Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Wicked Wednesday: Sabrina the Teenage Witch s2e7 “A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It”

Halloween-themed TV episodes are some of my favourites. Classics like “Halloween” from season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and “The Tale of the Twisted Claw” from Are You Afraid of the Dark? are solid highlights. We love watching beloved characters navigate parties and awkward experiences like ours – just in better costumes. It’s even more entertaining when things go desperately wrong for them.

So to give myself a mental break after a whirlwind of a few weeks, I decided to indulge in the delight that is Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Thankfully there are plenty of Halloween episodes in this series. And I would have watched all of them, but it’s £2 an episode, and we’re still a week away from payday, folks.

Sabrina and the aunts are looking forward to a quiet Halloween away from the relatives. After lying to the their family, they plan on a night of movies and candy corn. That, of course, is definitely not how things are going to go.

After Libby begins bragging about her freak-free Halloween party, Valerie has the knee-jerk reaction to throw a party at Sabrina’s. The witch is not very happy, but asks her aunts anyway. To Sabrina’s surprise, Zelda and Hilda actually agree to let her have the party.

On the day of the party, things begin to go awry. First Harvey cancels. Then the furniture begins to talk. Then the talking furniture get magical termites. All in time for the guests to arrive.

The rest of the party, Sabrina and her aunts spend dashing around, pretending that everything is normal. That, not unusually, makes for a rather boring party. But as several “cool guys” arrive at the party, things really turn into a disaster: the furniture all begin to react at the same time, candy corn pours from the wall, Salem talks, Valeria falls through the floor, and a group of Halloween carollers crash the party.

Unsurprisingly, this actually amazes the teenagers instead of horrifies them. Knowing that she’s made a good mistake, Sabrina begins to enjoy herself as well. She summons 10,000 Maniacs to perform just in time for Libby’s arrival to rub it in her face.

Episodes like this are silly and harmless, but they are also some of the best bits about Halloween. I’d be really happy with a candy corn river and talking cats – and I even hate candy corn. I’m not one to push for “wholesome” television, but there really is something enjoyable about watching 20 minutes of nice.

It’s certainly a good way to put yourself in the Halloween mood. We’re only a little over a week away now, kids!

The lasting charm of Sabrina Spellman

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There has been no Archie Comic character who has been as successful as Sabrina Spellman. Though Archie may be the most recogniseable in his comic form, Sabrina has lived through so many iterations. Sabrina first appeared in Archie’s Madhouse in issue #22 back in 1962. It wasn’t until 1971 that the teenager had a comic of her very own. Since then she has had several comic series to her name, one appearing the back of the successful television show with Melissa Joan Hart.

The witch has had several television shows (one live-action and many animated off-shoots), a made-for-TV movie and several novels. This is not to mention the countless projects on hold or awaiting production. But the re-imagining of the character has never stopped, but no project has been as dramatic as the comic book series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

If you’re a huge fan of the 90’s TV show (and we all are), don’t expect the latest series to be anything like this:

Archie and his pals have been through almost as much as Sabrina after all these years, with unique ventures like Afterlife with Archie, countless of comic series through the decades and, of course, cross-overs like Archie vs Predator. This is a brand that has refused to make itself boring. But Sabrina’s character is the one who time and time again succeeds at being reinvented.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina puts the occult back into this witch-centered story. While Afterlife with Archie is a great read, Sabrina’s story makes so much more sense in horror-comic fashion. Thus far three issues have been released since last October. The story line doesn’t stray too far from the familiars (Hilda, Zelda, Salem and Harvy are all present), but the books have a noticeably darker tone that the sugary sweet fun of the original comics.

In the new comics, it is the 1960s and Sabrina is preparing to turn 16. As to be expected, her birthday probably won’t include a date with Harvey doesn’t seem to be in the stars. Instead she must prepare herself to declare her allegiance with Satan. Unbeknownst to her, there is Madam Satan on her trailer – a former jilted lover of Sabrina’s father and a character who had a brief appearances in Pep Comics. Robert Hack’s art is done in sepia tones which creates this soft, dark world completely unlike anything done with the characters before. It’s definitely new and different, and it definitely is something that works.

To some, this might sound like a massive change of direction and it kind of it, but this is telling the Sabrina story in a way that seems most natural. They are changes easy to accept and cope with (and she even gets to keep her iconic white-blonde hair). Expect plenty of witchcraft and less Halloween-fun.

No matter what incarnation of the teen, she’s always the most lovable half-witch in Greendale. And she’s a character that impeccably keeps up with the times. When Chilling Adventures ends, there is bound to be someone eagerly waiting to pick the story back up again.

IMG_0974Unfortunately, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina doesn’t really follow a monthly schedule, which is a bit frustrating. Three issues in over nine months can be slightly frustrating, but every issue has been well worth the wait. Issue #4 is awaiting a release date as of publishing.