SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996-2000)
Episode: Dream Date (1×06)
Director: Gail Mancuso
Teleplay: Rachel Lipman
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, Michelle Beaudoin, Paul Fieg
Guest Stars: Brian Austin Green, Tom Wilson, Eddie Cibrian
Original Air Date: November 1, 1996
The kitchen’s wall phone is ringing, and Sabrina runs downstairs to answer it before Zelda can. It’s Harvey, who has a question to ask. Before he can do that, Sabrina asks Zelda if she minds leaving so Sabrina can have privacy.
It takes Zelda a second to get it, but she eventually leaves. Sabrina returns to her conversation, and hears chuckles emanating from a picnic basket on the counter. Salem says that cats are curious. He mocks her undying love for Harvey, and leaves. Sabrina returns to the phone conversation, where Harvey reveals that his only question has to do with whether or not “photosynthesis” would be on the upcoming exam. Sabrina tells him it’s not on it, and hangs up, obviously disappointed. The wall painting of “Louisa” tells Sabrina that Harvey will surely ask her out at some point. Sabrina screams that she doesn’t get any privacy in the house. “Louisa” sing-songs “Harvey and Sabrina!”
Geoffrey: I love that every time Louisa speaks, it’s a different voice. This time very obviously Caroline Rhea.
Sasha, an apparent Libby sycophant, and Libby are decorating for the school dance. Sasha is confused about how people will be able to dance with the tables still there.
Meanwhile, Jenny excitedly tells Sabrina that she’s bringing herself to the dance. She asks if Sabrina’s going, and Sabrina’s hoping to go with Harvey. But, she hasn’t asked him because she doesn’t want to wreck their friendship, although if he asked her out, she’d be all for it. Jenny calls Harvey over to sit at their table, and asks him if he’s going to the dance, before transparently excusing herself from the table. Harvey informs Sabrina that he doesn’t plan to go, since he doesn’t like school dances. Libby walks over, and after asking Harvey to help him tie her decoration balloon, she asks him to the party. He’s all, “Sure!” Libby leaves and Harvey confesses to Sabrina that he struggles to say “no” to people.
Geoffrey: This is a problem for Harvey…frequently.
Claudia: I can see how this personality quirk might fuel many a Sabrina plot.
At the Aunts’ house, Sabrina asks Zelda (and Hilda, once she eavesdrops and butts in) to help her with something. She explains that Harvey’s going to the dance with Libby, and the Aunts wonder why Sabrina didn’t just ask him out in the first place. Sabrina’s convinced that doing so would indicate that she likes him, which just wouldn’t do. Zelda reminds Sabrina that 16-year-old boys are dense, and to illustrate the point, Hilda uses her magic to produce a sledgehammer within Sabrina’s hands.
Geoffrey: Ya know, if you did bash someone over the head with a sledgehammer, they would get your point…and an early grave.
Sabrina explains that she’s prefer to use a love spell, but can’t find one in her magic book. The Aunts tell her that one isn’t in the book, because love is too precious/weird to be messed with with magic. However, Hilda points out that one can use magic to imprison someone inside a ring for not loving you, and demonstrates this with her own ring. Sabrina is in a moody teenager mood, so she asks the Aunts to leave her room.
In the hallway, the Aunts discuss how to cheer up Sabrina, and Zelda is determined she should go to the “
ball dance.” They race downstairs to find where they put the “man dough.” Cue a baking montage, complete with Spanish guitar background music. At the mid-point of the montage, the Aunts survey their work. Zelda notes that one arm is too short, and (correctly) accuses Hilda of snacking on dough.
Claudia: The thought of Hilda eating arm-dough is pretty disgusting.
Geoffrey: What if it tastes like cookie dough? Or candy?
Claudia: Sorry, still vomitrocious.
Later, the Aunts mix up the “personality glaze,” with the ingredients including being a “daredevil,” “musician,” and “enthusiastic.” After they apply the glaze, Sabrina comes downstairs and asks what they are baking.
The Aunts explain, and Zelda says he should last for 4 hours. Sabrina, still moody, says she wanted to go with Harvey, not “Poppin’ Fresh.” Zelda tells Sabrina to give it a shot. The egg timer dings, and the man dough man pulls off his sheet to reveal… Brian Austin Green? Brian Austin Green says he’s happy to be there. Sabrina’s happy as well, because she finds him attractive. She uses her magic to change into a cute party dress.
Claudia: I never, ever knew that the Pillsbury Doughboy had a name. And I certainly wouldn’t have guessed THAT for his name. Paul Frees and Jeff Bergman being his voice actors? Also… not quite what I would have thought. But aside from all that, Brian Austin Green?!
Geoffrey: Really? Cause I knew that. I still don’t know who Brian Austin Green is. Also, Sabrina really does like to change clothes via magic…are zippers really that hard?
Claudia: If I could use magic to change my clothes, I would use it. It’s not the zippers that are hard, it’s the having to locate that last danged sock…
At the party, Brian Austin Green is in awe of the party decorations, exclaiming that they are “fantastic!” Jenny walks over to Brian Austin Green, and since Brian Austin Green has no idea what his name is, Sabrina introduces him as “Chad Corey Dylan.” Chad Corey Dylan goes to get Sabrina some punch, while Sabrina explains that the Aunts “introduced” them, and that they rode his motorcycle to the party. After Chad Corey Dylan returns with cups of orange-flavored punch and red-flavored punch, he hears the song playing and he and Sabrina dance.
Geoffrey: Her aunts let her go off on a motorcycle with a man made out of dough? Where did this motorcycle come from? Why are they trusting Sabrina on one? Too. Many. Questions.
Claudia: The Aunts created him so he must be fine. The motorcycle was probably belonging to a neighbor. Sabrina wasn’t the one driving it. Sorry, that’s the best I can come up with.
Libby asks Sasha what she’s missed, as Harvey’s ‘Vette (Chevette, not Corvette) was malfunctioning, causing them to be late.
Libby eyes Sabrina dancing with her date, and Jenny informs her of his name and of his motorcycle. Sasha says that Sabrina is the victor, but Libby’s not waving the white flag. In vain, she asks Harvey to dance, but since he doesn’t dance, she is highly put out. She demands a conference with Sasha in the restroom. Left alone, Harvey waves at Sabrina, who is still dancing with Chad Corey Dylan. Chad Corey Dylan asks why she’s stopped dancing, and she regretfully says she just was just waving at a friend.
Geoffrey: If there was an actual theme song to Sabrina, it would have played sadly and slowly at this point.
Claudia: This show could use some specialized hug-and-learn scene music, too.
Back at their house, the Aunts have baked their own dream dates. Hilda says she included lots of optimism in her recipe. Her date comes to life and starts grousing that yes, he is looking for work, and for Hilda to stop nagging him. Hilda checks the ingredient again, and sees that it says “hope fades.” Hilda’s date runs off to find a TV to watch sports. Zelda suggests that she try another batch, but Hilda decides that she’s going to try to change him instead.
Geoffrey: Yeah…that’ll work.
She is about to run off to find him, so she can pretend to be interested in sports, but Zelda stops her, as her date hasn’t been revealed yet. Hilda already has deduced that it’s a milk-drinking fireman, as that’s who’s on Zelda’s calendar. Hilda runs off and the date is done baking. The fireman says, “Hello, kitten! Got milk?” Salem pops his head out of a basket, thinking he was being addressed.
Geoffrey: Do they still make those calendars? I need a gag gift this year.
Claudia: Check Ebay. Or *shudder* Etsy.
Although Chad Corey Dylan isn’t tired of dancing, Sabrina is, so she gets Jenny to occupy him. Sabrina goes over to Harvey at the punch bowl, and asks what happened to Libby. Harvey says she’s upset that he doesn’t dance, and that he just doesn’t have confidence in his dancing, unlike Sabrina’s date. Sabrina wryly says that he is “pretty special,” which Harvey interprets as Sabrina having deep feelings toward Chad Corey Dylan. Chad Corey Dylan walks over, introduces himself to “Harvey Dwight Kinkle,” and drags Sabrina back to the dance floor. Libby returns, and Harvey jokes that he thought she might’ve fallen in. Libby’s not impressed.
Geoffrey: I always warn people about not falling in…it’s a real hazard. It happened to a Munchkin during filming for Wizard of Oz! True story!
Claudia: Good thing the WWotW didn’t use that commode, then?
Meanwhile, Hilda’s trying to have romantic conversation with her date, “Simon,” who is only interested in a bad call made in the game. Simon says they can make out during the commercials, if she insists.
In the kitchen, Zelda gazes at her date chugging quarts of milk.
Libby grumpily asks why Harvey didn’t say no to going to the dance, and he says he’s working on it.
A slow song finally plays, and Sabrina dodges Chad Corey Dylan’s attempts at slow dancing. Jenny also opts out, citing it as being “too weird even for her.”
Libby introduces herself to Chad Corey Dylan, and compliments him on his dancing. Chad Corey Dylan says that he’s also a daredevil and a rock musician. Libby asks which instrument, and he says lead guitar. Sabrina, noting Harvey’s jealous scoffing, reminds Harvey that he plays an instrument. Harvey says he plays bassoon, and Sabrina says it’s “really sexy.” Libby scornfully says it’s only sexy to another bassoon. Chad Corey Dylan’s liking the song currently playing, and wants to dance. Libby says her date can’t dance, but Sabrina retorts that Harvey can. Sabrina discreetly uses her magic to make Harvey bust a move, and he completes an intricate dance solo. Everyone at the dance applauds, and Harvey feels self-conscious and wants to bolt. Libby tries to get him to stay and dance with her, and he is finally able to tell her “no.” Sabrina apologizes to Chad Corey Dylan, and runs after Harvey.
Claudia: Bassoons are awesome and don’t get nearly enough love.
Geoffrey: I played oboe for three years in the late 90s…no double reed is awesome. Also, what about Harvey’s kicking moves?
Harvey’s sitting just outside the door, since AAA has yet to arrive to take care of his car. He asks Sabrina why she isn’t inside with perfect “Whatshisname Whatshisname Whatshisname,” and she says he’s not her type.
Harvey asks what’s wrong with Sabrina, who uses her magic to freeze him before going on a long spiel about her feelings. She unfreezes him and just says that Chad Corey Dylan isn’t perfect. Harvey asks Sabrina to dance, as an instrumental version of Gershwin’s “Isn’t It Romantic?” plays. They dance until Harvey hits the limit of his skill, and then he feels embarrassed. He asks Sabrina to the Slicery for foozball. Sabrina goes back inside to let Chad Corey Dylan know she was leaving. To her retreating back, Harvey confesses that he likes her, but can’t say it to her face.
Claudia: This scene, oddly, reminds me of Superman I… and Superman II… and Superman IV. Amnesia kissing should not be a superpower.
Sabrina explains to Chad Corey Dylan that she’s interested in Harvey, and he says he’s a fantastic fellow. She suggests that he dance with Libby, who is pouting in a chair, and he confesses that he likes Libby. She returns to Harvey’s bench, who shows her that his arms are the same length.
Hilda’s caught on to football strategy, but Simon doesn’t want to hear her talk about it because he can’t hear the TV. Fed up, she goes to the kitchen where Zelda’s timing her date on putting on firefighting gear. Hilda grabs a rolling pin, leaves, and returns to chuck a giant mass of dough into the trash can. She asks Zelda to share her date with her, and as they tug-of-war over him, his arm pops off.
Geoffrey: If I had a dollar for every time my date made out of magical dough lost a limb due to a tug-o-war competition…
Claudia: Then you’d be a millionaire? Right?
Geoffrey: And a lot to talk about with a therapist.
Libby and Chad Corey Dylan are boogieing down, when, as Libby’s back is turned, he starts coughing up flour. He runs outside. Libby follows him, but steps in some raw dough. She goes back inside, as a lump of dough says that he loves this song.
Geoffrey: It’s a classic stage trick, but effective. Also, don’t you hate it when a date falls apart on you?
Claudia: Har har dee har.
Libby’s on the school hallway’s payphone, attempting to file a missing person’s report for Chad Corey Dylan. They hang up on her.
Claudia: As I’ve said before, this is the first time I’ve ever seen any of these episodes. At the time the show was originally airing, though, I was still aware of the One True Pairing that was Harvey and Sabrina. It’s interesting to me that they started to do romantic tension fakeouts quite this early on, though. While I don’t necessarily appreciate will-they-or-won’t-they repeating too many times, but I thought that this first go ’round was executed pretty well. I liked that the audience is getting to know Harvey a bit better (although I think Sabrina’s character could use some more development, at this point), so we can see why Sabrina might like him. And you really can’t go wrong with “The Magic of Gershwin” (ahem). This was probably my favorite episode, thus far.
Geoffrey: As one who *did* watch these as they aired, I remember thinking how awesome this episode was. Not only did we get a fun plot line (who doesn’t want to make a date out of dough?), you get to really see the characters in their element. Jenny still remains pretty one-note, and Sabrina is…well…Sabrina. That said, you get some really clever one-liners and jokes out of the events, and anytime you get to see the Aunts being awesome will always rate in my book. They remain my favorites still.