Episode 2.6: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Happy full moon! This month we’re discussing Netflix’s new show, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. There will be spoilers!

Content warning: brief mentions of Larry Nassar and Brett Kavanaugh, racial slurs, lynching, homophobia, transphobia.

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (0:00 – 3:11)

“Treguna, Mekoides, Trecorum, Satis, Dee!” (3:17 – 32:06)

  • The show’s depiction of witchcraft as an inversion of evangelical Christianity
  • Wicca
  • Appropriation and misapplication of various religious and pagan symbols
  • Sabrina’s visions
  • Exorcism scene (power drawn from the women in Sabrina’s family tree)

Related Links

The Nutcracker/ “girl goes fantasy world”  conversation started on Jeannette Ng’s Twitter

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (32:13 – 46:27)

  • Witch bodies vs. human bodies
  • Witches’ lack of respect for others’ bodily autonomy
  • Sabrina’s erasing Harvey’s memories (with a kiss!), cursing Mr. Hawthorne, attempting resurrection
  • Witches’ treatment of familiars
  • Demonic possession and a man-eating Lilith
  • Portrayal of Sabrina’s body in the comics

Related Links

She-Ra is a recent example (on Netflix, too!) of a female character being reclaimed by women: An All-Female Writing Team Gives ‘She-Ra’ a Modern Makeover for a New Netflix Reboot

“Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (46:36 – 1:13:15)

  • Susie = a non-binary character (played by Lachlan Watson, a non-binary actor)!
  • The show’s ambiguous, 60s-esque setting + its flat depiction of high school
  • Is Sabrina a good witch or a bad witch?
  • Prudence and the show’s difficulty navigating race
  • White women = complicit in white supremacy
  • Cousin Ambrose and Sabrina’s aunts

Related Links

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘s Non-Binary Character Deserves Better

Star Tati Gabrielle Talks Giving Depth to Prudence

In Defense of Prudence Night

Why Can’t Black Witches Get Some Respect in Popular Culture?

Cousin Ambrose is the Most Compelling Part of Sabrina

Final Spells (1:13:19 – 1:26:25)

  • The nature of spells (Latin vs. vernacular, words vs. intention)
  • The comics’ influence on popular ideas about witches
  • Jenny’s lunar ritual: Gemini Sage Moon

Related Links

Tarot-Inspired Character Palettes

 

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