Sabrina: The Melodramatics of a Teenage Half-Witch
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina started off with a promising first season, only to gradually fall prey to lazy scripts. The recently released episodes did little to elevate the series' status from 'mediocre' to 'memorable', with the writers barely challenging themselves and choosing to rely on clichés. The cast and crew clearly thought they'd have more time to redeem themselves.
In the previous season, fans were introduced to Sabrina Spellman accidentally creating her own twin, Sabrina Morningstar, as an unintended consequence of her time-travelling exploits. The two Sabrinas decided to secretly pursue what they each coveted: the Infernal Throne of Hell for Morningstar, and the life of a regular teenager for Spellman. But alas, this impulsive decision kicked off an apocalyptic chain reaction which facilitated the release of the Eldritch Terrors. An intriguing premise no doubt, but one which ultimately failed to deliver on its promise.
With stretched-out plotlines, the season stumbled through all eight episodes, centred on one unimpressive antagonist per episode. This 'Monster-of-the-Week' approach is almost fool proof for all supernatural dramas. Very basic, hardly exciting, and a slightly-tweaked version of the formula can be found in almost every police procedural drama ever. It wasn't until the 7th episode that I decided to pay attention to Sabrina's foes and their diabolical plans. Watch out for The Endless, folks!
However, the Netflix original's biggest weakness this season lay in the intersecting narratives of different characters central to the series. Multiple story arcs, if not all, were either wrapped up in haste or left with a disappointingly ambiguous fate meant to be carried forward to another season. Netflix's decision resulted in a dissatisfying conclusion to what could've been a TV series worth revisiting (feel free to drag Game of Thrones' eighth season into this). Characters who were developed with great care throughout the first season, may have been somewhat irresponsibly dealt with in the following two seasons, but the final season failed them completely, especially the titular protagonist Sabrina Spellman/Morningstar herself.
The supernatural teen-drama became more of a romantic one as we saw Robin and Theo's romance being unnecessarily complicated, Caliban the Clay Prince making a difficult decision in the name of love, and Nicholas Scratch giving Shakespeare's Romeo Montague a run for his money in the season's final five minutes.
When you're emotionally-invested in a show that's been running for several seasons, you tend to expect closure as the series proceeds towards its final hour. It's only fair that your expectations are met. Neither Netflix nor show runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took that into consideration. If anything, I was left with more questions regarding the fate of several characters, with Roz, Lilith, Prudence, and the Spellman Aunties, to name a few. Whose team was Agatha on the whole time? Did Mambo Marie know that the Returned would arrive in Greendale all along? It appears that I will perhaps pine for a satisfying conclusion till I recover from the shock of witnessing the fall of a promising TV series. To help you avoid a similar fate, I strongly recommend that you make peace with the fact Sabrina's story has finally come to an end, and consider the third season to be its last. Some things are best preserved as a memory.
Rasha Jameel is two lazy days away from being an Olympian at procrastination, knock some sense into her at [email protected]