Mooselicker Says: This piece was written by fellow blogger “Pen” over at Pen, Paper, and Crazy. Now, on with it.
First of all, this post is about the TV series that featured live people and not creepily drawn versions of them, in the case of the animated series or the comic book (which I only just discovered in my research for this post that there is a comic book).
This was sort of like a kid’s version of Charmed, I guess. I can’t remember when Charmed started, but it seems like witches were the thing of the late 90s. Like vampires are now.
Anyway, in Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, Sabrina is played by Melissa Joan Hart. I’ve never seen Ms. Hart in anything else, so I’m not sure about her merits as an actress. Perhaps she is only good at playing teenage witches. At least she has more expressions than Kristin Stewart.
Sabrina finds out in the first episode that she is a witch. She apparently did not know before this because in this universe, witches “come into their power” on their 16th birthday. I never understood why 16 was the magic number. The type of magic in this show has the ability to radically change everything and everyone. I feel like giving that ability to someone who can’t even vote is just irresponsible.
Sabrina lives with her two aunts, Hilda and Zelda (everyone has awful names), who are also witches. 500 year old witches. I guess that would make Sabrina’s dad also super old. But her mom is mortal, so that’s like…statutory rape in the witch world or something. I dunno. I try not to dwell on it too much.
There were a lot of character switcharoos and disappearances in this show. Explanations were never given. The most consistent characters besides Sabrina and her aunts were probably….
Sabrina’s love interest and boyfriend for most of the series. He’s sort of goofy and weird to me. I never really understood why Sabrina liked him so much. She perform a metric shit-ton of magic on him to prevent him from seeing her as a complete fuck-up. Seriously, a metric unit of it. Like, in the last couple seasons her magic stopped working on him and when she asked the witch council/boss dudes about it, they were like “You used too much effin’ magic on this dude.”
Somehow he still loves her. I think he ends up stopping her wedding to some random dude in the last episode. It’s very soap opera.
Salem is my favorite. He’s a snarky-assed mofo who constantly tries to take over the world. In fact, he does this so often (but unsuccessfully, obviously) that the witches council/boss dudes cursed him with being a cat for like, 500 years or something. A long ass time. And for some reason, he has to be taken care of by Sabrina’s aunts. I’m not really sure why. There was an episode that addressed that, but I missed it.
Anyway, Salem is pretty much Sabrina’s best friend. He’s the only one who will tell her how the whole magic thing actually works. Her aunts are constantly like “don’t use it too much, stop fucking with it, if you keep casting like that your finger’ll get stuck”. But Salem is also a snarky-ass conniving warlock who wants to take over the world, so a lot of his advice ends up fucking Sabrina over.
He also has a daughter, but she’s rarely on the show because Salem is super afraid and ashamed of her seeing him as a talking cat. Like that wouldn’t be the most awesome dad ever. And Salem has the best lines of the entire cast. Every episode. I think Nick Bakay must have been getting it on with a producer.
Libby was the stereotypical “bitchy rich girl” that was super jealous of Sabrina somehow getting shit to go her way. She also performed a lot of magic of Libby to prevent her from discovering that Sabrina is really just a dumbass that has a bag of tricks. But Libby didn’t stay on the show long enough to hit that magic metric-shit-ton, so she always had spells work on her.
I think at some point her and Sabrina became more like friends, but that isn’t like real high school at all. And also it ruins that stereotype that almost every show with a female high school aged heroine has.
Oh, also Libby has the hots for Harvey for some weird reason. Despite him being a big doofus who really isn’t that attractive.
In the first season Sabrina had some other friend who’s name I forget. She wasn’t important. But then the producers thought they didn’t to “expand and diversify” so they replaced her old friend (http://sharetv.org/person/michelle_beaudoin) with Valerie. Yes, they’re both white girls. Don’t worry, I am also puzzled. Perhaps the producers don’t quite understand what the word diversity means. Valerie was annoying. I didn’t like her. She was all whiney and always wanted Sabrina to help her with some bullshit. She was encouraging of Sabrina pursuing Harvey, but I think that was mostly because she hated Libby. Because I hate Libby, I don’t know much else about her.
Also, in terms of accuracy and respect for real life practicing Pagans and witches this show is pretty crap; I’d recommend Charmed or the movie Practical Magic if you’re looking for that.
But in terms of cheesy 90s kid’s show goodness gone a bit soap opera? This show gets an 8.
Mooselicker Says: Thanks Pen for writing this up. Now if anyone is curious to see how Melissa Joan Hart has fallen, check out her pathetic Kickstarter project. I’m weeping at how sad this is.