The original cast of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has weighed in on the Netflix’s new series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina — and mostly, they’re just scared.
Melissa Joan Hart (who played Sabrina Spellman), Nate Richert (who played Harvey Kinkle), Beth Broderick (who played Aunt Zelda), and Caroline Rhea (who played Aunt Hilda) all sat down for Netflix to steam some of the new series on a laptop — while cameras caught their reactions.
Though their series and the new one led by Kiernan Shipka follow the same characters, however, the stories couldn’t be more different, and Melissa and the gang seemed shocked at what the young Ms. Spellman gets up to in the new show.
Boo! Melissa Joan Hart and her old Sabrina the Teenage Witch castmates reacted to watching the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix
Aunties: Beth Broderick (left) and Caroline Rhea (right), who played Aunts Zelda and Hilda, were surprised by how scary the new show is
Classic: Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a comedy, and a much lighter version of the story than the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Melissa, 42, and Nate, 40, both sit down together to watch the show, while Carolina, 54, and Beth, 59, watch together later.
‘So this is not gonna be very funny,’ says Nate astutely, clearly having heard that Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a much darker take on the character than Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
All four of the actors watch their screens, rapt, and express how scary they find the episode they are watching.
Caroline and Beth, in particular, let out several screams as they watch a scene in which Sabrina is attacked in a hay maze.
‘It’s terrifying, this show,’ says Caroline.
‘It’s really scary. I don’t think I can watch it alone,’ adds Beth, but Caroline chimed back in: ‘But we wanna see more.’
Original: Melissa, 42, says that in her show, magic involved sparkles coming out of their fingers. In the new show, it often requires blood and other dark things
Mortal hair problems! Nate, meanwhile, joked that he hoped baldness wasn’t a ‘Harvey curse’ that would effect the actor now playing Harvey, Ross Lynch
Too scary! ‘I am not letting my kids watch this. They’d probably like this better, but I don’t think I’ll let them know about it just yet,’ said Melissa
Later, when they are watching a scene in which Sabrina lures four football-playing male classmates into a mine — to exact a little revenge on them on behalf of her friend Susie, whom they bullied — all four are surprised to see Sabrina order the boys to strip.
As they take their clothes off, Melissa says, ‘I wasn’t allowed to take my clo— well I did run through a scene naked.’
Caroline and Beth both looks surprised and slightly scandalized as the scene progresses, with Sabrina and three of her female classmates stripping down to make out with the boys.
‘This is not our Sabrina!’ says Caroline.
The original show, which aired from 1996 to 2003, was extremely chaste and G-rated. At most, Sabrina would give Harvey a quick peck.
All hail Satan! The new show is certainly more sexually explicit, and the character Sabrina also gets up to some shadier activity (seen at her dark baptism)
‘We would have never allowed Sabrina to behave that way,’ Beth says of the new character’s Satan-worshiping ways
Girl power! ‘I like her, though. She’s very political, little Sabrina,’ Caroline says
And while the new show is certainly more sexually explicit, the character Sabrina also gets up to some shadier activity. Though Melissa’s Sabrina may have broken the rules to work in her favor — say, by conjuring a pair of new shoes — she never did anything too controversial.
Kiernan’s Sabrina, though, plots, gets revenge, and even commits acts of violence.
‘We would have never allowed Sabrina to behave that way,’ Beth says.
‘I like her, though. She’s very political, little Sabrina,’ Caroline answers. ‘She’s quite empowered.’
They also have some opinions about Salem the cat in the show. In the ’90s series, Salem was Salem Saberhagen, a cursed human who was sentenced to live as a cat in the Spellman home in punishment for plotting to take over the world.
In the new series, it’s Sabrina’s cousin Ambrose who is sentenced to (human) house arrest, and Salem the cat is her familiar, who stays close and protects her.
Purrfect! They also shared opinions about the nudity in the show, as well as Salem the cat
This new cat seems to be real — perhaps with the help of some CGI magic — whereas the old one was animatronic.
‘This Salem looks so much more real than our Salem did,’ says Beth.
‘We had the alcoholic rabbit wearing a hairpiece,’ says Caroline.
Finally, the actors shared their overall takes on the new show, with Melissa saying that for now she’d keep it from her kids Mason, 12, Braydon, 10, and Tucker, six.
‘I am not letting my kids watch this. They’d probably like this better, but I don’t think I’ll let them know about it just yet,’ she says.
‘It’s totally intriguing. It’s just very dark. It’s very different,’ says Beth.
Melissa points out how even the magic is unrecognizable, since the spells on her show involved sparkles and glitter coming out of her finger.
Fictional universe: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale are both based on the Archie comics
She also described the actors as ‘young and taught… and they have hair’ — pointing to Nate, who is now bald.
‘Hopefully that’s not the Harvey curse,’ Nate answers in a message to the new Harvey Kinkle, Ross Lynch.
Melissa had previously shared her opinion about the reboot when it was announced, saying she was glad they were changing it up from the original.
‘People kept asking for it, and they were already doing Riverdale, so I guess it made sense,’ she said.
‘I think they’re doing it in a smart way — change it up, don’t make it the same. If you’re going to do the same show, it probably would fall on its face, but I think what they’re doing is probably the smartest way to reboot something.’
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale are both based on the Archie comics.