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Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina - Part Three

by JC Alvarez
Friday Jan 24, 2020
'Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina - Part Three'
'Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina - Part Three'  

All hell is about to break loose!!

Abandon all hope, ye who dare enter here. "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" returns to Netflix for its third season. After facing off against the Dark Lord (that's the Devil played by Luke Cook, in case you're wondering), Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) finds herself at odds with the decision to let her boyfriend Nicholas Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood) play host to the devil. Now she is intent on hatching a plan to save him from eternal damnation — before the next pep rally!

Down the road from Riverdale (and its backdoor brothels and dens of drug dealing) is Greendale, which is the crossroads between high school and Hades — and the two can often appear mercurial, especially when you're the daughter of Lucifer and, therefore, his rightful heir. Developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, based on the popular pulp series of comic books published by Archie Comics, Sabrina has always been a bit of an oddity among her comic-book piers. After all, she's a platinum-haired witch who cheerleads and has been known to talk to cats.

In the new primetime scheme of things, where her contemporaries on "Riverdale" are less of a slice of Americana than their 2D counterparts, it's only fitting that on the Netflix series spin-off (cast in the same universe) Sabrina pushes the boundaries of borderline blasphemy. It's ingeniously witty and far more intricate than it's CW sister-show. "Riverdale" is edgy because it preys on the perception of what a "normal" teenager in America is capable of (given every possible resource or advantage), but "Sabrina," with its fantasy skew, plays much more broadly.

Even with all the witches and occult overtones, this series and its cast of bright-eyed teens are actually much more relatable in many ways than the over-sexed bunch on "Riverdale." In the premiere episode of the new season, Sabrina has little problem persuading her friends to join her on an odyssey to save Nick that leads her into Dante's "Inferno." Once they step through a magic painting it's as simple as following the bloody red road into the darkened woodland, before arriving at the court of Lilith (Michelle Gomez), who still resembles high school principal Ms. Wardwell.

It's a personal choice, and, as much as Lilith wants the throne of hell all for her own, she's keenly aware that Sabrina may make a better ally than an adversary, at least in the meantime... especially with others feasting their eyes on the prize. With a coup in the works, Sabrina has little choice but to assume the throne for herself — she is now the Queen of Hell, even as the Old Ones, an ancient sect of religious zealots, converge to reshape Greendale in their own image (and then, the world).

Meanwhile, the witches of Greendale - to which Sabrina's aunts belong - and their coven are in shambles, and Lady Zelda Blackwood (Miranda Otto) is determined to return some order. It's all she can do to keep the surviving children alive and safe, now that the Dark Lord is no longer in charge. With the Devil her prisoner, Sabrina must now do his job — and chief among them is collecting souls. When the gang discovers a serial killer in Greendale has been murdering innocent souls in exchange for a longer lease on life, Sabrina doesn't mince words — Hell is under new management!

Inevitably, Caliban (Sam Corlett, and his abs) the self-proclaimed Prince of Hell — sensing that Sabrina's priorities may be off-balance — challenges her for the seat and control over hell. He challenges her to a quest to find three articles of ancient magical origins. Whoever wields these items will be declared the winner and rightful ruler of the evil afterlife. Will Sabrina emerge on top and win the throne, or leap to the heights of the cheer squad human pyramid instead? Go team! Being a teenager, especially a teenage witch, is so demanding!

Showing no signs of pulling punches, and proving why it wouldn't work in primetime alongside its CW crossover series, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 3" is sitting pretty on Netflix and is as campy and exciting as you might imagine. It feels very much like "Riverdale," and fans of that show will be happy to see the winks linking the two series, but "Sabrina" is a much more cutting-edge series, and that sets it above its predecessor. The show easily casts its spell (again) in Season 3. It's every bit as chilling as you'd want it to be and clever as a whip!


"Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 3" is now streaming on Netflix

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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