Cast – Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis
Developed by – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Genre – Supernatural / Horror
Streaming Platform – Netflix
Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina just released its second part which comprised nine episodes and while much of Part 1 dealt with Sabrina facing the choice between whether or not to sign “The Book of the Beast”, Part 2 deals with the consequences of Sabrina having finally succumbed to the Dark Lord to save Greendale.
Now a full-time student at the Academy of Unseen Arts, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) is faced with more conventional challenges of teenage life like rebelling against the patriarchal system at the academy by challenging Nicholas for the post of “Top Boy”(or as Sabrina would say it “Top Person”) and finding herself in the middle of a love triangle with Nicholas (Gavin Leatherwood) and Harvey (Ross Lynch), although it is made more complicated by Harvey’s budding relationship with Roz (Jaz Sinclair). The teenage drama in the love stories is where the show is messy, much like its cousin Riverdale. Fortunately, these take a back seat to the more magical drama as the season progresses.
The first few episodes seem a little dull as the show takes on a more dark look but things pick up in the second half of the season with a whodunit murder mystery. The second half also starts to delve further into the show’s main story, the possibility that Father Blackwood may have been involved in the deaths of Sabrina’s parents. One of the more innovative episodes (P2E4: Doctor Cerberus’s House of Horror) involves a tarot reader predicting bleak futures for its main characters.
Kiernan Shipka is still the life and soul of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as she fights the dark lord and her own internal darkness. In these episodes, Sabrina is exploring more of her powers and realizing what she is really capable of. Shipka’s performance as Sabrina trying to make the morally right choices while still maintaining her inquisitiveness is refreshing and engrossing.
There is an increased focus on the supporting characters and that is not always a good thing – For ex Susie (Lachlan Watson) coming out as Trans man named Theo should be one of the most empowering and compelling storylines but it falls flat because the character seems to lack agency. A word of praise for the performance of Michelle Gomez who plays Mrs. Wardwell/Madam Satan and is the most delightful character on the show despite her storyline being quite isolated from the main arc.
If you did not enjoy the first 10 episodes and the Christmas special, the new batch of episodes are unlikely to win you over because the show leans even further into the mythology without the relative normalcy of Sabrina’s life at Baxter High to balance things out. The last few episodes do a good job of providing a conclusion to the story that it started this season and sow the seed for the upcoming season as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has already been renewed for a second season, which will have 16 episodes. If you enjoyed the show’s tone and style, get the popcorn ready and settle in for a long binge session because even with its flaws, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 is an enjoyable watch.
Verdict – 3/5 | Grade – B
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