Dark and social themes laced with witchcraft make Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 another hit, securing its deserved longevity.
I, unfortunately, did not have the pleasure of seeing the first season on release. I heard rumors that it was a fine witch story embedded in the Netflix thumbnails, so when binge-watching to catch up for Part 2, I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging the story was. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 is perhaps better than its predecessor, sealing a similar niche as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is a hard benchmark to compete with.
Or maybe it is because I’m currently recapping the rebooted Charmed, which on a good week shows some healthy character development, and a story worth caring for, but Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 feels like a sensible step-up; building Sabrina’s (Kiernan Shipka) character, delving further into the world of witchcraft, while on the other hand, carrying themes that are well-constructed within the plot.
The premise of Part 2 follows the repercussions of Sabrina signing the Book of the Beast, meaning she has to bow to the demands of the Dark Lord eventually. Do not let the opening episode fool you with a happy, chirpy half-witch; the rest of the season has a high dosage of darkness bubbling underneath, ready to lurch for a variety of twists and turns.
What Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 has managed to do is construct a storyline entwined in misogyny; all the ideas presented by those with male forms make women second class, with any policy or political ruling having to favor men; Sabrina’s mission is to prevent danger to Greendale on the surface, but her real drive is making it a fair place for women, at The Academy and Baxter High.
Usually, I roll my eyes at stories planting too much social campaigning, but the creators have ensured that the story has a calculated route, and cries for equality do not remain outside the dimensions of the plot. Instead, it is vital to the narrative and the characters’ world.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 tackles coming of age in a brutal, and honest way. The idea of losing your virginity or becoming an adult is central to the stakes raised in the story. Sabrina is more confident, more aggressive and more assertive with her character, with the pressure of being half-witch and expected to overhaul the world of men paramount to her objectives.
Susie’s storyline is the most telling in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2, as she struggles to promote her true gender identity. The series does enough to make it a serious theme, but not making it too heavy to override the plot. It’s a sweet subplot that I believe many will endear towards.
Of course, once you rid the themes, the positive messages and the interlinked objectives, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 is about overcoming the world of evil, as Sabrina balances the witch and the mortal world. There are many elements at play, with Father Blackwood, the Dark Lord and Madam Satan all with similar, but otherwise conflicting objectives. And if dealing with that isn’t hard enough, Sabrina has to deal with a life without Harvey being her boyfriend, but also face the prospect of a new romance.
I believe the series does not impact some audiences, but there is no denying that it must stay, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 demonstrates potential longevity for years to come.
You can read the recap of the first chapter of Part 2 by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.