Over the last part of the Nineties and the early turn of the 21st century Melissa Joan Hart was a popular fixture on television in a series based on characters from Archie comics. This was light-hearted comedy of the teen variety before females like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens dominated the pre-teen television world. Don’t expect deep emotions here (though there are some important lessons to be learned) rather enjoy the easy laughs that dominated TGIF on ABC’s Friday night line-up.
Melissa Joan Hart is likeable and has decent comedic talent. She forged quite a career being the cute girl next door. She made a story about a witch very accessible. Sabrina is a good role model for young girls as she does not do anything to fit in. Rather she stays true to who she is and retains her individuality.
Sixteen-year-old Sabrina Spellman (played by Melissa Joan Hart) has just found out she is a witch. Half witch and half mortal. As if her plate wasn’t full enough she also has other things to worry about like adjusting to a new school, getting a boy named Harvey (played by Nate Richert) to notice her and getting along with the most popular girl in school, Libby (played by Jenna Leigh Green), who seems bent on making Sabrina’s life miserable. To help her through it all are her aunts who are also witches, Zelda (played by Beth Broderick) and Hilda (played by Caroline Rea). There to…well, really to do nothing is talking black cat, Salem (voiced by Nick Bakay). Her life is so filled with magic that she wishes for normalcy.
Even after she is no longer the new girl in school being a witch still keeps the teenager’s hands full. Thankfully she has friends like Jenny (played by Michelle Beaudoin) and Valerie (played by Lindsay Sloane) to help her through. A good thing because life at school becomes even trickier as vice-principal Mr. Kraft (played by Martin Mull) keeps a close eye on her.
Despite the fact that this was not a series that really tested a thespian’s muscles it was popular with actors and as such attracted high profile guest stars like Brian Cranston, Eddie Cibrian, Brian Austin Green, Shelley Long, Drew Carey, Loni Anderson, Davey Jones, and Erik Estrada.
-Previews of Classic Television Comedies