The One '90s Heroine No Millennial Really Appreciated Back Then
When thinking of the stars of the '90s, one of the many names that may pop into your head is that of Melissa Joan Hart. Long before her days on ABC Family's Melissa & Joey, the current mother of three was the ever-so-relatable Clarissa Darling in Nickelodeon's Clarissa Explains It All. However, for me, it was her role as Sabrina Spellman in the mid-to-late-'90s series, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, that really stuck with me. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Sabrina was more memorable than Clarissa. Because after Clarissa explained it all, Sabrina proved that, magic or no magic, girls can handle themselves just fine. She was the '90s heroine that no millennial properly appreciated.
Sabrina was a witch with a talking cat, a hot boyfriend, and two crazy aunts who led pretty unusual lifestyles, that's true. However, all of those factors don't change how relatable of a character she was to us, even to us mere mortals. Clarissa may have had her facts straight, but Sabrina taught '90s kids and teens that — even with magic — you need to fight your own battles with your own wits, maturity, intelligence, and courage. If that's not the true meaning of a heroine, then I honestly don't know what is.
There's no denying that the problems Sabrina faced, such as dating, choosing between right and wrong, passing her tests, and dealing with her family, were regular teenage problems faced by everyday people like you and me. Sometimes, Sabrina's problems were only emphasized by the fact that she had magic backing her up, rather than offering her an easy way out of those problems. This served as a reminder to both her and the viewers that you can never take your opportunities or those around you for granted, or expect a quick resolution to a complex issue. Sabrina sure learned that lesson the hard way time and time again.
In fact, one of the most memorable episodes for me had to be Episode 14 of Season 3 titled, "Present Perfect." It centered around a time when Sabrina could use her magic to be "mistake-free" and, as expected, the spell backfired. Not only did it turn Sabrina's family and friends against her, but it also made her realize that life is not about having all of the answers. It's about learning things for yourself. Believe it or not, it was this episode, and many more, than made me appreciate the fact that I don't actually have magical powers. Yes, even during the times when Harry Potter made me wish my letter from Hogwarts was on its way. Magic just comes with its own set of complications.
Basically, when looking at the fictional characters of the '90s, Sabrina deserves a spot right up there with the rest of the '90s women who made us the thoughtful, confident, and fearless women we are today. Whenever people think of Melissa Joan Hart, Sabrina tends to come after, or take a back seat to, Clarissa Darling, and that's a tragedy. Both characters had something to teach us over the course of their programs, but it was Sabrina and her magic finger blasts that really defined my childhood and helped mould me into the person I am today.
Images: ABC; Giphy (2)