25 years later I remember ‘Sabrina, The Teenage Witch’

Showing a talking cat and a teenage girl the insane effect of a mantra that makes unpleasant Lima beans disappear or prevents school bullies from spreading false propaganda may not seem as fun as Friday night for people growing up in the tick age. But in 1996, Sabrina, the teenage witch There were appointment views for 17 million families.

Starring Melissa Joan Hart, Nickelodeon makes her star-studded turn as the title character Clarissa explained everything, Sabrina, the teenage witch Everything is there – a female protagonist with humor, heart, magic, and extraordinary powers has the same insecurity as her young audience.

That’s partly because Sabrina, who lived with her assistants 600-year-old aunts Zelda and Hilda (Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea), only knew that at the beginning of the series she was half a witch of magical powers, when she was 16 years old. So, while she’s struggling to fine-tune her medicine, she’s also going through an important time in her life when she wakes up in high school, crashing, impending femininity and more.

“What’s the matter?” Sabrina asks in frustration at 14M Episode 1. That’s the thing. ”

Its a revolutionary idea Sabrina Is he a good boy? … he, like me, wanted to be good at school, and a good man.

It has to do with this kind of reflection, bizarre and equal measure, which humanizes both the depiction of the heart as well as the human. Sabrina Continuous. This includes co-producer and Season 1 presenter, Nell Scovel, a TV veteran whose writing credits include Murphy Brown, Coach, And Newheart. In a zoom call from Los Angeles, he told, “I wanted to do a show that I loved watching as a kid.” “And its a revolutionary idea Sabrina Is he a good boy? She doesn’t want to be a cheerleader [or] Popular He also wanted to be good at school like me and was a good man.

It’s been 25 years Sabrina, the teenage witch Has premiered on ABC. It ran for seven seasons ending in 2003. Scovel initially seemed humble about his influence and helped the series, which he adopted from the original Archie comics. “It’s just that these old sitcom troupes were running with this extra twist of magic,” he says. “There’s no date for her prom, so her aunts make one out of flour like one.” Scovel can’t help but recall the sixth episode of the first season titled “Dream Date” with guest star Brian Austin Green.

But sitcom comfort, and it will quickly become – a teen classic that is not like the old classics, Fascinated, Depicts a young witch who is encouraged to use, not to hide her abilities – which made it so extraordinary. “What was so funny to me was the twist,” Scovel admits.

Melissa Joan Hart Sabrina, teenage witch

Randy HolmesGetty Images

Scovel will choose many choices in his single-season tu term Sabrina And later in his career he was directly influenced by some women who wanted him to grow up later-Fascinated. “But the difference between a show from the 60’s and a show from the 90’s that grew up in the 70’s and had Gloria Steinom in her life,” she says. “It was, ‘Be careful about your abilities, but we encourage you to use them.'”

The intent for Scowell also comes from her experience in the power of a business run by a man in a position of power as a woman. She felt the need to keep the show realistic – it even creates a splash of truth and has characters who chat with a talking picture framed on their kitchen wall.

As Scovell details in his 2018 book, Just the fun part: A And some hard facts about getting into the Hollywood Boys Club, He received pushbacks from Viacom executives Steve Gordon and Chris Sanagastin about saving Sabrina’s dying mother to avoid the dead mother’s trope (although he was rarely on the show). “It just seemed so sad,” Scovel explained with a laugh. “We were a comedian, and I wanted to make sure you were comfortable with the idea that you were living with her aunts and that her dad could only make her available through books. [referring to the Magic Book where her father, Edward, appears via a portrait inside]. ”

It was, ‘Be careful about your abilities, but we encourage you to use them.’

This means that the first three names on the call sheet were women, which was virtually unheard of at the time. They are joined by a co-executive producer and two supervising producers who are all women. “Golden Girls, Designed for women, And Murphy Brown The male executive was the producer, “she says.” Susan Harris, Linda Bloodworth-Thomson and Diane English all worked with their husbands who made the executive their show. “She added with a laugh,” My husband is an architect. “

Scovel’s fiercely independent approach starred in countless stories, including 16M The first season episode, “Mars Attacks”, is one of his personal favorites. When Sabrina is miserable on a vacation to Mars with her aunts because she is away from her boyfriend Harvey (Nut Richard), until she meets a hot ski instructor (David Chokachi) who tries to sweep her off her feet.

“He touched her hand and began to take a step on her,” Scowell recalls vividly. “He stopped her and [is like], No. When Harvey touches me, it feels a certain way. When you touched me, I didn’t feel it, so I’m not moving forward anymore. What surprised me was that the scene was a really good model of consent.

Sabrina is a teenage witch

Randy HolmesGetty Images

Even today, Scovel finds himself taking a decision-making break and reconsidering, even though he was subconscious, while creating a show that was naturally light and fun. “I couldn’t think, In this scenario, we will model consent“But when you have a female performer – I wrote that episode too – and it’s part of your living experience and the way you want the world to work, you can show it to the audience.”

By the same token, he notes Just the fun part That very specific living experience he portrayed in the first season Sabrina Despite the opportunity for Sicily Tyson to play the role of Hilder, people of color in the main character have been left out. He writes, “I am aware of all the excuses I can make to justify homosexuality, because they have all been made against me on male-centric shows.” “I had the opportunity to include more voices and I didn’t try hard enough. That was a mistake. ”

On the zoom, he repeats that regret. “It’s a lack of imagination,” he says simply.

Thinking further about this, he added, “I was stuck with the idea that they were a family, so their skin color should be the same. For me, there were some ethical licenses because we came later. Family matters. I think the feeling was that this show had a black family, and we have a white family, and that’s okay.

Clearly intuitive, Scowell realizes that it was insightful, noting the significance of the inclusive ceremony. Hamilton. “The diversity we see today has only improved TV,” he says. And to be fair, the whiteness of 90s television had spread far and wide Sabrina Per Party of Five,. Beverly Hills,. And countless others. “Buffy vampire killer Was super white and Mohit Very, ”Scovel said, referring to the next series that he went on to write a few years later Sabrina. Honestly, most of the shows-Murphy Brown, Coach, Newheart. It was cultural bias, and it was wrong.

When Sabrina It had flaws (some lines of dialogue are still particularly dated today) that it is credited with breaking all expectations for what a sitcom can achieve about a teenage witch. This includes 23rd The first episode of “The Crucible” is an episode in which Sabrina Selim faces the illusion of a magical trial – and, increasingly, women and girls like her are seen separately in the original setting in a mock hearing on a class trip.

Although Scovel said high school was “not the happiest experience” for him, he may have been interested in returning to Netflix’s Sabrina World. Sabrina’s Chilling Adventures He was asked, especially when Broderick and Rhea were guest-starred in the 2020 series.

Sabrina's cool thrill

Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea Sabrina’s Chilling Adventures On Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix

It could also be an opportunity for him to be part of a character’s iteration to modernize from the source material, and it was further updated for today’s demand for on-screen inclusion. Still, he notes that the Netflix series picks up a lot from the 90s show.

“They use my IP,” he says. “It broke me because their last name in the book, Spellman, came from Irving Spellman, my father’s best friend. And the story behind Sabrina being a dying mother and a sorceress for a father – it wasn’t in the comic book. I made it for our series.” I did.

That said, he only watched the first few episodes Cold. “It was obviously hard for me to appreciate what they were doing, because I was always comparing it. [to my version]. ”

Nonetheless, Scovel acknowledges the value of a character who has endured for decades and finds new relevance with a constantly evolving audience who are in favor of propensity and adolescent warfare against masculinity. “Every generation gets Sabrina They deserve, ”he says,“ and it’s cool time. “

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