For anyone who was bummed about the '90s star's early reaction to the remake, Melissa Joan Hart's new comments on the Sabrina remake will set your mind at ease. As fans probably recall, the actor's initial reaction was hardly effusive. When asked by Entertainment Weekly in February how she felt about the recently-announced Netflix reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hart had just two surprising words to share: "Indifferent, really." Her nonchalance was jarring to fans who had grown up loving the star in the series' titular role. But now that Hart has clarified her comments somewhat, everything is making a lot more sense.
In an interview with People published on Aug. 29, the 42-year-old emphasized her relief that Netflix will be taking the character in an entirely new direction this time around. Especially because she was so fond of how Sabrina The Teenage Witch concluded its seven season run. Speaking about the 2003 series finale, Hart told the outlet:
"I think it’s smart that they’re doing a completely different version because it kind of was the perfect sendoff. There’s no way to improve on that. You’re only going to be disappointed."
She continued, stressing that Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actually wasn't a reboot of her show, but a re-imagination of the character:
"I’m glad they’re not doing a reboot of Sabrina. I don’t think there’s a better way to end that show than the way we did with her riding off with Harvey on a motorcycle to the No Doubt song. I think it’s so perfect that I wouldn’t want to touch it with anything."
When put like that, it's a lot easier to understand why Hart might have had trouble getting on board right away. Because, while it's often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn't always feel that way to those being imitated. For every project that's improved upon in the remake, there are countless others that run the risk of tainting the legacy of the original work. (Just look at the chaos that spiraled out of the recent Roseanne reboot.)
But luckily for Hart — and for all of us, really — it's being reported that Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will go in a very different direction than the original series. As is suggested right there in the title, the follow-up will lean into the kind of eerie darkness and horror that was largely glossed over in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And that's been clear in the early promotion efforts.
In fact, the new project is even centered around different material. Instead of pulling from the original Archie Comics that informed Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the October 2018 show will be based on a far spookier offshoot comic series that launched in 2014.
The new show will still feature a few of the characters that fans know and love, with Kiernan Shipka stepping in to play Sabrina Spellman herself, but it's a darker adaptation that seems miles from the humor and magical camp of the '90s classic. So at the end of the day, it's truly the best of both worlds. The new show shares enough themes with the nostalgic classic to appeal to its fans, but is different enough from the original that Hart doesn't have to worry about it risking the show's legacy.
That takes the pressure off The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in a big way, as does the fact that Netflix has already ordered two 10-episode seasons on spec, so Hart can relax alongside all the original fans of the timeless classic.