Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premiered on Netflix in 2018, a much-anticipated release in which the audience invested great expectations. Created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the show is based on an Archie Comics comic book series of the same title, also written by him. At the same time, however, the new series has entered a much-beloved franchise established by the 90s sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch that set the tone for the Sabrina storyworld and influenced its reading for a generation of viewers, which had an impact on the show’s reception. Yet Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is not so much a remake of the 90s version as it is a reinterpretation of the entire storyworld as a dark coming-of-age story. Interviews with the show’s cast and creative team as well as the promotional teaser material released in advance of the show stipulated a series that has closer ties to the horror tradition of the 60s and 70s than to teenage comedy, which is evident not only in the show’s storylines, but also in its visuals and aesthetic. In addition, the show stands out by virtue of its eclectic engagement with the topic of witches and witchcraft, in terms of historical events such as the Salem witch panic of 1692 as well as contemporary occultism and lore based on the ideas of Wicca and their ties to discourses on gender, sexuality, and social justice. Although generally well-received, particularly in its first two seasons, the show also garnered considerable criticism, especially for its unexpected and problematic finale. These and other aspects of the show will be the subject of this talk.
Referentin: Dr. Svetlana Seibel
Dr. Svetlana Seibel is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Chair of North American Literary and Cultural Studies at Saarland University and an adjunct lecturer at the American Studies Institute at the University of Konstanz. She studied North American Literary and Cultural Studies, British Literary and Cultural Studies, and Classical Archaeology at Saarland University. She completed her PhD on the topic of Indigenous popular culture as a member of the International Research Training Group “Diversity: Mediating Difference in Transcultural Spaces.”