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Good Satanism, teenage protest: how did the serial “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

A grim rethinking of the sitcom about “Sabrina the little witch” who didn’t go as far as she wanted from her predecessor.


The Half-Witch Sabrina Spellman will soon be sixteen years old. On her birthday, which, it just so happens, also falls on Halloween, she will have to perform the “dark baptism” ceremony and write her name in the Book of the Beast, forever obeying the will of Satan. But Sabrina is not satisfied, and she does not want to lose contact with her friends, people, and even more so with her beloved mortal boy. Therefore, the young witch enters into a long and uneven confrontation with the Church of Darkness, her own family and the convictions of a conservative satanic society.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” like the comic of the same name, was originally positioned as a “dark” rethinking of the story of the little witch. The authors silenced the talkative cat Salem (at least in the series), added the theme of Satanism and violence, lowered the brightness and increased the color scheme in dark blue - everything to show: this is not a children's story about a puppet cat trying to conquer the world. Here everything is serious. All grown-up. Well, or, as one great Kazakh journalist said, "not very."

Shot from the series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

Shot from the series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

Because, trying to seem to be a TV series liberated and courageous, the new “Sabrina” remains as naive as its sitcom predecessor. But the show from the nineties, at least, did not hide its stupidity behind flat social messages and cheap attempts to be “in trend.” It was at least honest with itself and the viewer.

“Chilling adventures of Sabrina” behave like a ridiculous teenager who is trying to prove with all his might that he is already an adult, and around him are completely idiots and “moralphages.” That's just his position is very shaky, the arguments are stupid, and provocations are spineless. Attempts by “Sabrina” to play with ambiguous occult themes without tears will not be looked at: all the “Satanism” of its heroes ends with the cry of “Glory to Satan!” And distort each established phraseological unit with the words “holy”, “god”, etc. . Some kind of unholy shit, probably, should sound bold and cool, but in fact it causes only what our foreign comrades deftly dubbed “krinzh”.

Shot from the series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

Shot from the series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

This awkwardness, the fear of going to the end is also felt in the images of the main characters. That Sabrina, that her aunts (especially Zelda) are shown as characters, for whom - because of their supernatural position - the importance of human morality is not so clear. They calmly talk about cannibalism and murder, but the talk ends. Representing his world as a space without clear definitions of good and evil, the series itself also betrays this description, fearing any hint of ambiguity. Therefore, if the conventionally “good” heroes are suddenly killed, even for the sake of an exceptionally good purpose, then it is necessary to return the dead person, because it’s not worthwhile for positive characters to do bad things.

Shot from the series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

Shot from the series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

Because of this, Sabrina as a heroine looks terribly dull. The problem is not at all in the actress - in Kiernan Shipka something this inner insanity is felt, the readiness is about to break loose and give out something really extraordinary. But the script does not give her heroine a single step away from the program “for all the good against all the bad”, forcing Sabrina to be not just “right”, but annoyingly right. Directly local cat Leopold, who even offers the witches who have tried to kill her several times during the season, time after time offers to live together.

The most annoying thing about the new Sabrina is not that it’s a bad show. And the fact that this is a bad show, which could be good. There is a good episode about the heroine's journey through dreams, there is a powerful dramatic line of her boyfriend, who lost his older brother in the mine. But all these are single moments, out of the general flow of frustration. For every successful character, there is Sabrina’s boyfriend’s father - a cliché incarnation of toxic masculinity with a coal mine instead of brains. And for every successful barb, there are a hundred ridiculous dialogues where Satan’s desire to take back Sabrina’s soul is literally because Satan, you see, is a man.

The problem is not even in the message itself: the theme of the witches is just very appropriate for stories about female power. “Sabrina” is brought in by the realization - she hammers in her feminist message so zealously and obsessively that the effect is the opposite. People do not like when people read morals from screens, and because of such serials, many of them do not take gender issues seriously. Because of them, viewers are increasingly seeing the intrigues of SJW, even where the authors speak absolutely sincerely.

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Yandex ZenYandex Zen | InstagramInstagram | TelegramTelegram | TwitterTwitter


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