Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Enterprise is Great, Dec 1, 2017.
Bit of DC's Cain and Able in Zelda and Hilda's relationship.
Ah, of course! I knew that felt familiar.
I'm only partway through the first episode (going to have to wait on the rest, as I'm exhausted), but the two aunts' familiars are mentioned in passing in the first episode. I'm completely unfamiliar with any of these characters, so I'm still not sure which sister is which, sorry, but one has the dog, the other keeps spiders. No sign of one for Ambrose, but since he appears to be under some form of punishment or house arrest, maybe that's why?
Ah, okay, I must've missed those references. Well, I remember something with a dog but I don't think I realized he/she was one of the aunts' familiars. Ambrose's house arrest would make sense for why he doesn't have one.
I forgot about the dog, but now that you mention I do remember Zelda telling Sabrina she could pick a dog so they'd have another one in the house.
I didn't realize the spiders were meant to be Zelda's familiars or one of them at least.
The aunts are Zelda and Hilda, Zelda is Miranda Otto, who played Eowyn in Lord of the Rings, and Hilda is Lucy David, who played Etta Candy in Wonder Woman.
After a busy Saturday, I finally saw the first episode. It felt a bit derivative of Harry Potter. Sabrina is half-witch and half-mortal, just as the teenaged Harry was a half-blood wizard. The same can be said about the academy where Sabrina is going, which is similar to Hogwarts.
I can't say I cared for the overly dark Satanic references whenever the aunts colloquially said "Praise Satan." This has nothing to do with my beliefs. I've seen many "fantasy" series and movies about magic and witchcraft, including the current season of American Horror Story (Apocalypse). Few of them had references to devil worship, dark baptisms, and Dark Lords. And with AHS, such elements suit the plot centered on the Antichrist character, Michael Langdon.
Seeing the first episode made me feel like I was watching a Catholic program filled with overtly religious Judeo Christian connotations.
I'll continue to watch and see if I can get past all the theism.
First off, Harry P wasn't half-blood. His parents met at Hogwarts, though admittedly his mother was muggle born. He's a full wizard.
Then, more seriously, the theology was what interested me about this. I don't do horror having never got over the awful theological errors of the exorcist as a teenager. But I agreed to give this a go given a soft spot for Salem in the Melissa Hart version. I knew this wouldn't be anything like that, but Kev and I watched the first 2 episodes last night, so basically the set up episodes.
Spoiler: first 2 episodes
The interesting thing for me is the distinction between Satanism and Paganism. Satanism is basically an inversion of (largely medieval) Christianity. It takes the rituals and symbols and (in some cases quite literally) turns them on their head. It claims an anarchy that rejects the commands of Christianity in favour of "do what you will".
Paganism on the other hand is a collection of pre-Christian religions with their own rules, rituals and cultures. Little is known of the actual content of classic paganism, as the modern versions were largely reconstructed in the 19th and 20th centuries. But we do know they were fully rounded religions in their own right. The confusion of the two is the result of forced conversion by Christianity which deliberately conflated the deities of the religion they were replacing without the evil one of the UK incoming religion. So Satan gets the horns and cloven feet of Pan or the Horned God of the Celts.
Satanism has never been a force for much good. It is a deliberate inversion of the commands for compassion and selflessness which are at the core of the Judeo-Christian tradition, while it carefully avoids overturning their worst aspects. It retains the control of ordinary people by a powerful priesthood, and is every bit as profoundly patriarchal as its source material. I think Sabrina does a good job of presenting this, as she battles to be allowed her autonomy. The statement of weird sisters that the Dark Lord would never allow her to have power and freedom "because he's a man" captured the problems of religion designed to allow powerful men to rape, abuse and murder at will.
On the other hand, I think we see a hint of something different. We have little documentary evidence of original paganism, though what we have hints at a much more egalitarian society at least, if not actually matriachal. Modern paganism has embraced this, and become very much a religion of feminists, focussing worship on the Goddess primarily and supporting groups of women to gather for mutual support. Sabrina effectively chooses her women's group over the patriarchy of the religion being imposed by her family, and I'm sure it's no accident they name the group Wicca.
I really hope they continue this interesting take on the theology and don't just devolve into gore and spookiness "because we can". It has interesting things to say to religions and what they stand for.
Umm... Sabrina the Teenage Witch was created 35 years before Harry Potter. She wasn't retconned into a half-witch until the 1996 sitcom, but that was still one year before the first Potter novel came out.
I think the Academy of Unseen Arts is new, but one magic school is bound to be pretty much like another, and there were plenty of those in fantasy fiction before Hogwarts.
I guess you're not a fan of the Lucifer TV series, then.
Nope, it doesn't pique my interest, but I like Supernatural, even with its angels and demons theme. But the difference is that the premise of the series is entirely on the good-versus-evil struggle and the Winchesters' quest to hunt monsters. More importantly, the show is all-encompassing and doesn't just focus on one element such as magic.
I guess I was spoiled by the Harry Potter series all these years. I like my magic with no religious themes. It's entirely possible to enjoy fantasy (Lord of the Rings, several Disney films, Wizard of Oz, Once Upon a Time, et al) without any mention of God or Satan.
@Christopher, if you like Sabrina, you should really watch it. Is there any other reason other than it looks "too gruesome and gory," as you mentioned in the Riverdale Season 3 thread?
I have no feelings toward Sabrina one way or the other. I may have seen some of the old Filmation cartoons about her when I was a kid, as part of The Archies or The Groovie Goolies or something, but that was ages ago, and I never read the comics or watched any significant amount of the sitcom. I'm curious about another Robert Aguirre-Sacasa show because Riverdale is generally entertaining, and I think Kiernan Shipka is adorable, but I'm not a fan of horror, and this seems to be leaning heavily into the more gruesome aspects of horror.
I think you're wrong about Supernatural. Over the years they've shown good guys behaving badly, bad guys helping the good guys. The current bad guy is the Archangel Michael. They've gone out of their way to show Dean is wrong in his kill first, ask questions never approach to monsters. They've often teamed up with "the King of Hell" and killed Angels. The Men of Letters wiped out all monsters in the UK with tactics that the Winchesters hate despite the fact they basically want the same. They've been the cause of various Apocalypses through being very selfish. God left the Angels, Earth and the Universe to fend for themselves because he got bored.
It may be "Our Heroes VS whoever we define as the badguys" but it isn't necessarily Good vs Evil.
Hated the first episode. The dialogue was 90% exposition, and not in a first-30-minutes-of-Back-to-the-Future-where-it's-all-exposition-but-feels-like-natural-dialogue-in-the-moment kind of way. Critics say it starts really slow but gets a lot better, so I'll keep plugging away at it.
I just hope the, "As you know Cousin I, your cousin, have been under house arrest for 75 years for I, Cousin, am an immortal"-style dialogue is toned down in the coming episodes, because God damn that's some clunky ass exposition.
That Ambrose chap seems to be taken Salem’s role.
I wonder the lack of Salem is because of the actress allergy. I wonder if it was known before hand that she wouldn’t have got the role.
Three episodes in, and its decent. I like Sabrina and the magic story stuff, but the episodes always ground to a halt when she's doing normal high school stuff. The shithead principle really isn't all that compelling as a secondary antagonist, and if it wasn't for Michelle Gomez I might just skip all the scenes that are set in the high school.
Still, its generally pretty good. I wasn't sure it would be any good, since Riverdale is just generic CW show #4564c and I think this was done by some of the same people, but its a decent watch.
I believe I read somewhere that she didn't know about her allergy until after filming started. I noticed in the first episode that Sabrina never touched Salem after the scene where he first appeared, so I was wondering if maybe that was when she discovered her allergy, the hard way.
That is indeed the case. She mentioned it on one of those late night talk shows.
I finished episode 4 yesterday. I was really hoping that once Sabrina went to the academy that she would be doing magic. That’s what I want: spells, rituals, potions, flying, etc. And almost at the halfway point in the season there is none of that.
Maybe all the magic happens in the next few episodes but I can’t sit through anymore. None of the characters stand out to me either and I find the show to be very boring. I was REALLY looking forward to it but it’s been a big disappointment.
Just finished the season.
All in all some nice character arcs for the main cast and some very pretty shots.
It gets more prominent at the end, but it is a long way off from the Harry Potter "magic density".
And it seems to mostly involve summoning something, usually a murdering monster, or trading something of equal value in a ritual.
So for me it's not a great series, but good enough to watch a second season.
I really enjoyed it despite not knowing much about comic origins (and zero interest in watching Riverdale) but vague memories of MJH TV show. Great casting and some intriguing plot development (+ nuBSG actors!). Genuinely looking forward to second season.
Watched episode 2 today.
The stuff with Sabrina, the Weird Sisters, and the jocks was good.
Sabrina's Dark Baptism played out pretty much the way I expected. Definitely very curious what'll happen to Sabrina now.
Separate names with a comma.