 1 Part 1" and "Season 1 Part 2", while otherwise using the same mechanics it would for separate seasons (ie separate entries in the dropdown season selector). Is there a mechanical reason we can't adopt that naming convention here while otherwise treating them as separate seasons? Seems least likely to cause confusion. But I legit don't know if that's possible, I've only ever commented in FF, never made a post.
posted by solotoro at 5:15 AM on April 12


So a full season post?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:33 PM on April 12


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