Sabrina The Teenage Witch (new and old)

So for those who dont know, Sabrina originated as a comic published by Archie Comics and also appeared in a few Archie issues. It was a very cheeky comic and fun. The concept is you follow a half witch half mortal named Sabrina who lives with her aunts keeping the fact shes a witch a secret. It spawned many other comic variations along with a cartoon and sitcom in the late 90's. All of which have the same concept with differences in between..

-Sabrina The Teenage Witch (1970) - 1 season
-Sabrina The Animated Series (1999) - 1 season
-Sabrina: Friends Forever (2002 animated film) - Continuation of the animated series
-Sabrina's Secret Life (2003) - 1 season - squeal to the animated series
-Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch (2013 CG series) - 1 season

Live Action Sitcom
-Sabrina The Teenage Witch (1996) - 7 seasons, 2 TV films, and 1 pilot film
+Sabrina The Teenage Witch (original 1996 pilot film)
+Sabrina Goes to Rome (1998 TV film, takes place during season 3)
+Sabrina Down Under (1999 TV film, takes place during season 4)

Netflix Series
-The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)

Most of my knowledge of Sabrina comes from the animated series the the live action sitcom. I've read a bit of the original comic.I should probably get the series box set at some point thats been floating around. When I heard about a Netflix series I wasn't mad. I was more scared because its being made by the same person who made Riverdale and I absolutely hate Riverdale. It's like it kept getting worse with season 2 being the most unfocused and boring thing I had to experience. Also changing the characters so much that it feels like it was made by somebody who didn't grew up with the characters. The changes made in Riverdale make unfaithful adaptations of comics, cartoons, and manga all look perfect adaptations in comparison.

So what does the series Riverdale have to do with Sabrina? Just the fact it's not very good and share the same people behind it as I explained. This new series is an adaptation of a darker comic book version of Sabrina called "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina". I read this comic and the comic itself isn't any good. How I felt about the comic was that it seemed rushed in terms of story telling. It doesn't explain itself very well when it needs to and it just gives us info dumps going off the rails just to explain things that could have been used as a plot twist for later comic issues that would have help this series redeem itself but doesn't do that. The regular schedule might have something to do with it but they leave readers hanging for x amount of months. The series started in 2014 and we only have 8 issues. Its been over a year since they announced the delay of issue 9. My biggest issue with this version of Sabrina is its dark for the sake of being dark. Mindless edgy madness that could be left without.

To give credit where credit is due, its not all horrible in certain parts. There are some interesting concepts like the laws of the coven, how the world works, and Sabrina's home life. I wanted more of that and do see some potential because I was intrigued in Issue 3 and 4 but it's a bit hard when the story is rushed and throw random edgy scenes that dont belong because they're never brought up again. There is some hope for the Netflix series because the comic series is on hiatus / unfinished so it would help flesh out the rushed story the comic has. I want it to be good and hope it is but I have this cloud over my head because I hate the people behind Riverdale and majority of what I've read in the comic. So I would just have to wait and see next Friday when it's released. When the trailer went live I could recognize a lot of the scenes from the comic and very curious how they'll all fit in. I'm curious if it will be as faithful as they said because if it is then I'm super curious how fans of the 90's sitcom will react when a certain character dies very early into the comic. I do see some differences which confuses me a bit like a character in the comic hates her but she seems to be her friend in this. Also one big thing that happens in the comic seems like it will be a dream but thats just me theorizing.

Be aware, the Netflix series is TV-14. It will be gory and some suggestive scenes are said to be in the series which isn't in the comic. Also if Satanism and conjuring demons makes you uncomfortable then stay away because there's a lot of it in the comic and no doubt they'll crank it up because it's on Netflix. There are more trailers but I like the teaser better for how vague it is so if you like look them up yourself.
I know maybe some of you (at least one) might be interested of what I had to say about the Netflix series. I wasn't expecting to watch it on the day it dropped because I wasn't sure if I was going to be too tired to even focus on hour long episodes. Ironically I was falling asleep on the 5th episode (you'll get the joke if you see said episode). I ended up finishing it the very next day.

My dread as I wanted for the series to drop got worse. When I eventually watched it I had a few things I liked and disliked. Most of the things I dislike was enforcing things you likely have seen going around the internet in recent years starting around 2016 and got worse as years went by. I didn't liked how unfocused the second half was when it goes off the rails when there are more important things going on.

The things I liked were things the original comic didn't go over very much like Sabrina's home life, school life, and how the witch world works. When I read the comic I wanted MORE of those things. I find the witch laws and the world both pretty interesting in the comic. One twist I liked in the comic was a law saying something along the lines of "two warlocks in a relationship is just as bad as a mortal and witch". I found this an interesting turn of what we're used to in previous renditions of the story. I liked how Sabrina is kinda from a Wicca perspective in the first episode in the woods.

As for Salem not speaking, he speaks (a lot) in the comic this version is based on. However, I do like the concept only the owner is able to communicate with their familiar. Sure they could have had a voice actor record his lines but I liked how Sabrina's responses are straight foreword that you never feel like you're missing out on a full conversation.

I was very worried and curious with how they would handle a certain scene from the comic only for it not to happen despite having the perfect setup. They even spoiled it in the opening credits showing panels and new original artwork from the comic which already within 30 seconds of not seeing much of anything made me face palm and ask "Why did you spoil that?".

If you didn't read the comic and wonder how faithful it is, I would say it's about 10% faithful. Its a little hard to be faithful to a comic that isn't even finished yet. Especially when not much really happens with the exception of Sabrina's baptism being a big part of it and something else that was changed and used for a different reason in the Netflix series. There are about 8 issues with 2 basically being filler so technically there are 6. I feel like we didn't needed the filler issues because they could have been used as a plot twist later. But what do I know, I don't read western comics very often and mainly read manga. From what a friend told me, not much is really explained and are expected to eventually turn up later. How he explained it, for most comics you are just expected to already know a thing or two already.

Now did I like it or hate it? Despite having a dark cloud of dislike for both Riverdale and the comic hovering over my head, in the end of the series I found myself having some enjoyment that Im curious for what they'll do for season 2 when it comes out. They're apparently still filming season 2 as I'm typing this and it wouldn't surprise me if it gets released in the summer because they wrapped up filming season 1 with a 2019 release date then ended up releasing it a few months later. There were a few things the series could have been done without like going off the rails in the second half that would end up cutting out characters who don't really do much or add to the story that it seemed like the writers thought "we haven't used X characters for a whole episode, lets make them have something to do". I'm not a fan of this practice. I rather not have those characters in the series at all if that's the case and let a certain scene happen just so there wouldn't be a need for them to exist (only one of them is in the comic for 2 minutes and the other is completely new for the Netflix series). The school segments were a missed opportunity in my opinion but that's really everything I had a problem with. I did find the forceful religion theme a little odd. There was a mistake in the script that mistook a Catholic practice of Baptism as Christian only to correct itself in a later scene and call it a Catholic practice because the Christian belief of baptisms is the person in question giving their consent to be baptized while the Catholic belief isn't (baby baptisms). I'm not sure if the writers had the two mixed up (they are fairly different if you try to dive deep into it) or just didn't see the inconstancy here. Everything else with this series is fine.

In short, its an alright series. Interested enough to watch the next season. I'd give the comic a read after watching episode 2. This is when the two go a different route. I wouldn't worry about possible spoilers because the Netflix series at this point on Episode 2 has already covered most of the comic with little differences that make the read worth it. You'd likely be caught up within an hour because it's not very long.
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