Saturday, October 12, 2013

On The Air: Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch (2013)

France's Moonscoop Studios has supplied The Hub with a few series in the network's three year history (i.e. Twisted Whiskers, Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures), but as we've documented, they also have acquired a bad reputation when it comes to licensed series based on comic books, such as Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes.

That bad rep has spoiled their latest, Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch, which bowed today on The Hub. The series was originally promised for the summer, but apparently, someone at The Hub decided to hold it until now, to get it close to Halloween as possible. Either that, or Moonscoop needed more time to have enough episodes in the can to bring the series forward. Either way, the end result is a major disappointment.

In this series, Sabrina (Ashley Tisdale, Phineas & Ferb, ex-Suite Life of Zack & Cody) moves freely between our world and the Magical World (formerly known as the Other Realm in the live-action series and its animated spinoffs, from 1996-2003). In the latter, she's a princess, destined to one day rule the Magical World as its queen. Enchantra covets what Sabrina has, and plots to keep her in the Magical World, where she and her son can steal Sabrina's birthright. Making matters worse, Enchantra has conscripted the Spellman family familiar, Salem, as a double agent. Not good.

Meanwhile, Sabrina's Aunt Zelda has reverted to her original appearance as a plus sized sorceress, which is how we were introduced to her many years ago. Aunt Hilda doesn't have the elongated nose like she did in the Filmation series, but instead remains more human in appearance. Just the same, the sisters advise and remind Sabrina that she can't risk her dual heritage in front of humans.

I had high hopes for this series, but after the first few minutes, I just couldn't stick with it. The writers didn't bother doing any research, and I just don't like the idea of Sabrina having to deal with Enchantra and her spoiled brat son on a weekly basis. On the mortal plane, the Spellmans remain based in Greendale, the setting for the previous series. While it worked for the sitcom, it doesn't work here. Sabrina is also a major player in a new Archie Comics series that launched earlier this week (which might be another reason for the delay with this show), and, of course, in that book, Sabrina returns to the short, platinum blond hair she had when we first met her more than 40 years ago. I digress.

Right now, all we have for you is a promo ad from the Hub's YouTube channel. On the show, I believe Ashley Tisdale also sings the show's theme song. Here's the promo:

If it gets renewed beyond this season, it's a miracle. Rating: C+.


magicdog said...

I caught part of the episode and I'm not impressed.

I was surprised that Harvey wasn't Sabrina's crush this time (don't know if that will change) and more surprised they had a magical oopsie affect him for the duration! However, this princess deal is something new even though everything else seems firmly rooted in the incarnations that came before - magic school/living in two worlds, etc.

At least H&Z aren't kids this time around.

hobbyfan said...

As I wrote earlier, what worked for me is that Zelda at least was restored to her original appearance. Sabrina looks better with the short, platinum 'do. The Hub's having bad luck with acquisitions of late, don't you think?

Oh, I think inevitably, they'll get around to Sabrina & Harvey hooking up. They just didn't want to make it obvious right away. I think that's part of why it's gotten a negative reaction.

It would be even better if they let the Spellmans and Harvey's family move back to Riverdale. However, since Moonscoop also has a license for an Archie show next year, I dread what they'll do with him and his friends.