New Netflix show is a twist of dark horror and teen drama

The new Netflix series, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” made a frightening debut, on Friday, Oct. 26. Similar to the hit show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” which aired from 1996-2003, the show is based on the “Archie” comics — so this one is probably for you, “Riverdale” fans.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” was created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and was originally supposed to pair with the CW show “Riverdale,” however, it was later acquired by Netflix. It was then developed by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions.

Kiernan Shipka is the star of the show, with her spot on portrayal of quirky teen witch Sabrina. She is formerly known for her role as Sally in the show “Mad Men.” Ross Lynch plays Sabrina’s handsome and naive boyfriend Harvey Kinkle — and a lot of people may recognize him from Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally,” and “Teen Beach Movie.”

Sabrina deals with things throughout the series that would not classify as your typical teenage dilemmas. She is expected by her two witch aunts Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto), to make a major commitment when she turns 16, and they try to coerce her into participating in something referred to as a dark baptism — a creepy ceremony in the woods dedicated to young witches joining the coven. She is expected to sign a book in her own blood which essentially grants the Devil full ownership of her soul.

Sabrina’s constant challenge of being forced by her aunts and the rest of the coven to do things she doesn’t want to do, is like a metaphor for women in society. Throughout the series she becomes a feminist symbol for women who stand up for their right to decide their own path in life even if it is not according to the traditional societal norm.

The show also manages to tackle some prominent issues that teens face today. One of Sabrina’s best friends named Susie (Lachlan Watson) prefers to dress non-binary and she gets repeatedly harassed for it by a couple of jocks. It eventually escalates to one of them punching Susie in the face. Sabrina decides she has had enough of watching her innocent friend get punished for standing up for herself, when the boys have clearly assaulted her.

To keep her friend and and all of the other girls at school safe, Sabrina and her other best friend Roz (Jaz Sinclair) come up with the idea for a club to help raise awareness of inequality and promote female empowerment. With a little secret help from Sabrina’s magic, they convince the principal to make the idea a reality and ironically name the club WICCA. This is yet another example of Sabrina being a symbol of feminism.

I give the series a 4.5 out of 5 for managing to be spine chilling while still serving up that teen drama that we all secretly love. I am obsessed with this show because of the spooky fall aesthetic alone. If you don’t have any plans for Halloween, I recommend this for a binge session!