After the first two parts showed a lot of potential and sometimes were quite fun, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Part 3 (January, Netflix) is more of a slog to get through, even though it’s eight episodes instead of the usual 10. Or maybe it’s because of the lower episode count but slightly longer episodes. The writers lean into the “Gilmore Girls” approach of telling as much story as they feel like in one sitting, but “Sabrina” should ideally use the “Buffy” approach with an act-based structure.
The “Riverdale” empire expands further with its second spinoff, “Kate Keene” (Thursdays, CW), about three gals and a gay dude trying to make it big in New York City in their various careers that just happen to be perfect for dramatic TV portrayals. In the pilot episode, Michael Grassi’s series – based on a title character who debuted in Archie Comics in 1945 – does some good things and some bad things. Your verdict will come down to whether or not “Katy” is your thing.
Here are my 10 favorite characters from the last 12 months of television, from networks to cable to streaming, counting down from 10 to 1:
On the “Buffy” fan Facebook page I frequent, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (Netflix) is often mentioned when someone asks “What’s a new show that’s sort of like ‘Buffy?’ ” It’s hard to resist the comparisons. After all, the nine episodes of Season 1, Part 2 end with (spoilers follow) …
Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is easiest to describe to a newcomer if they are familiar with “Riverdale.” It’s like “Riverdale” but with witchcraft and likeable characters. Those two elements are what make “Sabrina” the more interesting show, but it shares “Riverdale’s” foundation of moody cinematography and an ephemeral sense of time and place. As a horror-tinged show (though not a scary one), those elements work perfectly on “Sabrina.”
There are more good shows on TV than ever, but the traditional fall season has become the dumping ground for the least exciting new series – perhaps because they need the extra buzz of Fall TV Previews more than something with the cachet of an “Atlanta” or a “Fargo.” Still, some quality series rise to the surface: Recent years have given us “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “This Is Us,” along with glitzy franchise entries like “The Gifted” and assorted MCU efforts (“Iron Fist” and “Daredevil” boast new seasons this fall).
Since I have for some bizarre reason watched every episode of “Supergirl” (now in Season 3) and “Riverdale” (now in Season 2), I might as well get a blog post out of it by asking: “Which is the dumber show?” It’s kind of like deciding whether the Patriots or Eagles are the team worth rooting for in the Super Bowl: It’s a brain-spinner.
Here are my 10 favorite TV characters at the moment, as the traditional season winds down and the summer season begins:
The Archie Comics gang debuted in 1941 and still hold their place as American high school archetypes. They made the leap to cartoons in the ’60s, to a TV movie in 1990 (“To Riverdale and Back Again”) and to a live-action series in the mid-’90s (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”). Those adaptations were tame and straightforward. But recently, creative types have found that the Archie material and characters can provide a solid foundation for modern social commentary, with a more serious comic line launching in 2015 and the murder mystery TV serial “Riverdale” debuting last month on The CW.
“Riverdale’s” (9 p.m. Eastern, Thursdays, The CW) broad strokes will be familiar to anyone who’s seen a high school drama TV series or movie before, but it has a few elements that might make it worth keeping it on your DVR schedule awhile. It’s loosely based on the current, mature run of the “Archie” comic book (and indeed, the show is helmed by the comic’s Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa), it looks visually different from any other current show, and it features a murder mystery.