The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Texas A&M infielder Ali Camarillo (2) thros to first during Texas A&M’s game against Louisiana at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Regional Final at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Camarillo, Aschenbeck selected by Athletics, Cubs to round out 2024 MLB Draft
Luke White, Sports Editor • July 16, 2024

Junior SS Ali Camarillo and senior LHP Evan Aschenbeck rounded out the 2024 MLB Draft for Texas A&M baseball on Monday as they were selected...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
Lyle Lovett, other past students remember Bob Rogers
Shalina SabihJuly 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” an uninteresting take on teen witchcraft

Photo by Creative Commons
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The first episode of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is an underwhelming cliché of a high school horror show. It follows an overused formula without adding anything new or interesting to the mix.
Focused on Sabrina, a half-witch half-human teenage girl, the first episode sets up the oldest conflict in the high school drama handbook. Sabrina’s 16 birthday is coming up and along with it the day on which she’ll have to choose between fulfilling her destiny and becoming a powerful witch and turning her back on the customs of her family and staying with her friends. This family vs. friends, fate against choice dichotomy is as boring as it is overused, and the fact that it centers around witchcraft and cheesy 1950’s horror movie magic almost makes it more benign.
The magic shown in the first episode was downright boring. Witchcraft is used to turn on a radio, throw a pair of scissors, make an egg turn red and make a CGI monster briefly chase someone around. In terms of worldbuilding, magic is shamefully underutilized.
The show does have a somewhat interesting style, although the retro atmosphere is largely wasted by inexplicably blurry shots. For some reason, the show often uses a lens intentionally designed to blur the edges of every shot and distort the images. It’s a bizarre camera choice likely intended to focus attention on the character’s faces and not the background. However, the acting is flat enough that focusing on the actors isn’t exactly a good move.
And the acting is flat. You can feel Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sabrina, really trying to bring life to her role, but the script of the first episode just doesn’t allow that to happen. The dialogue is clunky with certain characters actually resorting to explaining their motivations out loud to themselves to clarify the uninteresting plot for the audience. The actors all bring a certain intensity to their roles that just feels out of place. When the characters get emotional, I feel more like laughing at them than feeling for them. The entire show feels like a joke. While there are undoubtedly intentionally comedic elements to the show, I feel like the creators would’ve been better-off making it as a tongue-in-cheek comedy than an attempt at an actual drama.
I’ve heard the show described as angsty, and there really is no better way to put it. The show is targeted at teens, and it capitalizes on the thoughts and fears of many kids as they come of age. It revolves around the idea of choosing one’s own destiny, and the main character is a special, empowered teen with a deep conflict within herself and desire to save the world. It over-emphasizes the politics of its target audience as well, using phrases like “topple the white patriarchy” to garner sympathy and support for its characters.
All in all, “Sabrina” is an uninspired, cliché take on the teen coming-of-age story. The first episode wastes its setting and premise on boring, flat characters and spends much of its hour-long runtime trying to set up a magical mystery that I doubt will be interesting at its conclusion. If you’re looking for a drama worth investing your time in, I suggest looking elsewhere.

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