It's been over two decades since Sabrina the Teenage Witch first hit our screens -- first in TV movie form, before becoming a TGIF regular. The show follows the turbulent life of Sabrina Spellman (Melissa Joan Hart), who on her 16th birthday discovers that she's a witch and moves in with her aunts Hilda (Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Broderick) in the fictional town of Westbridge, Massachusetts. As our heroine navigated the dual worlds of high school and the "Other Realm," Sabrina introduced a generation of kids to the importance of witch's licenses, talking cats, and the magical world in the linen closet.
Still, a show that centers on a teenager with magical powers is bound to have a few plot holes here and there, and as much as we loved Sabrina, its final season (way back in 2003!) left plenty of unanswered questions. So, take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as we explore 14 (really annoying) queries we still have about Sabrina – from disappearing friends to a potential comeback and more!
14 Whatever happened to Jenny?
Jenny Kelly (Michelle Beaudoin) was Sabrina’s best friend in the first season, a fellow “freak” (as popular girl Libby, played by Jenna Leigh Green, so lovingly called them), and the one who introduced our hero to on-off beau, Harvey Kinkle (Nate Richert). She was also Sabrina’s bestie in the TV movie, which served as the series' unofficial pilot. However, at the end of Season One, Jenny upped and vanished without a trace, and no reason was given for her disappearance.
Well, it turns out that Jenny was collateral damage in a game of office politics. In an interview with the Huffington Post last year, Melissa Joan Hart said: “Season by season, our show’s cast would come and go based on audience reaction, and sometimes there’d be dispute about contracts and negotiations as far as payment goes for certain actors. And just bringing in a fresh perspective from a different character.”
Likeability wasn't the only factor in whether or not a character stuck around, of course. “If a writer develops a character, but that writer’s gone and there’s bad blood, they might get rid of the character they developed, so they didn’t have to pay them anymore,” Hart revealed. Poor Jenny.
13 What about the whole “witches receive all the knowledge in the universe” thing when they get their license?
For those whose memory is a bit fuzzy, a witch’s license is a card given to magically-inclined young women who pass all the tests set by their Quiz Master, as well as solve their “family secret.” (Sabrina’s is “every member of the Spellman family is born with a twin.”) Supposedly, when a witch gets her license, she receives all the knowledge in the universe, plus the ability to vote in elections in the Other Realm -- not that any teenager would really care about that.
However, Sabrina doesn’t seem to know anything new after passing her trials, and she demonstrates the same bad decision-making she did before she passed (such as the spell that makes her say “yes” every time she is asked out, or the magical skates she gives Harvey to help him win a hockey game). Plus, her aunt Hilda definitely doesn’t know everything there is to know, and it would make Zelda’s scientific research career pointless if everything there was to be discovered already had been.
12 Why could Sabrina still not see her mother after she turns 18?
When a 16-year-old Sabrina gets her powers at the beginning of the series, she is also informed that she can’t see her mom Diana Spellman until she turns 18. If she breaks this rule, her mom would turn into a ball of wax, as a punishment for her parent’s mortal-witch marriage. However, even after her 18th birthday has long gone, Sabrina still can’t see her mother, as seen in the Season Six episode “The Whole Ball of Wax.” Diana has been spying on Sabrina from a distance to check up on her now college-aged daughter, but when Sabrina realizes the stalker is her mom, Diana is given a waxy new form. The pair then spend some very physically awkward quality time together before Sabrina and her aunts figure out how to turn her back.
Nevertheless, once she is back to being human, Sabrina and Diana still can’t see each other without the same thing happening all over again. The next time we see Diana is in the Season Seven finale, when Zelda makes a deal with the Witches Council to become a candle for 24 hours so Sabrina’s mom can attend her wedding. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
11 Will Harvey turn into a ball of wax in the future if he and Sabrina have children?
During her interview with the Huff Post, Hart answered another question that has been plaguing the minds of fans for years. If Sabrina’s mother can never see her daughter because of her mortal-witch marriage, does that mean the same thing will happen to Harvey if he and Sabrina have children? The pair finally end up together for good after Sabrina leaves her (also mortal) fiancé Aaron at the altar in the show’s finale, but would he ultimately suffer the same unfortunate fate as Diana? Hart certainly seems to think so. “I guess so, yeah. I mean, he was like a real threat in the witch world, so I would say that’s probably an episode of a spinoff somewhere.” We’d so watch that!
In the finale, we also find out that Harvey and Sabrina are meant to be, as their “soul stones” fit together. If mortal/witch relationships are so abhorred in this universe, then why is it possible for Harvey and Sabrina to be soulmates? Seems a bit cruel, doesn’t it?
10 Did Dreama ever get her witch's license?
In Season Four, Sabrina became a mentor to Dreama (Chyna Shavers), a ditzy witch from the Other Realm who had problems controlling her powers. A mentor is basically a lot like a Quiz Master, except mentors don’t get paid, and if Dreama doesn’t pass her test under Sabrina’s tutelage, she loses her license.
Dreama is enrolled at Westbridge, but because she was raised in the Other Realm, she often uses magic in front of humans without thinking about it. Plus, as she neglected her powers as a child, her spells often end badly, with her new mentor needing to fix the results. The last time Dreama appears in the series is the Season Four episode “The Four Faces of Sabrina.” She attends the Westbridge High senior prom, then never appears on screen again. As Sabrina got to keep her license, we’re assuming Dreama managed to get her magical abilities under control and headed back home, but some closure would have been nice.
9 Why did actress Lindsay Sloane star as a mermaid in the TV Movie Sabrina Down Under?
After Jenny disappeared into the ether, Sabrina got a new gal pal in Season 2, in the form of Valerie Birkhead (Lindsay Sloane). Desperate to be popular, Valerie is socially awkward, possessing little to no self-confidence. But over time, her friendship with Sabrina encourages her to come out of her shell. Well, that is until she moves to Alaska with her family at the beginning of Season Four.
This actually isn't the last we see of Sloane, as she also makes an appearance as a mermaid called Fin in the made-for-TV-movie Sabrina Down Under. Even though it’s always great to see former cast members pop back into the mix, it’s impossible to watch this movie without thinking “Hey! That mermaid is Valerie! Why are you two acting like you’ve never met before?” It’s pretty weird.
Would it really have been so hard for showrunners to have found a new actress? Either that, or toss in a throwaway line about how Val got bored of Alaska and moved to Australia to start a new life as a mermaid (possibly getting amnesia along the way? We're grasping at poorly plotted straws here). It definitely wouldn’t be the strangest thing to happen in the Sabrina universe, though…
8 What happened to Miles?
He didn’t really fit in with the rest of the cast, but it still seems to us that Miles (Trevor Lissauer) got a tough break. Sabrina’s paranoid, conspiracy theory-obsessed roommate throughout the fifth and sixth seasons, Miles was there one day and gone the next, with no reference to why he suddenly vanished. He doesn’t attend Sabrina’s wedding in the Season Seven finale, and like Jenny or Dreama, he's never even mentioned in passing after his sudden departure.
In contrast to the other mortals in Sabrina’s life, Miles actively believed in the supernatural, as well as aliens and secret government schemes, although he still thought witches were a step too far. It was hinted at a few times that he and Sabrina’s other roommate Roxie (Soliel Moon Frye) would eventually end up together, but he left before the storyline could come to fruition. Apparently, budget cuts were responsible for Lissauer’s sudden departure, with the main cast cut down to just Hart, Frye, Elisa Donovan (Morgan Cavanaugh), and Nick Bakay as the voice of Salem for the final season.
7 How did Sabrina finish college so quickly?
In the real world, it takes at least four years to finish college (well, some folks pull it off in three, but we'll just call them overachievers and move on). Sabrina, however, snagged a degree suspiciously quickly. Sabrina and pals only attended John Adams College for series five and six, which, based on the timelines of previous seasons, should add up to two years in Sabrina time. By the end of Season Six, there is no clue that Sabrina is anywhere near finishing school, and there is no graduation ceremony episode or fear of moving on mentioned. At all.
Season Seven picks up right where Season Six ended, and although there is a brief time jump where her aunts move back to the Other Realm, and Sabrina, Roxie, and Morgan move into 133 Collins Street (the Victorian home Sabrina spent her teen years in), surrounding events indicate that it can’t have been more than a month. The other option is that the seasons she spent at college actually covered more time than previously suggested, somewhat contradicting the timeline dictated by previous seasons. Maybe Sabrina was going for an associate degree? Or, more likely, the writers just couldn’t be bothered with the school storyline any longer.
6 How the hell did Sabrina become a journalist?
In the Season Three episode “Sabrina the Teenage Writer,” Sabrina gets her first ever C grade in her creative fiction class. In fact, she’s such a sucky wordsmith that even Hilda’s magical typewriter can’t help her improve her skills. Her lacking skills do bring her poorly written characters to life to wreak havoc around Westbridge High, so there's that. However, later in Season Three, Sabrina briefly becomes the editor of the school paper, and later went on to pursue a career in journalism. She even got a job at a magazine before quitting to become a freelance reporter.
So, if she was such a terrible writer, how the hell did she become a professional journalist? Fiction and non-fiction journalism may be two separate creative skills, but both rely on being able to coherently tell a damn story, which Sabrina was unable to do from what audiences could tell. That would explain why Annie, her boss at Scorch, hated her so much -- maybe she just wasn’t very good at her job.
5 Why could Hilda, Zelda, and her cousin Amanda use their powers as children but Sabrina couldn't?
In the pilot episode, we learn that Sabrina had no idea she was a witch until she turned 16 and her magical powers kicked in. However, her younger cousin Amanda (played by Emily Hart, Melissa’s younger sister) has been able to use magic all of her life. We also see in flashbacks that Hilda and Zelda were able to use their powers as children, so why was Sabrina the exception? We always assumed it was because she was half-mortal and raised in the Mortal Realm, but this is never actually stated on the show. Also, Sabrina’s parents didn’t split until Sabrina was 10-years-old. In all that time, did she have no inkling whatsoever that her father was a witch? Let's not even dive into the fact that she spent several summers with Hilda and Zelda without learning anything of her family history.
Seemingly, the only explanation for this can be an edict by the Witches Council. After all, they were very much against mortals and witches procreating, so it would make sense that they would force witches to keep magic a secret from half-mortal offspring until they were proven to have abilities of their own. Either that, or Sabrina was just really, really oblivious. There’s a lot of evidence for both.
4 Is Sabrina The Teenage Witch a metaphor for being gay?
One popular fan theory amongst '90s kids is the idea that Sabrina is actually a metaphor for homosexuality. Reasons why this could be the case include her having a secret that she dreads people finding out, as well as literally having to enter a closet before she can be her true self/use her powers uninhibited.
Well, Melissa Joan Hart finally spoke out to this theory, telling the Huff Post: “I think that’s stretching a bit, but I can see how that’s a possibility. I think it’s more monetary in that the producers didn’t want to have to develop some crazy witchcraft set for the witches to go in and out of. I think it was just for TV. You’re gonna have a door and a flash of lightning.” Makes sense, but it would have been nice to have one of our favorite kid’s shows be more inclusive, even if it was just in the subtext.
3 What if Ryan Reynolds had stuck around to play Sabrina's love interest?
Harvey may be Sabrina’s soulmate in the TV series, but in the TV movie/pilot, she had her sights set on a different guy altogether – Ryan Reynolds! Long before stepping into the red tights and hitting it big with Deadpool, Reynolds starred as Sabrina’s crush Seth, the most popular boy in school and boyfriend of queen bee Katie La More (a prototype for Libby). Sabrina tries to use her new powers to get Seth to notice her, without using a love spell (which is forbidden), whereas the nerdy Harvey (played in the movie version by Tobias Mehler) kind of stands in the background, hoping Sab will notice him. She friend-zones him until the end of the film, when she has a change of heart and they head to the dance together.
Unfortunately for them, neither Seth nor movie-Harvey made to the TV show. In fact, the only members of the cast to not get axed were Melissa Joan Hart and Michelle Beaudoin, whose character’s name was changed from Marnie Littlefield to Jenny Kelly.
2 What if Sarah Michelle Gellar had signed on to the lead role?
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Melissa Joan Hart as everyone’s favorite teen witch, but back when she was auditioning for the role, she had some pretty stiff competition. A then 19-year-old Sarah Michelle Gellar was also up for the part, but she eventually took herself out of the running. Why, might you ask? To star in a little show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as she liked the character more. We imagine that was a pretty tough decision, but it looks like things worked out for everyone. After all, Buffy is still a pop culture phenomenon 20 years after its debut, and, well, we’re still asking questions about Sabrina the Teenage Witch, so…
Fun fact: when a second movie version of the show was being considered in 2006 (which was ultimately canned), Gellar was rumored to be in the running for the lead role. However, producers decided at almost 30, Gellar was too old for the part. We guess Sabrina the Adult Witch doesn’t have much of a ring to it.
1 Will there ever be a comeback?
With several '90s sitcoms getting a revival these days – Boy Meets World and Full House being two examples – could a Sabrina comeback be on the horizon, and would Hart be open to reprising her role? At the moment, it’s looks like a case of never say never. As she told the Huff Post, “There’s a lot of talk about it. I feel like almost every day, somebody’s calling me about it. Would we do it? Should we do it? How do we do it? I think the thing about reboots is they’re really hard to do. They’re hard to do right. I think sometimes it’s better to just leave it in the past unless you do it really, really great.”
Although it sounds promising, there are no definite plans to move forward with a comeback as of yet, with Hart telling Digital Spy last April: “There's tons of politics involved in this. No one has taken the approach to go ahead and do it right now.”
While a reboot/revival may not be in the cards, Sabrina has been rumored to be in the running to appear in the Archie Comics series Riverdale over on The CW. For the time being, that's about the best that Sabrina fans can hope for.
Do you have other questions about Sabrina that are still bothering you? Are you interested in seeing more live-action adventures starring the teenage witch? Let us know in the comments.
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