The Cast Of 'Sabrina, The Teenage Witch' Was Totally Shocked By The Dark Netflix Reboot
Want to find out how the cast of a beloved television show really feels about a high-profile reboot of said show? Well, if you're Netflix, you sit them down and have them watch — and react — to the new show on camera. The cast of Sabrina the Teenage Witch watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for the first time, and they were pretty frightened to find out what Sabrina Spellman is up to in Netflix's dark, creepy reboot.
In a video for Netflix, the '90s sitcom's cast — specifically, Melissa Joan Hart, who played Sabrina, Nate Richert, who played Harvey, and Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea, who played Aunts Zelda and Hilda, respectively — sat down to get their first look at the teenage witch's new Chilling Adventures. And while they did all admit that they found the newest version of Sabrina to be, in the words of Broderick, "very dark and very different," one of the things they were most shocked by was how different this Riverdale-inspired spell caster was from the goofy, '90s Sabrina.
While watching a scene in which Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) and the Weird Sisters (Tati Gabrielle, Abigail Cowen and Adeline Rudolph), lure a group of jocks into the mines in order to enact revenge, Hart declared, "I wasn't allowed to take my clothes off!" Rhea, ever the protective aunt, echoed that, saying, "This is not our Sabrina!" While Broderick joked that they "never would have allowed Sabrina to behave this way."
Still, the original Sabrina cast were supportive of this new, more scandalous take on the classic character. "I like her," Rhea said. "She's very political, little Sabrina. She's very empowered."
Of course, the foursome couldn't help but point out some of the differences between their show and the streaming service's creepy remake. "Our spells were more like, 'bing!'" Hart said, pointing her finger out in the classic Sabrina Spellman way. "Like, sparkles fly out [of your finger], and glitter." (Needless to say, there were no evil scarecrows in that version either.)
Another major difference between the two versions? The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina uses a real cat as Salem, Sabrina's familiar. The '90s sitcom used an animatronic cat that Rhea described as "an alcoholic rabbit wearing a hairpiece." Although, considering that Shipka discovered that she's actually very allergic to cats during filming, she might not have minded having a robotic animal on set instead.
Mostly, though, the original Sabrina foursome seemed to really enjoy the show, even if all of them admitted that they found it to be pretty spooky. "It's really scary, I don't think I could watch it alone," Broderick admitted at one point.
Despite that, Hart gave the show its biggest praise, revealing that her kids would "probably like this better" than the sitcom she starred in. But, that doesn't mean she'll let them watch the new show. "I don't think I'll let them know about it just yet," Hart joked.
The original Sabrina Spellman has long been supportive of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, even telling People back in August that she was happy to see the Netflix series offer up a different take on the iconic teenage witch rather than simply "reboot" the sitcom. Speaking of the show's 2003 finale, in which Sabrina and Harvey ride off together into the sunset, Hart said, "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. ... I think it’s so perfect that I wouldn’t want to touch it with anything."
Let's just hope that The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina offers its own heroine a similarly "perfect" happy ending — although, on this show, "happy" probably means something very dark and extremely creepy. It's all relative, right?