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Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 3

By KERRY TINGA

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A high school romance can seem like the most important, all-consuming issue in a teenager’s world, and 99 percent of that can be attributed to teenagers being a bit over dramatic. The one percent of the time is when you just so happen to be half-witch, half-mortal Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), whose warlock boyfriend has been sent to eternal damnation with your father, Lucifer, trapped inside him. Talk about a crazy way to introduce a S.O. to the family!

Part 3 picks up right where Part 2 left viewers, a major cliffhanger after what could kindly be called an uneven season.

When the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (CAOS) reboot first hit Netflix, the horror and occult elements added a fresh, twisted touch to the decades-old character. It was a hit with the 21st century, Gen Z-ers known for their absurdist, surreal, practically nihilistic “Internet humor.” The spooky witch-y elements, and the teenage angst elements, were wonderfuly campy and tongue-in-cheek, and the tone remains for the most part intact. Somewhere along the road to Hell, however, CAOS forgets the internal conflict of its titular character that has allowed her to remain popular and relatable throughout all her hellish incarnations.

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Sabrina, unsure of herself as a half-witch, half-mortal, speaks to the identity crisis that besieges the average teenager and young adult. While she may have magical powers, she was relatable, her heart always in the right place, unintended consequences to follow. Part 1 saw a lot of the mortal Baxter High, and Part 2 saw more of the Academy of the Unseen Arts. It is an unfortunate turn that Part 3 primarily brings us out of the school setting as the stakes get higher and higher for Sabrina and the people around her. The further CAOS gets away from the teenage antics, the less and less relatable the character, as well as the show, is for the viewers.

If only they listened to their own script:

We’re 16, we love to dance, it can’t be all Hell, all the time.

This new part has Sabrina go on an extremely conventional trials and tribulations narrative along her heroine’s journey that feels a bit sluggish. Taking each episode as standalone elements, however, allows the viewer to revel in the horror and heartfelt humor they originally tuned into the show for. This can be said particularly for episodes that seem to be taken out of high school Americana yearbooks, such as a wholesome carnival date interrupted by elements of the occult.

Costume is stunning, so is the set design, both of which take cues from some of the greatest medieval art works, and a lot of
abs, especially from new challenger, Prince of Hell Caliban (Sam Corlett) for those less interested in high faulting artistic and literary references. The cast is definitely led by its actresses: Shipka continues to give a great performance as the spunky and feminist titular character (for this generation, she is Sabrina), aunts Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto) still play off each other brilliantly, leader of the Weird Sisters Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) really comes into her own,and Michelle Gomez’s Madame Satan is a scene-stealing pleasure to watch.

For all of these familiar elements, CAOS: Part 3 will still make for an enjoyable binge-watch this weekend for viewers of the previous parts, even if there will be no new converts to the coven.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 3 premieres today, Friday, Jan. 24, on Netflix with eight one hour episodes. An eight episode Part 4 has already been commissioned by Netflix, the same time the show was renewed for a Part 3, with no release date as of yet.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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