Our favourite half witch, half mortal is back! The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina returns to Netflix on Friday, April 5th for season two (or more accurately, part two of season one).
The 2018 reimagining of the classic Archie Comics character by showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was a huge hit among fans as well as critics – and part two does not disappoint.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1 saw Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) make the tough decision to sign The Book of The Beast in order to save the town of Greendale and her loved ones. In A Midwinter’s Tale, she tried her best to merge her world’s but soon realised that it was all a little too much for her mortal friends to handle.
Season two picks up right after the winter break and opens with a very in-sync-with-her-powers Sabrina rocking her classic comic book white-blonde hairdo while getting some magical help with her wardrobe. But despite the light-hearted tone of the opening sequence, the first five episodes take on a more serious tone than part one.
Seeming to have fully embraced her dark side, Sabrina tells her aunties that she is leaving Baxter High to attend the Academy of Unseen Arts as a full-time student. The story follows her as she navigates her new life at the Academy by participating in school activities and traditions.
But in true Sabrina fashion, she does so while constantly challenging the rules and “old ways” of the Church of Night – much to the annoyance of Headmaster Faustus Blackwood (Richard Coyle), who barely manages to tolerate her presence.
She takes part in a play with a dark twist, celebrates the witchy version of Valentine’s Day with new love interest Nicholas Scratch and runs for Top Boy, which much like the title suggests was traditionally a role for boys only.
But it’s not all fun and games in Greendale.
Sabrina does battle with three murderous demons, a jealous werewolf, and visits a tarot card reader, who shows her a potentially disastrous future through a series of life-like visions. Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) is doing her best to get back in Father Blackwood’s good graces by any means necessary. Mild-mannered, Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) finds love and proves that she will do anything to protect her family. Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) is now the Principal of Baxter High and questions her place in the Dark Lord’s plans. Cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) is tied up in a steamy affair with Prudence. And mortals, Harvey (Ross Lynch), Rosalind (Jaz Sinclair) and Susie (Lachlan Watson) also face difficulties of their own.
But Sabrina’s greatest challenge comes from the Dark Lord himself. Having signed the Book of the Beast she’s now obligated to do his bidding without question. She warily awaits her first test of loyalty (which could be “tomorrow or ten years from now”) knowing that he could ask her to do anything from stealing a pack of gum to burning down Baxter High.
And, as the Academy prepares for a visit from the Anti Pope, a series of events force Sabrina to track down her father’s life’s work, solve a murder and once again protect her family from betrayal and danger.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is still a treat for fans. The show maintains the vintage creepy-cool tone that was set in part one. The aesthetically pleasing visuals and retro-cool soundtrack give you a warm fuzzy feeling – like a hug from an old friend.
While some may find the focus on dark magic and rituals a little disturbing, it’s worth noting that the show’s main theme is that goodness and light always triumph over darkness.
The cast (especially Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina) is as strong as ever with each actor giving the show their best performance.
But part two does come with a few hiccups. Unlike part one, the first four episodes are stand-alone stories with only a few flimsy threads linking them to the main plot. The mini-stories are entertaining enough, but if you’re binge-watching they can start to feel a little drawn out and boring. The extended focus on third tier characters which moves away from the core storyline in a non-subtle attempt to include politically correct topics (which add nothing of value to the plot) weighs down the entire show.
The constant portrayal of Harvey, Ross and Susie as victims of their own existence is extremely annoying and tiresome. We get that the implication is their lives were better with Sabrina in it, but their extreme helplessness is rather irritating.
Luckily, when you put all these elements together there’s something inherently charming about The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2
Overall, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is super entertaining, fun and makes for easy viewing. It’s definitely a worthy addition to your must-watch series list.