“Happy Birthday!”
September 13, 2018 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina [Teaser Trailer] “The new series stars Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman, a teenage girl whose 16th birthday is more scary than sweet: She has to decide whether to sign the Devil’s book and become a Bride of Satan. If she does, she becomes a full-fledged witch. If she doesn’t, she’s reduced to a mortal life, but gets to hang out with her cute boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch). Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned, as her favorite teacher Mary Wardell (Michelle Gomez) is possessed by the Devil’s handmaiden and becomes Madame Satan, a vengeful spirit determined to destroy Sabrina and everything she holds dear.” [via: io9]
posted by Fizz (75 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, from the description I thought this was going to be a recut of clips from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, designed to subvert the tone of the original. I'm very disappointed to have been wrong.
posted by dbx at 7:55 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


The comic is really good (and delightfully queer at points) and Riverdale is a fucking masterpiece so I am super looking forward to this.
posted by griphus at 7:57 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


Oh I’m really excited about this. The Melissa Joan Hart Sabrina is on Hulu now and I’ve been watching it occasionally because I recently got a cat who’s very Salem in looks and personality (I mean, without talking. But you can tell he’s always plotting). It’s cute and holds up decently. I never got into Riverdale but that’s just a personal failing on my part.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 8:11 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I'm totally on board for this concept, at least, and it's great to see Kiernan Shipka getting a chance to continue evolving as an actress.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:12 AM on September 13 [14 favorites]


I had no idea this was being produced! With Kiernan Shipka, I have high hopes.

The comic is a masterpiece, not least of all because of the pitch-perfect old time horror comics art. I hope the series can take the same tone.
posted by Gordafarin at 8:15 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I've never understood the casual abuse of eschatology in shows like this. If Satan exists, that implies pretty strongly that the Christian God exists and that all the usual issues of death, judgement, and the disposition of one's soul seem to apply. While a witch might be functionally immortal, surely that will not matter too much when the capital-A Apocalypse occurs. This show should end in episode 1, wherein Sabrina says "Hells No" to Satan and takes herself off to church post haste.
posted by Chrischris at 8:15 AM on September 13 [38 favorites]


I loved the comic (despite its incredibly irregular schedule) because it was both good storytelling and all kinds of delightfully messed up.

I am pretty excited for this and I think it says something that the trailer didn't surprise me. It looks exactly the way I want it to, exactly the way it should.
posted by darksong at 8:19 AM on September 13


This looks so delightfully autumnal and Halloweeny - two of my favorite things that can be in a piece of media
posted by holmesian at 8:19 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Kiernan Shipka was recently in The Blackcoat's Daughter, one of my favorite horror films of recent years. She managed to profoundly creepy while somehow remaining deeply sympathetic. Since I'd never watched Madmen, I'd never seen her before, and was super impressed.
posted by treepour at 8:20 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:22 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


If Satan exists, that implies pretty strongly that the Christian God exists and that all the usual issues of death, judgement, and the disposition of one's soul seem to apply

Only if you are tightly bound to a Christian system. It's perfectly possible to conceive of a cosmic adversary without also committing to a universal benign principle. (Indeed, one is tempted to do so every time one contemplates current politics.) You call the former "Satan" because that's the most common usage, presumably other cultures would call it something different.
posted by praemunire at 8:32 AM on September 13 [38 favorites]


I've never understood the casual abuse of eschatology in shows like this. If Satan exists, that implies pretty strongly that the Christian God exists and that all the usual issues of death, judgement, and the disposition of one's soul seem to apply.

If I encountered some overtly evil Satanesque entity that challenged my metaphysical understanding of the universe, I still wouldn't assume Christian eschatology was in play, or that substitutionary atonement makes any sense. I'd probably be tempted to believe that the guy who actually shows up in front of me is the one who can help me out. At best I might hope for some kind of Zoroastrian scenario and hold out for some angels.
posted by skewed at 8:34 AM on September 13 [34 favorites]


Starting from "There is no God," if I encounter Satan, it seems equally plausible to me that I'm actually in a gnostic kind of situation where Satan is more of my ally, or maybe it's more dualistic and there's two equal-ish sides.

What I'm getting at is, I am open to recruitment by the Forces of Darkness, but only after sufficiently detailed cosmological information, preferably in the form of D&D stat blocks and alignment notes.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:46 AM on September 13 [67 favorites]


If I encountered some overtly evil Satanesque entity that challenged my metaphysical understanding of the universe, I still wouldn't assume Christian eschatology was in play

IDK, when confronted with a demon that needs to be summoned in a pentagram, who looks exactly how the Christian Adversary has been portrayed for centuries, who requires one to sign away one's soul in return for great power and long life, tossing away 2000 years of ubiquitous Christian religious and cultural tradition in preference for some vague but totally non-Xtian metaphysical cosmic order miiiight be a bridge too far for your average Sabrina viewer.
posted by Chrischris at 8:50 AM on September 13 [20 favorites]


I checked out the first graphic novel as I love Francavilla's art... I am also interested in witches and witchcraft as a genre and history. The comic was a bit... dark... for me. It was quite well done, though! Rucka's 'Black Magic' (which, yes, was also dark) is also a good comic for folks interested in the genre.
posted by Slothrop at 8:51 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


and Riverdale is a fucking masterpiece

The comic or the show? Because I watched season one of the show and was immediately regretful of my life choices. Do we just have very different taste or did season two redeem it?
posted by greermahoney at 8:53 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: I am open to recruitment by the Forces of Darkness, but only after sufficiently detailed cosmological information
posted by thedward at 8:56 AM on September 13 [53 favorites]


IDK, when confronted with a demon that needs to be summoned in a pentagram, who looks exactly how the Christian Adversary has been portrayed for centuries, who requires one to sign away one's soul in return for great power and long life, tossing away 2000 years of ubiquitous Christian religious and cultural tradition in preference for some vague but totally non-Xtian metaphysical cosmic order miiiight be a bridge too far for your average Sabrina viewer.

How else would such a being look to someone brought up in that culture? Presumably the cosmic being has to take some kind of limiting form for you to be able to perceive it at all, and it's not surprising to think that this form might be shaped by longstanding cultural expectations. Your average Sabrina viewer, whether or not she knows it, lives in a post-Gaiman pop-magical world.
posted by praemunire at 8:58 AM on September 13 [14 favorites]


Season 2 of Riverdale was basically what if Season 1, but too much?
posted by Spathe Cadet at 9:01 AM on September 13 [18 favorites]


Do we just have very different taste or did season two redeem it?

Still on S1 so sounds like the former, unfortunately.
posted by griphus at 9:03 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


the snuffing of all the candles, the banishment of the light in favour of the darkness, points clearly towards the adversary being angra mainyu
posted by poffin boffin at 9:05 AM on September 13 [10 favorites]


How else would such a being look to someone brought up in that culture?

Like All Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Peter Stormare, Peter Fonda, or even Rodney Dangerfield?
posted by Chrischris at 9:07 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


you arrivistes in the jesus fandom always have to make everything about you
posted by poffin boffin at 9:08 AM on September 13 [33 favorites]


Even if pieces of the Christian cosmology were confirmed by the existence of the real Satan, you still have the problem of evil: i.e. if a God exists too, then that God is either not entirely benign or not omnipotent.

In which case, you might as well hear Lucifer's offer.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 9:30 AM on September 13 [17 favorites]


Oh man. Just the trailer gave me chills and my favorite parts of Riverdale were Blossom Gothic, so I am IN for this!
posted by chatongriffes at 9:30 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Like All Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Peter Stormare, Peter Fonda, or even Rodney Dangerfield?

Also fine choices (my personal favorite would be John Glover), but they fit perfectly well into my argument.
posted by praemunire at 9:34 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


five bucks says if Satan takes human form on this show it’ll be either Jason Priestley or Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
posted by griphus at 9:42 AM on September 13 [10 favorites]


I've never understood the casual abuse of eschatology in shows like this. If Satan exists, that implies pretty strongly that the Christian God exists and that all the usual issues of death, judgement, and the disposition of one's soul seem to apply.

Joke's on all those pre-Christian pagans!
posted by belarius at 9:43 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


This sounds potentially awesome, especially if it has the same absurd, over-the-top soapiness as Riverdale with a horror twist.

Also, echoing this comment from the io9 thread:

I hope it’s full on horror, super scary, super dark, but they have the same puppet cat and voice actor that was on the old show. Just a complete jarring constrast.

Kids getting burned at the stake, Sabrina going insane, here comes a witty insult from a puppet!

posted by asnider at 9:46 AM on September 13 [15 favorites]


five bucks says if Satan takes human form on this show it’ll be either Jason Priestley or Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

god i hope it's screech
posted by poffin boffin at 9:48 AM on September 13 [14 favorites]


"I've never understood the casual abuse of eschatology in shows like this. If Satan exists, that implies pretty strongly that the Christian God exists and that all the usual issues of death, judgement, and the disposition of one's soul seem to apply. While a witch might be functionally immortal, surely that will not matter too much when the capital-A Apocalypse occurs. This show should end in episode 1, wherein Sabrina says "Hells No" to Satan and takes herself off to church post haste."

The way I see it, if there is a God and whichever figure or figures "satan" is interchangeably used to refer to, then the rules are more complicated than would be laid down in say the Bible. If God is real, it has an incentive to present the universal narrative in his own light. Most glaring example is the fallacious reasoning of everything he does is right therefore any wrong he does isn't actually wrong somehow. Going from the Bible alone, satan and devil figures are not really that bad, not on the scale of evil God gets up to. God seems super mad that one or more of his angels thought they could do better without him in some capacity, we are told this is wrong and bad, but that's only one account of events. It's not hard to think of reasons why Christian God is bad and why one shouldn't serve him and how one could do better than God did.

Basically I'm saying if any of this was real, there'd be good arguments for going the Satan route. Presumably satan wouldn't bother with anything if he really was predestined to fail, surely it must think there is an opportunity to survive and rise above the nasty God and it's fucked rules and designs. Personally I could not serve God if it were real, not until it answers for its crimes, and I find much to sympathize with in the devil.

Let's not forget "satan" was the one who gave us knowledge and the illusion of free will we all cherish and love. Christ and Satan are the two heroes of the bible protecting us from God's supreme shittiness.

So if there is a Satan and a relationship with him can bring you power, it's worth considering. Satan, if you're out there, I want you to know my Pascal's Wager is on you, bud, we can get this done together.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:58 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


Starting from "There is no God," if I encounter Satan, it seems equally plausible to me that I'm actually in a gnostic kind of situation where Satan is more of my ally, or maybe it's more dualistic and there's two equal-ish sides.

What I'm getting at is, I am open to recruitment by the Forces of Darkness, but only after sufficiently detailed cosmological information, preferably in the form of D&D stat blocks and alignment notes.


Yes, it's always important when signing a deal with a Devil to make sure that you're not actually just getting recruited to fight in the Blood War.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:00 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


god i hope it's screech

May not be available, stabbed someone in a bar fight a couple years ago and later violated his parole.
posted by rodlymight at 10:00 AM on September 13


Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
posted by ckape at 10:01 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


five bucks says if Satan takes human form on this show it’ll be either Jason Priestley or Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Ultimate ret-con mindfuck: Penn Jillete
posted by Chrischris at 10:03 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


Folks, it's obviously Jeff Goldblum.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:08 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


bring back caroline rhea and beth broderick
(for anything, man, I don't care -- they were so great)
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:10 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


Does anyone else think that Kiernan Shipka looks a lot like Beth Broderick? I find it disorienting.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:14 AM on September 13


If Satan took the guise of Michelle Gomez and propositioned me, my only question would be "what took you so long?"
posted by whuppy at 10:21 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Kind of excited about this.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:22 AM on September 13


five bucks says if Satan takes human form on this show it’ll be either Jason Priestley or Mark-Paul Gosselaar.


Um. Brian Austin Green, people. I know some of you were too young the first time around, but I'm pretty sure we established that the Devil is David Silver.
posted by thivaia at 10:37 AM on September 13 [10 favorites]


five bucks says if Satan takes human form on this show it’ll be either Jason Priestley or Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Nope: Aubrey Plaza.
posted by Pendragon at 10:46 AM on September 13 [16 favorites]


If Aubrey Plaza is the devil, why did she thank the devil in this acceptance speech? Think it through!
posted by tobascodagama at 10:58 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


THAT'S WHAT SHE WANTS YOU TO THINK!!!
posted by Pendragon at 11:06 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I did not give the tiniest little shrug for Riverdale, but this I might watch. Teen drama=meh. Supernatural teen drama=tell me more, then let's watch The Craft together.
posted by emjaybee at 11:22 AM on September 13 [14 favorites]


five bucks says if Satan takes human form on this show it’ll be either Jason Priestley or Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Zack Morris is already in a show that's been ordered to series (which is based on one of my favorite books and I just know Fox is going to fuck it up, but that's another story) so it'll have to be Brandon.
posted by lunasol at 11:33 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I really like the Waid/Staples "Archie" comic reboot, but I didn't even think about watching Riverdale, because I assumed it would be too CW/90210. Kiernan Shipka was wonderful in Mad Men, so this will probably be pretty dang good.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:35 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


If Satan showed himself, and somehow this meant God existed, why wouldn’t you be afraid of both of them if you’re non-religious? I’ve spent my entire life sinning and going against the word of God, I have just as much to fear from them as I do any other threat in the world.
posted by gucci mane at 11:57 AM on September 13


If Satan showed himself, and somehow this meant God existed, why wouldn’t you be afraid of both of them if you’re non-religious? I’ve spent my entire life sinning and going against the word of God, I have just as much to fear from them as I do any other threat in the world.

Yeah, but dead is just dead. Eternal tormented damnation in the unquenchable lake of fire is kind of another thing altogether, tho.
posted by Chrischris at 12:04 PM on September 13


Will Gus Cruikshank get a chance to write an episode?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:14 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Riverdale is indeed very CW, so you'll only like it if you like that sort of thing. Turns out I do like that sort of thing, and so I love Riverdale.*

I was actually just explaining to a friend why I thought Riverdale was so great and I think there's something that works so well about taking an iconic, very cheerful comic like Archie and mining it for the dark undertones. When I first heard about Riverdale, I sort of rolled my eyes because I didn't really get why they were changing the tone so drastically and it seemed to me like it would be a pretty juvenile "dark for darkness' sake, aren't we edgy?" kind of thing. And it definitely can be that!

But I think one of the things that works so well for Riverdale is that many of the original characters are such strong archetypes: the nice, friendly girl who pines after the nice, breezily popular guy, who has an eye on the conniving, intelligent girl. Etc. Very simple characters, but so recognizable, so it's really satisfying to to have them fleshed out for dramatic purposes. I'm not as familiar with Sabrina (I was too old to watch the show as it aired, and I don't remember the comics) but clearly there's a lot there with a witch character.

* Well, at least I loved the first season. The second went off the rails for me, and veered too much into Pretty Little Liars "let's torture this nice pretty girl" territory for me.
posted by lunasol at 12:17 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


The comic or the show [Riverdale]? Because I watched season one of the show and was immediately regretful of my life choices. Do we just have very different taste or did season two redeem it?

Oh god no, Riverdale season 2 was terrible -- I watch it, I even often enjoy it (and sometimes I enjoy hating it), but it's terrible. If you didn't like S1, you will super hate S2.

Amusingly I was trying to convince a friend to watch Veronica Mars and was describing it as a noir detective high school show, and she asked "Like Riverdale?" and I literally flinched.
posted by jeather at 12:29 PM on September 13 [6 favorites]


Satan needs to be John Waters. This is not negotiable.

I initially thought of Paul Reubens, but I'm still holding out for him to be Gozer the Destructor in yet another remake.
posted by delfin at 12:32 PM on September 13 [13 favorites]


I hope this is dark, gothy, feminist, and witchy af.

It looks like the showrunner will be Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who has worked under Ryan Murphy and Greg Berlanti. Hm. He's also the showrunner for Riverdale. Well, we'll see.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:41 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I'm sure we'll resolve Pascal's Wager and the entire field of theodicy in the comments section of this post about a witchy TV show based on Archie Comics.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:58 PM on September 13 [33 favorites]


Metafilter: pretty sure we established that the Devil is David Silver.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:00 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I've never understood the casual abuse of eschatology in shows like this. If Satan exists . . .

So even if you're all in with the christian worldview, well, I watched enough community access religious bits in my teen years to learn that (at least according to fundamentalists) the satanists recruit good christian kids by telling them that satan's side will actually win. This is made even more plausible by the world view that christians are in an ongoing struggle analagous to war--the christian "prophecies" are plausibly just propaganda.

I'm sure we'll resolve Pascal's Wager and the entire field of theodicy in the comments section of this post about a witchy TV show based on Archie Comics.

Pascal's Wager is long since resolved: It's bad math that only makes sense intuitively for those who sort-of-believe in Christianity to start with and actively disbelieve all other options.

The impact of Satan appearing at your birthday party on discussions of theodicy is a bit too long to fit in the margins of this post.
posted by mark k at 1:06 PM on September 13 [11 favorites]


I'll make the same deal with this series I made with the original: I'll watch one episode if it features Gordon Gano and Violent Femmes.
posted by SubterraneanRedStateBlues at 1:06 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


This show should end in episode 1, wherein Sabrina says "Hells No" to Satan and takes herself off to church post haste.

I recommend reading Hell is the Absence of God by Ted Chiang for a fascinating and nuanced take on this very issue.
posted by fremen at 1:10 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]


I'm sure we'll resolve Pascal's Wager and the entire field of theodicy in the comments section of this post about a witchy TV show based on Archie Comics.

Not with that attitude, we won't!!!
posted by praemunire at 1:28 PM on September 13 [15 favorites]


Amusingly I was trying to convince a friend to watch Veronica Mars and was describing it as a noir detective high school show, and she asked "Like Riverdale?" and I literally flinched.

Eek. Riverdale in its best moments does remind me of Veronica Mars, but only in its very best moments.
posted by lunasol at 1:57 PM on September 13


Hoping for Jon Hamm Salem. For symmetry reasons.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 2:16 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I'll watch one episode if it features Gordon Gano and Violent Femmes.

One of my favorite Twitter interactions was when I posted the clip asking how the “Violent Femmes as boyband-esque teen heartthrobs” plotline happened and a producer of the show responded w the fact that Meslissa Joan Hart really liked them and asked for them to guest.
posted by griphus at 2:28 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]


I love the comic and have been sad about the irregular/non-existent update schedule. I thought the project had just been abandoned . . . so this is the best possible news!
posted by schroedinger at 2:34 PM on September 13


Metafilter: dark, gothy, feminist, and witchy af.

Wait, that's not.. something isn't....
Oh! Right.


Metafilter Crone Island: dark, gothy, feminist, and witchy af.
posted by ApathyGirl at 2:46 PM on September 13 [6 favorites]


I've never understood the casual abuse of eschatology in shows like this. If Satan exists . . .

hmm, kinda depends. if you encounter a fun satan (sexy cool powers, do what thou wilt, sign this neat contract at the crossroads), perhaps that implies a bad god exists (of crusades, inquisition, burning at stake fame), but if you encounter a scary satan (rosemary's baby, etc...), maybe assume a peace loving god (pure love and understanding, forgiveness, heaven with infinite puppies, etc...).

or just assume they're all aliens and treat it like a sci-fi crossover.
posted by wibari at 4:40 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I had a bit of a crush on Melissa Joan Hart as a teenager, was sad to see she was caught up in this bizarre christian exploitation movie. God is Not Dead 2, about how the poor christian minority is being oppressed by the atheist government baddies.

When a high school teacher is asked a question in class about Jesus, her response lands her in deep trouble.

Then the sequel claimed Kevin Sorbo, Hercules, as the atheist villain.

I learnt about this movie by finding the dvd in a phone booth, along with some other proselytising stuff. It turns out there's a whole genre of these type of christian movies and they are truly bizarre. Thanks for wrecking Sabrina and Hercules for me christian weirdos.
posted by adept256 at 6:06 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Presumably the cosmic being has to take some kind of limiting form for you to be able to perceive it at all, and it's not surprising to think that this form might be shaped by longstanding cultural expectations.

Presumably, and yet many people think it’s a knock-out punch for Christianity to point out that the biblical narratives conform to the primitive cosmology of the ancient Near East. What other option could there be?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:21 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


five bucks says if Satan takes human form on this show it’ll be either Jason Priestley or Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Did you see him in Pitch though? He had a bushy-ass beard and generally unfair levels of charisma. I...I would buy him as Satan.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:12 PM on September 13


Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa co-wrote the Spider-Man musical! This is my favorite fact about Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
posted by colorblock sock at 8:22 PM on September 13


Satan's also a figure in Islam and many Eastern religions have some concept of hell and demons even if it's not a strict God vs Satan binary. So there's a lot of options for diverse iconography that don't involve Christianity at all.

(A friend and I wanted to co-audition as the aunts in this show but couldn't figure out how to even get a tape in. Looking forward to this tho!)
posted by divabat at 11:03 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I really hope the casual cannibalism and Cthulhu bride stuff makes it in.
posted by benzenedream at 11:30 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


adept256, have I got a podcast for you.
posted by ambulocetus at 5:42 AM on September 14


but the choice isn't between satan or jesus, it's satan or cute boyfriend harvey. and say what you will about satan but unlike mortal men, lucifer clearly knows how to do some emotional labor
posted by Emily's Fist at 4:28 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


*a* Satan existing doesn't exactly tell you *which* variation of his opposite number is in play
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:50 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]


« Older "Let's tow the bum out of town"   |   RIP Bill Daily. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments