What better way to wrap up the Netflix and Chills event at Friday night’s New York Comic Con event than with the cast of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina? How about with a surprise screening of the first episode?
After several minutes meeting the cast of Netflix’s more dramatic reboot of the Melissa Joan Hart sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the new Sabrina herself, Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) declared they should show the audience the 90-minute premiere.
And though we were asked not to spoil anything, the new series manages to find a nice balance between the light-hearted coming of age drama, a few laughs, and some legitimately terrifying scares. There’s one sequence involving a chase in a hay maze that is particularly suspenseful.
Sabrina is a half witch and is approaching the eve of her sixteenth birthday. This means she must say goodbye to her friends and boyfriend in order to commit herself to a life as a witch. But she likes her life and isn’t ready to move on.
Fans of Sabrina the Teenage Witch are probably wondering about this show’s treatment of Salem, Sabrina’s loyal “familiar,” who appears in the form of a talking black cat. Salem is definitely a big part of the new series. “We did something different [with Salem],” Shipka said.
Chance Perdomo plays Sabrina’s much-older-than-he-looks cousin, Ambrose. Perdomo describes his character as “the Alfred to Sabrina’s Batman.” But what particularly drove the actor to the part was that Ambrose is pansexual.
Perdomo previously interviewed on series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s other show, Riverdale, for the part of Jughead. Sacasa has no immediate plans for a Riverdale crossover but he didn’t want to rule out the possibility entirely. “I’m first and foremost a fan of these two worlds, Riverdale and Greendale. I love when comic book characters cross over,” said Aguirre-Sacasa. “Right now we’re focused on getting Sabrina out there and making sure Sabrina is as good as it can be but I’m hopeful.”
Season 1 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina streams on Netflix Oct. 26.