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Many things have been happening to me in the last year. Some good, some bad and a lot of them Television based. What else is a 24 (soon to be 25, eep) year old man supposed to do with his spare time? Gym was out thanks to the extensive tattoo work healing up; food was out due to gym being out. Friends were... well, mostly borrowing my DVDs because I've got all the things they wish they had but aren't geeky enough to actually buy.
One such DVD was season 1 of Sabrina the teenage witch. Anyone who had a television in the last 15 years has probably seen this epic show. Anyone who had money to throw round in the last few years will have been faithfully collecting all 7 seasons. I fit into both categories.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch began life as a comic book series of the same name. There was also an animated series in 1970s called (at least for the first season) Sabrina and the Groovy Goolies (watch me swiftly avoid that joke about Scottish slang for men's parts) which later changed its name to match the comic in its next 3 seasons.
In 1996 the show was given another facelift with the TV movie of the same name, featuring Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina for the first time. After the success of the TV movie they decided to make it into a series. This made me a happy pre-teen and gave me something to waste my time on right up till 2003 when the show eventually came to an end.
---What's going on?---
For those who are not in the know, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a sit-com aimed at kids about a girl called Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart). Just before she turns 16 she is sent to live with her weird aunts Hilda (Caroline Rhea ) and Zelda (Beth Broderick) and their talking cat Salem (Nick Bakay). After a few random paranormal incidents, the aunts reveal to Sabrina that she is, in fact, a witch. And a teenage one at that.
---Who'd have guessed?---
Sabrina has been given to her aunts so they can teach her their witchy ways. As you can imagine, giving a 16 year old any sort of power over their surroundings can result in a huge mess. Rather than the usual drunken parties, breaking stuff, becoming a moody Goth and developing a penchant for overly loud distasteful music (ahh, memories) Sabrina opts for turning people into goats, pineapples and everything in between. Don't ask me what goes between goats and pineapples though.
---Smells like teen spirit---
As well as the normal teenage battles such as what to wear (dealt with in a montage at the start of every episode followed with some terrible puns) and who to date (Harvey, the cute little soon to be studly type, aka Nate Richert) Sabrina also has to deal with the challenge of not revealing her true identity to anyone at risk of turning into something generally unpleasant. This can lead to some fantastic moments such as trying to convince her very first best friend Jenny that she is dreaming when she wanders into "The Other Realm" and gets turned into a cricket.
---You Oughtta know---
If you don't have kids or haven't seen this, I will admit that it is possibly a little cheesy. The acting (as to be expected with most Children's TV) isn't always great and the story lines are always completely ridiculous. I would say, however, that most people will develop a love for the show. It never takes its self seriously and there are lots of little things thrown in for the enjoyment of adults. Both my parents, for example, when presented with the fact I had purchased the box set, fondly remembered it as the only decent show that me and my brothers constantly forced them to watch!
The show its self actually grows more mature as the seasons go on with the humour still being a touch cheesy but more adult. The first season, however, is squarely built as children's entertainment and the only real story that runs through it is the fact that Sabrina really likes Harvey and Sabrina really doesn't like Libby (the popular school bully).
---Inside of Me---
So, what do you get in the box set? Not hellish much to be perfectly honest. You get 4 discs with all 24 episodes of season 1 which last about 25 minutes each (as you would expect) but absolutely no extras what so ever. The inside cover will give you the list of episodes and a synopsis. This is it. No special commentaries, no out takes or bloopers. Not even an introduction from any of the characters.
Slightly annoying, but then you remember that you can get this box set new from £8.99 depending on where you shop (which actually annoys me more since it was more like £17 when I bought it). One thing I do feel the need to mention is that the makers have kept the covers of all the subsequent boxes similar. Yep, I'm that anal They do change the colour of each season but the general theme is the same so it looks a lot better sitting on your shelf.
---For what its worth---
Overall I'd say that for any Sabrina fan, this is definitely worth getting. I mean COME ON! It's your childhood in a box set! All the other seasons have been released so there's no need to worry that you won't be able to get the others.
For those who don't know the show, it's still worth it, more so if you have kids to enjoy it with. It's a very family friendly, child friendly and adult friendly box set (all different things, by the way). I'll be giving it 4 stars due to the complete lack of extras, but all in all a great little addition to any DVD collection.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch is an American comedy that is based on a comic book series which I had never heard of until this show was created.
This great teenage show originally aired in 1996, when Melissa Joan Hart, who plays the main character, was only little. You can really see her change over the series!
The show follows sixteen year old teenage witch Sabrina who goes to live with her two Aunts who are witches. She soon discovers that she too is a witch - a half witch on her father's side.
She is guided through her new world and new powers by her Aunts. Helped along by the family cat Salem.
A talking cat who used to be a warlock (played by Nick Bakay). He was imprisoned as a cat because he tried to take over the world. He is always mourning the loss of his powers and when he comes across a little bit of magic he goes crazy over it and tries to take over the world again!
Salem is a great character, really funny and entertaining and his crying voice is hilarious.
The object of Sabrina's affections, Harvey has always been Sabrina's sweetheart and their relationship is lovely.
The evil cheerleader who is Sabrina's nemesis.
She constantly picks on Sabrina spreading rumours about her and taunting her at every opportunity.
The first season of Sabrina The Teenage Witch on DVD features 4 discs of 505 minutes playtime in total. It is rated "U", meaning that all of the family can enjoy this.
£12-£15 is the average price on places like Play.com and Amazon.co.uk
The show is aimed at teenagers but we grown ups love it too. Sometimes its a bit cheesy and predictable but its a good show for teaching kids lessons as there's always a moral to the episodes.
Sabrina is faced with typical teenage dilemmas like getting her first wart and boy problems! I like this show because the missus loves it and watches it all the time saying its reminds her of her childhood!
The comedy is a bit trying too hard sometimes and the laughter track reflects this too but overall it is a funny show and certainly entertaining. There's nothing in it that you wouldn't want your kids to see and i think the lessons are a usually great lessons for teens.
We see Sabrina struggle with all sorts of life lessons and how she learns to be more patient, control bad moods and stay positive.
Overall a great family comedy show.
Sabrina, The Teenage Witch is an American comedy that is based on the Archie comic of the same name. Originally aired in 1996, the first season followed sixteen year old teenage witch Sabrina [played by Melissa Joan Hart] as she copes with her new powers, whilst living with her two witch Aunts, and their talking cat, Salem.
It is evident that each episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch trys to adopt a moral stance, with Sabrina learning important lessons about relationships, manners, etc by the end of each episode. Also Sabrina is faced with typical teenage dilemmas, such as crushes and arkwardness. Everything that she is faced with is done to comedic effect, accompanied with canned laughter.
Season One sets up the main cast members, and introduces the audience to the problems that Sabrina will face during her time as a new witch. From her high school crush Harvey, to her cheerleading nemesis Libby, fitting in at a new school and struggling to appear normal despite her magical secret, there is plenty here that any teenager would relate to.
Much of the shows comedy comes from the character of Salem, the talking cat [voiced by Nick Bakay]. Salem was a warlock who, after a failed attempt to take over the world, was sentenced to live on as a cat.
Nowadays special effects have advanced significantly, so the special effects used in Sabrina may seem a little dated. However, this is not too much of a problem, as nothing is bad enough to ruin the episode, although it is obvious that the talking scenes with Salem clearly show him to be a puppet.
The first season of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch on DVD features 4 discs spanning 505 minutes in total. It is rated "U", meaning that all of the family should enjoy this. It is sold for a reasonable price of around £12-£15 in most retail outlets. Play.com and Amazon.co.uk both sell it with free postage and packaging, with the option to gift wrap it if you would like this as a Christmas gift on the latter.
Season One may not be the funniest of Sabrina seasons, but it is still very enjoyable. It is the season that sets up the characters, locations and situations that Sabrina regularly encounters throughout the other seasons. Salem provides the most laughs, and the acting is great from all cast members. Sabrina, The Teenage Witch was one of the best children's shows from the nineties that also managed to appeal to the other generation. OK, the fashions and some of the effects may seem a little dated now, but no charm has been lost, meaning that generations to come can still enjoy it. For those who watched it back when the series was originally on, watch this with fond memories. Old live-action shows do not get better than this.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch was easily one of the best comedy series of the 1990's. Melissa Joan Hart's wonderful performance as the title character was both endearing and funny, quickly earning the series a cult following of children, teenagers and some adults.
On her sixteenth birthday, Sabrina Spellman is told by her two aunts, Hilda and Zelda - whom she has just started living with after her parents divorce and are out of the country because of their adventurous jobs - that she is a witch, as are they and her Father. At first she does not believe them and laughs it off as a lame joke, then leaves for her first day at a new high school. However, when she gets into a confrontation with Libby, the most popular girl in her high school, she somehow manages to turn her into a pineapple just by pointing at her. Understandably, Sabrina changes her mind and realises that her Aunts were telling the truth all along.
The first series follows Sabrina's mastering of her powers, her trying to juggle high school life, various trips to the Other Realm - the witch world that can be travelled to through the linen closet in her Aunts' house - as well as friendships and romance. It is not the funniest series of the programme, but is very entertaining nonetheless, often offering laugh out loud moments, mainly involving Salem the cat, voiced by Nick Bakay.
The release of this series on DVD is ideal for reminding yourself of which shows were cool in the past and of how good Sabrina the Teenage Witch really was. The series is magical, original, intirguing and downright entertaining and is well worth a look.
Review also posted on Amazon.