There's been a Sunnydale-shaped hole in the world since Buffy ended, as Charmed disappeared off the air with a puff of smoke, and Sabrina grew up and got a real job. As I was raised on a steady diet of witchy woman wreaking havoc havoc on my TV set, the lack of any teenage witch shows to while away the long autumn nights hangs heavy in my soul. But with any luck, this witch-bereft era is coming to a close, as the quintessential teenage witch herself may be set to appear in Riverdale Season 2.
The possibility of an all-new, all-different Sabrina making her debut in Riverdale has been tossed about ever since the Archie Comics show was first announced. This is thanks to Sabrina's origins: long before Melissa Joan Heart graced our screens in the 90s, the "cute little witch" Sabrina first appeared in an Archie one-off in 1962. She later lead her own comic series in the '80s, soon becoming iconic. And it was a panel from this very comic that Disney's Descendants actress Dove Cameron recently posted to her Instagram, teasing the possibility that she may be the one to bring the teen witch to life once again.
With the Riverdale showrunners teasing a darker, supernatural Season 2, it seems that now is the perfect time to introduce Sabrina. In fact, an adaptation of the 2013 comic Afterlife With Archie seems increasingly likely — the popular arc featured zombies overrunning Riverdale, and it also marked the introduction of the newest incarnation of Sabrina. If TV's Riverdale suffers from its own zombie infestation in Season 2, Sabrina's appearance — and her oft-teased spin-off show — might be just around the corner. And the possible casting of Dove Cameron can only bode well for this.
Sabrina Needs Her Own Show
While we all loved the upbeat '90s Sabrina show, what we really need right now is a darker teenage witch show, somewhere between Bewitched and Supernatural, but with a good dose of teen spirit to give it that distinctive spark. And that seems to be exactly what the Riverdale showrunners are hoping to achieve — in a press conference earlier this year, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed how he and the other writers see the potential Sabrina spin-off:
"We’ve talked about Sabrina being a bit darker, more like 'Rosemary’s Baby'. It’s not going to be the half-hour sitcom with Melissa Joan Hart."
Aguirre-Sacasa, who also wrote the popular 2014 comic Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, has spoken about his love of Lovecraftian horror and dark magic, so if Sabrina does get her own show we can expect it to be occult, gritty, and just a little bit pulp — much like the 2014 comic.
And that's fantastic news. Sure, maybe I'm biased, considering how I devoured teen supernatural shows when I was younger, but there seems to be a gap in the market right now. Young girls — and boys, for that matter — deserve the escapist glee that comes with watching witchy shows, not to mention we could all do with the dose of sisterhood and empowerment that are a staple in every female-lead supernatural series.
However, there's a danger here in making the #Sabrina spin-off too dark. Aguirre-Sacasa's Chilling Adventures comic was a fascinating take on the young witch's origin, taking the story back to the 1960s and imagining her as being raised by a Satanist witch coven. This was pure horror pulp, and it's definitely a fun read, but this concept probably wouldn't be right for The CW.
First off, the network already has a '70s-set witch series in the pipeline with their currently-delayed Charmed reboot (which may act as a spanner in the works for a Sabrina show, as the two series would rival each other for views). It would be far more interesting to set the Sabrina spin-off in the modern day, because just imagine the teen witch googling spells and enchanting her smartphone to never run out of data!
There's also a danger in going too dark with teen-focused programming — Sabrina should be a fun, identifiable character, albeit one who takes down demons and necromancers in the dead of night with only her spell book and sass-mouthing cat to help her. I'm not saying I want another Buffy but.... ok, I want another Buffy. But a little darker, a little more occult — and with infinitely more crossovers with Riverdale. Preferably when zombies come to town.