SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen all of the first season of Netflix’s ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, this article contains mild SPOILERS, so proceed with caution.
Have you made it through all ten episodes of the first season of ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ on Netflix? The long-awaited Archie Comics adaptation arrived on Netflix this past Friday, just in time for Halloween. Before this dark, horror-influenced adaptation is the second live action presentation to bring Sabrina Spellman and her friends and family to life on TV. From 1996-2003, ABC TV aired a sitcom version, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’, starring Melissa Joan Hart, which still holds a special place in the hearts of fans, including Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics and the creator and showrunner of ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ and ‘Riverdale’.
It turns out that Aguirre-Sacasa planned to pay tribute to the sitcom during a sequence in the fifth episode of ‘Chilling Adventures’. In that episode, Sabrina (played by Kiernan Shipka) and her family, her two Aunts, Hilda and Zelda (Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto, respectively) and cousin, Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) were attacked by a dream demon named Batibat (Megan Leitch). The Spellmans were all rendered unconscious, trapped in their worst nightmares.
In Sabrina’s nightmare, she is attacked by her boyfriend Harvey (Ross Lynch) and his family, who, as it turns out, are descended from a long line of witch hunters. Sabrina finds herself trapped inside of a medieval torture device called an Iron Maiden. But originally, Aguirre-Sacasa originally envisioned a different form of torture– being trapped in a sitcom.
Speaking to E! News, he revealed:
“Originally, I was going to do Sabrina’s nightmare as she’s trapped in a sitcom as an homage to the television show. I really was taken by that idea. My bosses said ‘listen, we love the ’90s show, we understand what you’re doing but give it a beat before you start doing stuff like that,’ and they were right. But originally Sabrina’s nightmare was going to be done in the style of the ’90s or a ’90s sitcom.”
Fans of the sitcom, however, spied another tribute to the ’90s series… or did they? In the first episode, Hilda and Zelda are shown putting together a jigsaw puzzle, which is an activity that the aunts, played by Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick, engaged in on the original show. But this scene in ‘Chilling Adventures’ was either unintentional or slipped past Aguirre-Sacasa.
“Wait, was that in the ’90s show? Oh my god, I didn’t know that. I didn’t consciously do that, no. No, it feels like an old fashioned co-dependent activity. I think that’s what it was but I love that it’s a homage to the show. I didn’t know that.”
While Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the pilot, it was directed by Lee Toland Krieger, so perhaps this activity was added after the original screenplay was completed.
A second season of ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is already in production. The first season is now available to stream on Netflix.