My Hopes for the Future of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I explore where the series could and should go when it returns this April

Spoilers for Part 1 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina follow.

Being born in the nineties and having an older sister meant that I watched an awful lot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch growing up. When The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – a much darker, bloodier and laugh track-less update of Sabrina’s story was announced as a Netflix series, I got very excited, perhaps more than I should have. I’ve never read any of the Sabrina comics nor do I watch Riverdale – the show it shares a universe with. And when it finally came time to watch it, I enjoyed it, again, perhaps more than I should have. The opening episodes are oddly paced, Sabrina doesn’t learn from her past mistakes and it’s so incredibly melodramatic. But I think I love it. And I want more. Happily, we’re getting just that with at least 3 more ‘parts’ heading our way. Usually when I do these “my hopes…” articles they are for a specific season of a show but these following desires are not just hopes for season 2 or part 2 simply because I’m confused as to what constitutes a part or a season. Is part 2 the second part of the first season or season 2? I don’t know and for that reason these are my hopes for the rest of the series overall after watching the first season. Or first part.

While I don’t watch Riverdale, I am aware that early in the third season that show did a flashback episode to the eighties, focusing on the main characters parents, as a way to easily get across some exposition as well as to just make a fun unique episode. I would love to see CAOS (that’s much easier to type) do an episode in a similar fashion which would follow younger versions of Zelda, Hilda and Blackwood during their time at the Academy of Unseen Arts. We don’t know how old these characters are however so it could be an eighties episode is a different way: It could be set in the 1880’s. For a show consciously going for a timeless aesthetic it could be fun to do an episode clearly set during another part of Greendale’s history. Or maybe it doesn’t go quite that far back and the flashback episode could be used to finally show what happened to Sabrina’s parents and the immediate fallout of their deaths.

In Sabrina the Teenage Witch it was revealed that every member of the Spellman family was born with a twin. One good and the other evil. I’m not saying I want that to be completely true in CAOS but I would love for it to be revealed that Sabrina has an evil twin at some point in the series. The show’s already weird and silly and such a reveal would be the icing on the cake as well as letting Kiernan Shipka spread her acting wings a little more. I’m not saying it’d be anywhere near as good but it would be reminiscent of the return of Twin Peaks with Cooper’s evil doppelganger. There is possible evidence for the existence of a twin in the first season, even in the first episode, when Sabrina sees a vision of two babies, one of which has devil-like hooves. Is this just a visual metaphor for Sabrina being caught between two worlds or should it be taken literally? I’m excited to find out.

I’m not saying they should turn the show into Buffy the Vampire Slayer but… they should turn the show in to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Moving forward I’d like the series to take on a bit more of an anthology format and expand the evil that exists in the world beyond just The Dark Lord. Maybe I’m in the minority but I really enjoyed the Batibat episode in the first season and I’d love to see Sabrina and co battle more rogue demons and creatures of the night. When Sabrina cheats Death and resurrects Tommy and Agatha they mention that Death might be even more powerful than The Dark Lord. Let’s see that and have Death himself – The Grim Reaper – as the main antagonist for a season instead of The Dark Lord. Where Buffy did a musical episode, it would be cool if CAOS did a sitcom episode to pay homage to the previous show. They could either just do it or come up with some weird reason like a trickster demon is messing with the Spellmans by making them hear canned laughter and things like that.

I really want the show to give Susie an actual storyline. I like the character but she doesn’t get much to do and for most of the season they made absolutely everything she did about her gender identity. I think it’s an important and bold move to have a character like Susie on the show but not everything should be related to that. When her Uncle Jesse is possessed by a demon, she’s more concerned that he once wore women’s clothes and is gay. You shouldn’t not explore these things but when a character is possessed by a demon (fatally so it turns out) maybe your focus should be on that. This would all work so much better if she was actually involved in the plot at all and while she improves when she begins seeing visions of her ancestor Dorethea, I’m unsure of that plot going forward. I don’t know where it’s going, if it’s going anywhere at all. I’ll be disappointed if it turns out to just be another manipulation by Ms. Wardwell.

Speaking of Ms. Wardwell, I think it would be fantastic to have an episode focused purely on her in the future and not even on her evil magical deeds but rather on her cover as a teacher. As well as being a demon trying to manipulate Sabrina, she’s a teacher who – when she’s off camera – has to be teaching classes and marking papers. I find that idea funny and it could be cool to follow her day-to-day life as a force of evil stuck in school, maintaining her cover, and explore how she deals with all the issues normal teachers have to face. As well as more Ms. Wardwell, more Salem wouldn’t go amiss. I know Kiernan Shipka is allergic to cats but, as the show is right now, Salem is irrelevant and they might as well get rid of him altogether. I’m not saying go back to the fake speaking cat of the nineties sitcom but he needs to do something. Maybe he could be in his Goblin form more?

I think that about does it. It’s odd doing a list of hopes for future episodes when the next batch (maybe Netflix should refer to seasons as batches instead of parts?) is already done and was shot back-to-back with the 11 episodes we’ve gotten already. It means that it’ll likely have some of the same issues and the creatives can’t react to fan and critic feedback. So, I guess if they do stop the annoying effect of having the edges of the screen go blurry every time something magical happens (which nobody likes) we’ll have to wait until part 3. What are your hopes for the future of the series? A Riverdale crossover? Or like me do you cringe every time someone calls Sabrina “’Brina”? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.

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