Another generation of teenagers will be growing up with a whole new Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and it’s pretty exciting.
Adults everywhere are having nostalgia thrust in their faces. From Will & Grace (1998) returning for another season, to Hollywood creating another instalment of Jumanji (1995). But millennials everywhere are now dusting off their pointy witch hats in anticipation for the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996).
Unfortunately, the original Sabrina Spellman herself, Melissa Hart won’t be coming back. In fact, none of the cast will return as it’s a total reboot. It’s rumoured to be much darker than the original sitcom, and this time Sabrina has always known she’s a witch, rather than finding out on her 16th birthday. It may not be the same as the original, but it’s still got the nostalgic feels circulating.
Eloise Gordon was a huge fan of the show growing up, and her reaction to the news of the show being remade resembles many fans excitement. “Sabrina though?! Taking me way wayyy back,” she says. “I used to bloody love it! I’m definitely intrigued to see what it will be like.”
“Sabrina though?! Taking me way wayyy back, I used to bloody love it! I’m definitely intrigued to see what it will be like.”
However, as exciting as it is, it’s part of a long list of stories either being carried on or redone. The trailers for the new Lara Croft and Jumanji films have been released, and are being met with mostly positive anticipation. The new Will & Grace season is set to reach our screens in October 2017 and the excitement among fans is paramount. Could the 90s finally be looked at as a cool decade?
It certainly wasn’t the most fashionable time, with The Spice Girls leading the way in tacky dresses, blindingly colourful accessories and brick-like platform shoes. And although this was the time of Britpop, with Oasis and Blur fighting it out to be top of the charts, the 90s also brought us Backstreet Boys – needless to say, it was hardly the golden era of music.
Could it be that we’ve finally found something the 90s can be proud of? A time when story-telling was at its peak, when honest and truthful representations of kids and teenagers actually started to exist. A decade where people going through that God damn awful thing called puberty, were offered something that helped them get through such a horrid time.
Sabrina is a perfect example of a teenage girl being represented as a teenage girl. She suffered from real every-day issues like spots, bullies and failing a test. She was relatable to the majority of young girls in school or college who previously struggled to find a realistic role model. She wasn’t the prettiest or the coolest, despite being an awesome witch, but even that brought problems. The constant anxiety she had over whether to tell people, and if she did, what they’ll think of her, isn’t dissimilar to a teenager of any gender coming to terms with their sexuality.
She was relatable to the majority of young girls in school or college who previously struggled to find a realistic role model.
The show did an original and stand-out job at representing a teenage girl, but that wasn’t all. Sabrina’s aunts whom she lived with – Hilda and Zelda – were both single sisters living together with no biological children of their own. Although they appeared to be somewhere in their 30s or 40s, they were witches, and therefore were hundreds of years old. There was never even a whiff of a storyline implying that either of them regretted not having their own children or settling with a partner. In fact, they seemed pretty bloody happy with their lives.
But there’s more!
Salem was basically their pet cat (although technically it was a criminally-convicted human trapped in a cat’s body as his punishment for trying to take over the world). Black cats are chosen for adoption the least out of all cats, and often returned to shelters when people decide they aren’t photogenic enough. The superstition of a black cat bringing bad luck unfortunately causes many black cats to live out their lives in animal shelters. The choice of Salem having black fur took this stereotype and chucked it in the bin. It showed that black cats are just as cute and charismatic as any.
Lauren Oxley was a fan of the show, mainly because of her love for Salem, not just for his representation of pets, but also the character itself. “It was the fact that it was a talking cat,” she says. “But it wasn’t the typically animated animal you saw on TV at the time, it was more ‘realistic’. And he was rather witty.”
“It wasn’t the typically animated animal you saw on TV at the time, it was more ‘realistic’. And he was rather witty.”
Here’s the thing. This show had three women as the main characters, it included older adult women that were happily single with no children. It was brave, original, and representative, and let’s be honest; we all wanted to live in the Spellman house.
It’s no wonder it’s being re-created, and along with other shows and films making a comeback, it proves the 90s wasn’t just about side ponytails being held together by scrunchies. Long live the 90s!