Posted in TV

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Only Gets Weirder . . .

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are bizarre, and have been since the premier of the show. Here in the third season, things have gotten even more bananas, if possible.

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In the last episode of part 3, Sabrina disrupts the time loop she created to create two Sabrinas- one to live a life above, and one to rule hell. This does seem like it would wreak havoc on the natural order of things, considering Sabrina didn’t really think ahead and kind of just winged it? Sabrina does this all the time, making decisions without all the information, and this one seems like it might blow up in her face big time.

So she’s just Queen of Hell now?

Sabrina didn’t want anything to do with her father’s domain in part 2, but in part three she takes on the task of competing with Caliban, newly introduced prince of Hell, for the crown. Initially, it seems like she just wants to protect earth and humans, but then she seems to actually want it. At the end, Hell!Sabrina decides to remain in Hell to be crowned queen and rule alongside her father, while Sabrina returns to earth to live out her life as a teenager. Even if Hell!Sabrina wants to be queen, no version of Sabrina previously in the show has wanted to be separated from her family and loved ones. This seems like a manufactured ending to surprise viewers and set up an Evil!Sabrina plot line. It would be one thing if Lucifer wasn’t also ruling over Hell, but I can’t imagine Sabrina signing on for eternity with her father and Lilith. I think Sabrina could have easily coerced her father into swearing he wouldn’t harm earth in exchange for her abdication.

The End of the Church of Night

I really love what they have worked towards, separating entirely from the poisonous doctrine of the desecrated church and reforming to worship the goddess Hecate, in her three forms. It is poetic, and really quite beautiful, representing the strength of women in all walks of life. This is a great resolution to this plot line, one of the only elements of part three that I love without reservation.

Some Issues

  • This season is the end of the Weird Sisters, without doing them justice. Agatha is rendered insane, and Dorcas is murdered off-screen by her sister. This leaves Prudence all alone, and while the other Weird Sisters kinda suck, Prudence is truly one of the best characters, and seeing her suffer is awful.
  • Nick is terrible- this we know. He’s a bad boy, and that attracts Sabrina due to her dual nature. But he’s a bad boyfriend, and Prudence having to remind Sabrina to have enough self-respect to let him go is frankly ridiculous. Their romance lasting this long is unrealistic, but Nick is exhausting and could have remained in Hell as far as I care.
  • Caliban is criminally under-utilized. While everyone takes their time to slut-shame Sabrina (insert eye-roll here) Caliban basically has no personality and acts as the plot needs him to. When he needs to betray Sabrina, he does. When the plot requires him to help her, he does. It’s boring and disappointing. Also, just as a side note, he is so tan despite being from hell. He makes all the pale Greendale teens look positively sickly.
  • Ambrose had a great season, and frankly more of him is always good news. I still do want some explanation about his Spellman connection. He’s Sabrina’s cousin, but much older than her. We still don’t know much about how old the Spellman sisters are, but they have to be older than Ambrose. Who are were his parents? We know his father was killed by witch-hunters, but nothing of his mother.
  • No one protected the twins? They are weird, and certainly brainwashed, but they are innocents, and the fact that no one remembered them is ridiculous.
  • The coming and going of the witches powers is awfully convenient- and more than a little exhausting for viewers to keep track of. What makes them witches, outside of powers given by the Dark Lord? They are longer-lived than mortals, but the show has not explained what else makes them different.
  • What happened with Hilda’s spider eggs? We didn’t get a teaser about those at the end. Were they fertilized? Are we going to have to deal with a bunch of arachnids next season?
  • The cheerleading was cute, and I like it as a concept, but it didn’t get enough screen-time for me to actually be invested in it.
  • The singing. The singing! Why?

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Predictions for Part 4

  • Mambo Marie is very interesting- is she mortal? She’s clearly interested in what is happening in Greendale. I theorize that she is actually Prudence’s mother. We have had no proof that Blackwood was telling the truth when he claimed that she killed herself when he wouldn’t marry her, and trusting him is inadvisable. I like her romance with Zelda- Zelda is close-minded, and only expands her worldview when someone she loves is in danger or needs her help. Maybe Mambo Marie can help her with that. Marie is also powerful and knowledgeable, which is always a plus. This show has had issues with black women before, so it’s nice to see a positive portrayal of a powerful, queer woman who is proudly black.
  • There will be some resolution to the whole Edward Spellman drama. While Edward has given Hilda and Zelda more information about the future, we still don’t understand why he would bargain with Lucifer for a child. Adoption exists, people! Apparently the Church of Night was lousy with orphans, take one of them home. There simply has to be more. Did Edward see the future, and understand that Sabrina must be born for some reason?
  • Eldritch terrors have been released by Faustus- something doubtless will come of that. Personally, I have little interest in him at this point. I just want to see Zelda and Prudence snap his neck.

Relationship Drama

  • Sabrina and Nick are over, and thank hell for that. I don’t think they’ll get back together.
  • Roz and Harvey seem like they might break up- Roz had a moment in this season when she says “She’s my best friend” in reference to Sabrina. I think this means that she realizes that her relationship with Harvey is less important than her friendship with Sabrina, which must come first. I think Roz will break up with Harvey, when she comes to the conclusion that he still loves Sabrina romantically.
  • Wedding bells for Dr. Cee and Hilda! As far as we know, Hilda has never been married, so this is exciting. She’s been asserting her independence, and this is a big step! I think she might move out, and I also believe there may be a baby in the offing. She’s middle-aged, but witches live a long time, and it would fulfill the promise of the three in one: Sabrina, the maiden; Hilda, the mother; Zelda, the crone. Zelda isn’t exactly crone-like, but she’s the oldest sister and the most senior witch. Of course, both Hilda and Zelda are Sabrina’s mothers, so that could also satisfy this. Also, while Zelda has never seemed to want the traditional family structure, I think it is something Hilda would like in her life. Zelda is way less insecure, and seems to actually accept that her family can love her and still have their own lives. OIP-1
  • Prudence and Ambrose might get back together- they are actually very good together, and I think balance each other very well. I think once Prudence gets past her anger, she’ll ask Ambrose to help her save her siblings and put things right. I would like Prudence to take center stage next season and just beat her father to a pulp, and Ambrose can just stand there being sarcastic and holding her extra sword.
Posted in Books, TV

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Liberties in Adaptation

I’ve watched both seasons of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, starring Kiernan Shipka, but I’ve only recently come across the original comic book that served as inspiration for the show’s creepier premise.

I really enjoyed “Book One: The Crucible”, which is what I’ve read so far, but I did notice that there were considerable differences between the source material and the television show. Here are a few notable changes, and my thoughts.

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1. Sabrina’s Parents

In the show, Sabrina is an orphan, both of her parents having died when she was an infant in a plane crash. In the comic, it’s a little more austere. Edward Spellman is a more shadowy figure in the comics, while he is still dead. At the beginning of the story, it is clear that Sabrina is going to be taken away from her parents, and Diana is forcibly institutionalized by Edward. She recovers her sanity later, but it doesn’t paint Edward in the good light we see in the show. He even refers to Diana as a “vessel,” as though she is merely intended to bear a child. Overall, we get the impression that Diana was a mark and Edward is not to be trusted.

2. Madam Satan

While Madam Satan in the comic does pose as a teacher to gain Sabrina’s trust, she isn’t there at the behest of the Dark Lord Satan. Iola, as she is named in the book, is Edward Spellman’s first love, whom he spurned to marry Diana. After he left her, she killed herself and was consigned to hell. She is accidentally raised from the pit at the beginning of the book by a set of familiar-looking witches from Riverdale, Betty and Veronica. Iola’s motivation for tormenting Sabrina is revenge, rather than Lilith, who merely does the will of her master.

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3. Roz, Harvey & Friends

In the comic, Roz and Sabrina are not friends, but rivals, and Roz doesn’t have the sight. She’s just a one-dimensional mean girl. Theo Putnam is also absent. Sabrina doesn’t really have any other friends, except Harvey.

Harvey is very different from his television portrayal. While TV Harvey is a slim and boyishly handsome artist, comic Harvey is a muscly, gorgeous football player. Of course, the greatest difference between the two is that in the comic, Harvey dies by Madam Satan’s hand, or rather, lips. Unlike in the show, when Harvey’s brother dies and is resurrected with gruesome results, Harvey’s body is resurrected, but he’s not in it- Edward Spellman is.

4. The Church of Night

While the elders of the Church of Night do hold a trial for Sabrina regarding the Harvey incident, there is way less of a presence in the comic than in the television show. Nor does Sabrina attend the Academy of the Unseen Arts. There is no Father Blackwood, nor do the weird sisters make an appearance. A lot of elements of Father Blackwood’s character seem to have been drawn from the portrayal of Edward Spellman in the comic.

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5. Time Period

The comic book is set firmly in the sixties, while the television show doesn’t seem to have a set time period. Like Riverdale, which comes from the same creators, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina doesn’t seem to have a firm foothold in time, but does definitely have a retro vibe.chilling-adventures-of-sabrina-ending

6. Nicholas Scratch

While he appears as a main character in the show, Nick has no presence in the comic book. This is particularly big, because Nick is Sabrina’s main love interest in season 2, and probably the driving force behind some major plot action in season 3, when he’ll be rescued by Sabrina and Co.

I have yet to get my hands on further issues, but I will say that I have enjoyed the comic as much, if not more, than the show. If you’re a fan, I’d encourage you to read it.

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