Arts & Life, Film & Television

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” takes a dark turn

She studies her reflection in the mirror, with a quick turn, she completely changes her outfit, over and over again.

It’s clear that Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is ready to take full advantage of the new powers she obtained following her evil glow-up.

Season two of the ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” debuted on Netflix April 5. The nine new episodes cover everything from possession and potions, to orgies and the otherworldly. The writers do their best to cover every witchy cliche in the (spell)book.

In the season one finale, Spellman signed the “Book of the Beast” during her dark baptism, solidifying her witchyness and fully dedicating herself to the ‘Dark Lord.’

Sabrina experiences a radical transformation as a result. This season, we see her newfound powers beginning to blossom, even as everything surrounding her personal life begins to fall apart. Early on, it’s revealed that Spellman no longer wants to attend Baxter High. Instead, she opts to attend the Academy of Unseen Arts full-time, but not without some negative repercussions.

Sabrina’s pansexual warlock cousin, Ambrose (Chance Perdomo), is also back. We gain a bit more insight into his shady past as well. Speaking of shade, he provides an almost endless stream of snarky commentary throughout the season.

Ambrose explores new sexual ventures with Prudence (Tati Gabrielle), while his boyfriend, Luke, is away on special assignment for Father Blackwood. The handsome spellbinder also continues to perch himself on the Spellman’s countertops in just about every other scene.   

There’s a lot less drama between Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda Spellman (Miranda Otto). Instead, we see the sisters empower each other. As Zelda aims to climb the ranks of the Church of Night and become High Priestess, Hilda helps her sister every step of the way. When Hilda is unsure of how to shoot her shot with a longtime crush, Zelda gives her a truly iconic pep talk.

The show works on many levels: it’s campy, dark, sexy and self-aware. Unlike most successful teen dramas, such as “Teen Wolf” or “Pretty Little Liars,” “Sabrina” doesn’t get lost in plot holes. The horror is light, just disturbing enough. The show doesn’t shy away from touching on sexism, racism and transphobia in both the real and supernatural worlds.

The acting tends to be more cringe-inducing than the frights, but the writing is so concise you can’t help but barrel through all nine episodes. “Sabrina” is like your favorite bag of chips, what it lacks in nutrition, it makes up for in flavor. Every episode will have you reaching in the bag for “just one more.”

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