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THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA (Netflix)
It's definitely a strong choice. I'm mostly neutral on it, though there have been moments where I've thought it was too much.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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It's fine. I just wish we could get a better look at one of the 150 (!) paintings Clive Barker donated to the production.
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New trailer in advance of the season arriving on April 5th...





I still think Sabrina seems way too okay with her choice to pledge herself to the Devil, but we'll see how it plays out.  Seems to be ample opportunity for more gore this season, which never hurts.

But the version of the Devil at the end of that trailer (if that's who it is)... BORING!
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So I slowly made my way through the second season over the course of the last week, and I have some mildly spoilery thoughts:

- Kiernan Shipka has star quality to spare.  This young woman should have quite a successful career if she makes good choices and is offered good material (her recent THE SILENCE would be a terrific example of what NOT to do going forward!).

- The central relationships between Sabrina and her mortal friends remain the show’s strongest stuff, and their various storylines work really well.  

- The transformation of Father Blackwood from plausible villainy into a figurehead/mouthpiece did not, for me, have the intended effect.  I found his open misogyny spectacularly cartoonish and on the nose this season, and it turned one of the more interesting characters into a pretty worthless one that I would have no interest in ever seeing again.  

- I think the show continues to really struggle with finding a balance between wanting to make the central witch characters likable and worthy of rooting for... but also acknowledging that there’s really no way to spin Satan-worship as anything but giving your soul to evil.

- This manifests in the presentation of the Devil himself, which is SUPREMELY GOOFY throughout.  In the early going, he’s a silly rubber monster encouraging Sabrina to steal packs of bubble gum (what insidious evil!), and in the back half, he’s a pretty boy Lestat wannabe entirely lacking any menace whatsoever.  We’re supposed to be intimidated by this fop?  We're really getting this guy as the incarnation of ultimate evil?  Yeah... no.  It was also particularly amusing to see the witch world so shocked by Satan’s plans to trigger the Apocalypse; it’s like... what did they think his M.O. was?  Who did they think they were serving all this time?

So all in all, a very mixed bag of a season for me, unfortunately... though any show that directly homages DAMIEN: OMEN II will be impossible for me to totally write-off!
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(Yesterday, 02:08 PM)Belloq87 Wrote: - I think the show continues to really struggle with finding a balance between wanting to make the central witch characters likable and worthy of rooting for... but also acknowledging that there’s really no way to spin Satan-worship as anything but giving your soul to evil.

Admittedly, I've only watched a handful of episodes (and out of order) but I have some tedious and literal questions/observations.

- Since the premise of the show is that Satan is real, evil, and able to affect human beings, is there any talk or show of good powers being equally real?

- I've watched more than one scene in which Satan-worshipping (or at least  Satan-"loving") witches and warlocks exclaim moral outrage over the assumption of adultery or cheating in school or some similar common, mundane transgression. Which (witch?) does not scan at all. Wouldn't Satan, at the very least, encourage the corruption, perversion and/or twisting of traditional (and presumably heaven/God-approved) morality and rules. As in maybe blatant adultery and cheatinga are frowned upon, but creative, sneaky approaches are actually encouraged and seen as being true to Satan's spirit.

- Similarly, I've watched the teens on the show (or at least some of them) strive to be courteous, considerate, or even sacrificial in their care of others....which again, seems to be the complete opposite of what an actual, operating Satan would want.

- In other words, the show (IMNSO) seems to be half-assing its own premise. As someone who spent his 20s and some of his 30s immersed in a culture that considered God and the devil as being real and active, it's hard for me to see this show as really sticking to its own ideas.

- The witch principle of the regular high school is almost enough to make me want to watch the show. Brunette, striking looks, that lipstick...ooooh yeah.
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I think those are all great questions that get at the heart of the inherent contradictions in the conceit. I think if the show was playing more broadly as comedy, it could get away with having those contradictions, but the version of the series we have tries to play the drama for real (which is admirable!), which only draws attention to how little actually makes sense about the morality of the world the characters inhabit.

As for this, specifically...
(Yesterday, 02:21 PM)MichaelM Wrote: - Since the premise of the show is that Satan is real, evil, and able to affect human beings, is there any talk or show of good powers being equally real?
... God and angels do exist in this realm. In the case of the angels, when they appear they're played as villainous, murderous zealots. Arguably characterized in more nefarious tones than the actual forces of evil!

Sabrina mentions towards the end of the season possibly seeking out people from her mother's (Christian) side of the family, and I would hope that would afford the show the chance to present some characters embodying the (traditional) forces of light in a more nuanced and human way.
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Interesting (about the angels).

I keep trying to figure out what show is actually about or trying to say. I feel like some potential commentary on real world religion peeks through once in a while, but the show's lack of consistency and logic really muddies any ideas informing it.

Likewise, I wonder if it's a sort of twisted commentary on adolescence (ala Buffy) but the same problems remain.

Also, NGL: despite leaving the evangelical ghetto years ago, the show at times makes me uncomfortable.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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What's even more intriguing is that the angels initially present themselves as something on the order of Mormons. Cheerfully going door-to-door, that sort of thing. It's a weird choice.

Speaking of Evangelical stuff, it's interesting that the show doesn't really offer any commentary on the various Christian sects. You'd think they'd want to lean heavy into Catholicism (and some of that is there, with the inversion of specific Catholic rituals and rites of passage), but it's much more a muddled hodge-podge of generalities about "the false God."

As a Catholic, and given that they're dealing with ancient Biblical lore, I was expecting them to head more in that direction. But not so far.
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Well the show actually fucked up their own idea of what the devil is supposed to represent so you have to read betweent he lines a little. I believe what they are trying to push forward is that God is a hypocrite who's rules are too strict and counter to what humans are. So the Devil isn't for murder and mayhem he is just for indulging some of the things that god tells you is wrong. So God want's you to wait to have sex before Marraige? Ok well the Devil encourages orgies and open relationships. God encourages you to love you enemies? Well Devil says go ahead and hate them as much as you'd like because they hate you. And unlike God who will cast you out for being different, the Devils accepts everyone including gay people. AND he gives you super powers. And even with the misogyny....I mean Christianity has quite a bit of that going on too.

So later we find out it's all a front and the whole time he was ACTUALLY evil to the core. The problem is that they don't make it clear what the front was so it comes across as no shit. The first episode or so with Lord Blackwood kind of lays it out but then the rest rest of the shows fuck it up. Also it complicates witch hunters because doesn't it make them fairly correct?

What's confusing to me though are the Angels. They are portrayed as evil Mormons. At first you can shrug that off as overzealous witch hunters but then it's clear they have been given divine powers. So is the devil at least kind of right about god then? That would be interesting but I don't know if I trust that show to make that work.

Still.......so much to like about this show. So so much.
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