Since Netflix announced that it would give life to Sabrina Spellman again, one of the most beloved witches of our time, expectations and nostalgia took over social media.
Netflix from the beginning announced that this new Sabrina that we were about to meet would be much darker because it is based on the comic that bears the same name of the series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer, Roberto Aguirre -Sacasa, has been in charge of the development of this new version of Sabrina since 2014 through the comics, which is why Netflix considered that having him on the production and writing team of the series would give the show that dark angle they were looking for.
Since the series was released, I have heard how many people reject the new nuances of Sabrina, comparing the version of the 90s with the current one, when in my opinion they can not be compared. So, today I want to talk about Sabrina’s past, her beginnings in comics books, her arrival on television, and that transition from the innocent and funny Sabrina to become this darker, and more realistic version that Netflix presents today. Finally, I’ll explain to you why I think we should stop comparing the Sabrina from the 90s with the new one.
Before Sabrina There Was Archie
In 1941, the Archie universe was born as part of the Pep Comics collection that was part of the MLJ label. Although over time the name would be changed to Archie Comics due to the success of the characters.
But like many Comics, Archie faced problems such as being relevant through time. As decades went by, people seemed to show less interest in the comic and the editorial found itself in a crossroads, without knowing how to become attractive for the new generations in the comics industry again.
Archie’s New Angle
It was not until 2010 that the company seemed to get back on track, thanks to Life with Archie, a series that showed a much more serious and modern side of the characters, moving away from the innocence that characterized the characters in their beginnings. This collection was developed in two alternative stories that told how the life of the characters would be different if Archie married Betty or Veronica, with a bittersweet glance in the story.
And taking a step towards to the present and inclusion, during those years the company decided to present its first gay character in the universe of Archie, Kevin Keller, who later would have his own collection called Life with Kevin.
After betting on more mature topics, and getting a positive reaction from the readers with the new presentation of the comics, the publisher decided to bring back Archie’s main collections (with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples) in 2015, Jughead (with Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson), and Betty and Veronica (with Adam Hughes) in 2016. Along with them, they also added to the universe, Life with Kevin, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie and Me.
So, it did not take long before they decided to bring these characters to television. The CW channel was incharge to bring to life this darker version of Archie. The teen-drama is focus in Archie and his friends trying to solve diverse mysteries that took place in the town of Riverdale. The series is shown as the final link in Archie’s renovation, indeed, the tv show is currently one of the favorite programs on television with its third season already on air.
It all started in 1962 when George Gladir and Dan DeCarlo decided to create the character of Sabrina for one of the multiple collections of the Archie’s universe (Archie’s Madhouse). But such was the success of Sabrina that in 1971 they decided to give the character her own collection. And that’s why Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina are connected because the character was born in Archie’s world, in fact, Riverdale is not that far away from Greendale, the town where Sabrina lives, so we can expect to see some crosses between both characters in the future.
In the first comics, Sabrina was introduced as a half-witch teenager who sought to help her friends and the people around her by using her magic, something not allowed in the mortal world because witches remained hidden in our societies.
The comics followed the adventures of Sabrina and reflected how the half-witch led with the typical problems of a teenager, beside learning to use her powers with responsibility; and if we think about it they present to us a perspective quite naive and suitable for the times in which Sabrina was introduced to the comic market.
The Old Sabrina Is Dead
Sorry Not Sorry. I grew up watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch , and although I love Melissa Joan Hart’s version, I have to be honest when I say the old Sabrina is dead according to the new standards of entertainment. So, let me clarify this, like when Archie’s comics faced problems in 2000s because they were not interesting enough for catch the attetion of the new generation, the old Sabrina would have no place nowadays.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch was perfect back then between the 90s and early 2000. It was unique in its category, and showed conflicts with which the audience felt identified. Something very similar would happen if we tried to bring back Sex and the City. Darren Star’s series was a success at the time because it showed the perception of women about sex and relationships, something that nobody else was doing on television. But today we live in times of Tinder and social media, where we all have greater access to information, so what made Carrie and her friends different in the 90s today is just common.
I sincerely believe that since Games Of Thrones came to the small screen, writers discovered the power of creating characters with different nuances in different scenarios. Today it is rare to see divisions such as “the good guys” and “the villains”, the screenwriters are focusing on creating complex characters that create greater empathy with the audience because, after all, real life is not just black and white. This is something that the creators of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are doing, and that’s why the tv show is perfect because it goes along with the expectations of these new generations.
Leave a comment below, I would love to read your opinion about the tv show. Did you watch it? Did you loved it or did you hated it? Am I the only one who is upset because Salem doesn’t talk?