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Everything You Need to Know Before You Watch ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’

Get ready to see the teenage witch as you’ve never seen her before on the small screen.
Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
By  · Published on October 21st, 2018

Ever since Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended all those years ago, television has lacked a coming-of-age saga about a female character whose destiny is connected to some spooky shenanigans. Comparing Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to Buffy is unfair, as it looks like something else entirely and will undoubtedly be out to establish its own identity, but if the hype is to be believed, this show may well be the one to fill the niche that Ms. Summers left behind.

Of course, what’s even more exciting is that we get to see another Archie Comics property adapted for our viewing pleasure. In a world where comics adaptations are all the rage, there was only a matter of time before we saw more Archie titles brought to life. And given the wealth of amazing characters and stories they have in their arsenal, we should be delighted at the prospect of seeing them on our screens.

In case it’s not obvious by now, I’m really excited for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the places this series could potentially go down the line. But we still need to see how the first season goes before we get our hopes up. With the inaugural series on the horizon, here’s everything we know about it so far.

Red Dots

The Show Will Premiere on October 26th.

The 10-episode first season will be available on Netflix for your binge-watching pleasure starting this weekend. Or maybe you’d like to hold off until Halloween and really make a day of it? Either way, the show will be available to consume very soon.

This Ain’t Like Other Sabrina TV Shows

Like many of you, my first exposure to Sabrina was the ’90s sitcom series starring Melissa Joan Hart as the teenage witch. Subsequent TV adaptations included two animated series: Sabrina: The Animated Series and Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch. These shows were all targeted at children and offered light entertainment. Chilling of Adventures of Sabrina, meanwhile, will embrace the dark side.

This version of our the mythos is based on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2014 comic of the same name, which is a coming-of-age tale rooted in horror sensibilities. In the comics, the family feasts on human flesh and practices dark magic. Given that Aguirre-Sacasa serves as show-runner on the Netflix series, some of his ideas will likely feature.

On top of that, the show’s creators were inspired by some old-school fright flicks. As Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly, “The idea was to do a dark horror version of Sabrina, something that was more of a slow-burn horror, like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby and all those great satanic horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s.” Amen to that, and hail Satan.

Check out the trailer below for some seriously spooky vibes:

Kiernan Shipka is Sabrina

The former Mad Men actress is a great acquisition. On that show, Kiernan Shipka played Sally Draper, the daughter of Don. Her performance drew plaudits from critics along with the rest of the cast, and it was only a matter of time before she was given her own show to spearhead.

As for Sabrina’s satanic aunts: Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman, Shaun of the Dead) is playing Hilda, while Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) will be taking on the role of Zelda. Elsewhere, Ross Lynch (My Friend Dahmer) is on board as her boyfriend Harvey, and Jaz Sinclair (Slender Man) is Rosalind, Sabrina’s best friend and a minister’s daughter. Salem the cat will also appear, but the name of the feline actor is unknown at this time.

Don’t Expect a Riverdale Crossover

When Chilling Adventures was originally in development at CW, the plan was to make it a companion series to the network’s hit Archie adaptation, Riverdale. However, when Netflix acquired the rights to the teenage witch’s new saga, it became a separate entity.

Going forward, though, who knows what will happen? Jon Goldwater — CEO of Archie Comics and Riverdale executive producer — hasn’t ruled out a future crossover. In an interview with TV Line, he told us not to expect one any time soon, but he’s also open to the possibility. Never say never.

That doesn’t mean we won’t see other Archie universe crossovers, though. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that he wants to adapt more of the comics for the small screen:

“One of the nice things about me being a part of Archie Comics is having access to a library of 4,000 to 5,000 characters,” he said. “Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats … those are characters who can very easily support their own show. But we [also] have superheroes. So in success, yes, the goal is to expand that way.”

Netflix Has Ordered Two Seasons

Clearly, Netflix believes in their bewitching series, as the streaming giant greenlit two seasons from the get-go. In fact, the second batch of episodes are in development as we speak. But if this show lives up to its potential, we’ll hopefully get more seasons — along with other Archie adaptations — for years to come. Now that Netflix is preparing for a future without Marvel shows, they’ll be keen to mine another comics IP for original content. The Archie lore can fill that gap, along with the upcoming Millarverse.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.