The Netflix highlight: “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” Part 2. This second part is essentially a new season, but does follow overarching storylines from Part 1. The new episodes debuted on April 5.
Premise: A high school student (Kiernan Shipka) with a dark lineage balances a typical human life with a destiny to become a powerful witch. After signing her soul to the devil, the young witch fears endangering her high school friends, and so she retreats into the world of magic. Through the pursuit of dark arts, she encounters proudly evil characters, which can be narratively confusing. Evil is basically these magical beings’ religion, so there are “good” evil characters and “evil” evil characters.
Sum-up: “Sabrina” somehow finds a way to balance breezy, teen-focused stories with a nuanced focus on the devil. The combination of sappy love stories typical to the teen genre with action sequences involving witchcraft gives this the ability to narratively punch from two equally compelling angles. Despite the nearly hourlong episodes, the stories zip along due to this inventive combination. Plus, shows just don’t focus on the devil like this and so the extreme novelty makes this inherently interesting.
Heads-up: The dark arts references can be a little much. Instead of these characters just existing within their satanic world, characters will often speak dialogue that seems designed to remind the viewer of their evil-themed lives. For example, instead of a character exclaiming something like “Jesus!” the character will say “Satan!” These moments might be intentionally funny and work as jokes here and there, but the Satan-themed dialogue quirks happen with such frequency that the story loses internal realism.
Will everyone be talking about this? The first season earned a ton of buzz just a few months ago. Despite the loss of the Halloween tie-in by debuting in April, I think this will still command a large audience.
Read on for more recommendations and news from the week.
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Here’s the trailer:
What Else Is New This Week On Netflix
“Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” ― Hart is still controversial given the whole Oscars thing, but a new comedy special from arguably the biggest comedian right now is still an event of sorts.
“Unicorn Store” ― This is Brie Larson’s directorial debut. Larsen stars in this movie about a flailing artist alongside Samuel L. Jackson.
A Couple Of Netflix News Stories From This Week
2. “Orange Is the New Black” star Taylor Schilling revealed that Netflix used to encourage actors to not use the word “binge” because of its negative connotations with eating. As Schilling told Vulture, “We were told not to use that word, and redirect journalists when they’d say something like, ‘You can binge all the shows.’ We’d say, ‘No, you can watch them at your own pace.’” Schilling said that Netflix had stopped giving this instruction, but just last year Guy Pearce claimed Netflix still forbade the word. Perhaps a deep investigation is needed.
And here are the shows and movies that joined Netflix throughout the week:
- “Party of Five” (Seasons 1-6)
- “The Real Ghostbusters” (Seasons 1-5)
- “Across The Line”
- “All the President’s Men”
- “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)
- “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”
- “Freddy vs. Jason”
- “Friday the 13th” (2009)
- “I Am Legend”
- “Lakeview Terrace”
- “Monster House”
- “Pineapple Express”
- “Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon” (Season 2)
- “P.S. I Love You”
- “Spy Kids”
- “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D”
- “The Bone Collector”
- “The Fifth Element”
- “The Golden Compass”
- “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”
- “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2”
- “Ultraman” (Season 1, Netflix Anime)
- “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” (Netflix Original)
- “Suzzanna: Buried Alive” (Netflix Film)
- “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (Part 2, Netflix Original)
- “In The Shadows”
- “Legacies” (Season 1)
- “Our Planet” (Netflix Original)
- “Persona” (Collection, Netflix Original)
- “Roman Empire: Caligula: The Mad Emperor” (Netflix Original)
- “Spirit Riding Free” (Season 8, Netflix Original)
- “Tijuana” (Netflix Original)
- “Unicorn Store” (Netflix Film)