REVIEW: Watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on YouTube
Posted on December 30, 2008 by Suzanne Sutherland
It’s just about blizzarding outside. It’s just about blizzarding outside and I live in a charming but kinda dinky basement apartment. So it’s hella-snowing outside, I live underground, and as such there is little else in this world that I want to do more than curl up with my laptop and watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch on YouTube.
Second only to Josie and the Pussycats in terms of live-action adaptations of peripheral Archie comic characters, Sabrina succeeds at more than simply following the obligatory format of a family-friendly high school-centred sit-com, though it definitely does. What makes the show so magic – heh, you get it… do you get it? – is its complete irrationality, and the ability to explain away any potential plot holes with the fact that Sabrina and her aunts Hilda and Zelda are witches. Narrative gold!
Sabrina’s best friend from the show’s first season (Jenny, a pretty girl with curly hair and countercultural leanings) disappears without an explanation to be replaced by a far inferior pal (the neurotic and co-dependent Valerie) in the second season. But who cares? Look, a cameo by Davey Jones from the Monkees! Paul Feig (Sabrina’s cynical science teacher in season one)’s absence is never noted either, when yet another neurotic lady is brought in to fill the shoes of a well-liked character from season one. But, hey, here’s Penn and Teller! One of the most important lessons I have gleaned from this well-structure show is that there is virtually no problem that a surprise visit from Eric Estrada can’t solve. Though I already had a hunch about that one.
There are countless other nerd reasons why I genuinely love this show, even though it clearly jumped the shark when they made the grievous error of sending Sabrina to college (hey, Degrassi: The Next Generation, are you listening?). I mean, come on! Melissa Joan Hart’s Sabrina and her subsequent role as a teen starlet in such exceptional films as Drive Me Crazy and Can’t Hardly Wait totally cement that TGIF ideal of my early adolescence, when watching 20/20, which aired at 10 o’clock on ABC after Sabrina and its cohorts, made you so totally in the know with how the world really was. Not to mention the fact that Sabrina’s father in the show is the same actor who provided the voice for Prince Alexander in the stunning 1992 point-and-click adventure game King’s Quest VI, which also had a solid hand in the formation of the socially graceful, upright citizen I am today.
So, in conclusion… oh man, I don’t know. In conclusion, I will never find love because I spend my time watching sit-coms from when I was twelve on YouTube and can identify the voice actors of computer game characters that spent half of the game telling you, “I don’t want to pick that up.” Good grief.