Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2000): 1×06 “Dream Date”

SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996-2000) Logo Time

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

Cold Open

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.

Zelda always seems to have tea that smokes...

Zelda always seems to have tea that smokes…

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!”

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 Geoffrey: I love that every time Louisa speaks, it’s a different voice.  This time very obviously Caroline Rhea.

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2000): 1×05 “A Halloween Story”

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Episode: A Halloween Story (1×05)
Director: Gary Halvorson
Teleplay: Nell Scovell
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, Michelle Beaudoin, Paul Fieg
Guest Stars: Sally Jessy Raphael, Emily Hart, Robin Riker, Diane McBain, Linda Kash, Jay Kogen, Phillip Glasser
Original Air Date: October 25, 1996

Cold Open

Hilda and Zelda are giddily duetting on “Halloween, O Happy Day,” when Sabrina comes downstairs to the kitchen, asking why Salem was yowling.  Hilda says that he doesn’t like their Halloween caroling, and asks Sabrina if she is excited about the holiday.  Sabrina’s excitement level is not high enough, so the Aunts start in on “Have a Jolly Hallo-hallo-halloween.”  Sabrina insists that she’s attempting to get into the spirit, and demonstrates her Sally Jessy Raphael costume.  The Aunts aren’t impressed, as the “costume” merely consists of a pair of red-framed glasses, so Sabrina challenges them to improve the costume.  The Aunts use their magic, and the part of Sabrina is now being played by Sally Jessy Raphael.  Sabrina-as-Sally Jessy Raphael checks her appearance out in the mirror.  In character, she announces, “Next up, we are going to talk to a teenage witch and her aunts who take things too far!”  The Aunts carol their way into the opening credits.

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Claudia: I’d say that a Sally Jessy Raphael cameo places this show firmly in the 90s era, because I don’t think her red glasses have been seen much of anywhere lately.

Geoffrey: The last thing I heard about was when she stepped in for Dick Cavett in the revival of Rocky Horror. I miss trashy daytime TV with a heart.  Also, SJR has great gams.

 

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2000): 1×04 “Terrible Things”

SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996-2000) Logo Time

Episode: Terrible Things (1×04)
Director: Gary Halvorson
Teleplay: Jon Sherman
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, Michelle Beaudoin, Paul Fieg
Guest Stars: Penn Jillette, Tom McGowan, Sara Van Horn, Milo Ventimiglia, Marvin C. Jones II, James D. Fields
Original Air Date: October 18, 1996

Cold Open

Sabrina, wearing a black-on-black short sleeved turtleneck/miniskirt jumper ensemble, encounters Libby in the school hall–wearing the exact same über-90s outfit.  Sabrina flees to the bathroom as fast as her clompy black heeled boots allow, and uses magic to change her outfit to a lace-front blue top and patterned brown bellbottoms.  She confidently walks to her locker, and Jenny greets her… wearing the same blue/brown ensemble.  Jenny, naturally, approves of Sabrina’s outfit.

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Claudia: I look at the first outfit, and I see Marcia Brady.  I look at the second outfit, and I see David Cassidy.

Geoffrey: I don’t really like either outfit.  The first one is marginally better, but that second one, yowza.

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2000): 1×03 “The True Adventures of Rudy Kazootie”

SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996-2000) Logo Time

Episode: The True Adventures of Rudy Kazootie (1×03)
Director: Gail Mancuso
Teleplay: Carrie Honigblum & Renee Phillips
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, Michelle Beaudoin, Paul Fieg
Guest Stars: Randy Travis, Eddie Cibrian, Frank Conniff
Original Air Date: October 11, 1996

Cold Open

Sabrina arrives at home after school to find Hilda and Zelda are working on a jigsaw puzzle.  Hilda cracks wise about how jigsaws aren’t such a waste when you live 1000 years.  Sabrina tells them about her day and then laments the lack of…anything in the freezer. (Who didn’t go shopping? I bet it was Hilda). Hilda asks if she’s forgetting something. “Not supposed to be eating sweets before dinner,” Sabrina says dejectedly.  Hilda corrects her that “No. We’re witches!” and zaps some ice cream into the fridge, all with labels conveniently turned around.  Zelda magics the door closed and says “And you shouldn’t eat sweets before dinner!”

By itself, this picture wouldn't represent the show.

By itself, this picture wouldn’t represent the show.

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2000): 1×02 “Bundt Friday”

SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996-2000) Logo Time

Episode: Bundt Friday (1×02)
Director: Gary Halvorson
Teleplay: Norma Safford Vella
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, Michelle Beaudoin, Paul Fieg
Guest Stars: Tom McGowan, Curtis Andersen, Ella Joyce
Original Air Date: October 4, 1996

Cold Open

Zelda attempts to help Sabrina with her magic, by explaining the overly wordy and complex spell.  Hilda calls her a stuff-shirt, and shows her the “fun” section called Magic for Dummies.  Zelda whines about it being the oldest trick in the book, and that mortals are doing it…and shockingly, it is.  Sabrina pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

Yes, it is the oldest trick in the book.

Yes, it is the oldest trick in the book.

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2000): 1×01 “The Pilot”

SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996)

Logo Time

This marks the first of our jointly-reviewed TV shows.  After this post on the pilot, we intend to do one post of two episodes a week and will cover Seasons 1-4.  The reasons we are not going to continue with Seasons 5-7 are simple.  Season 5 began in the fall of 2000, which puts it out of the main scope of our blog.  At the same time, it moved from ABC to the WB, and the show had a massive overhaul, which Geoffrey felt was for the worse.

A general statement before we begin:

Geoffrey:  I loved this show in the 90s.  It was fun, clever and it had magic…something I desperately wanted to have.  It spoke out for us nerds and underdogs bullied at school, and yet somehow, Libby was still likable.  I am definitely looking back at the show with some nostalgic love.

Claudia: So, I did not watch Sabrina growing up.  I did catch a few first-run and syndicated episodes here or there, while at friends’ houses or in waiting rooms.  I don’t think I had much specifically against the show (I did like Melissa Joan Hart from the few episodes of Clarissa Explains It All that I caught growing up).  The “magic-based” shows were just not my favorite, at that point in time. 

But, I had friends who watched it during its initial TGIF run, so I was familiar with the Aunts and Sabrina and Libby… and didn’t Harvey get a likeness doll at some point?  (Ebay says “yes!”  I remember commercials.)  There are a few widespread things that my generation loved in the 90s that I just didn’t *get* at the time, but now appreciate (bubblegum pop and cargo pants immediately come to mind).  So, I think Sabrina the Teenage Witch may be worth a revisit, as well.

Episode: Pilot (1×01)
Director: 
Robby Benson
Teleplay: Nell Scovell
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, Michelle Beaudoin, Paul Fieg
Guest Stars: Robby Benson, Penn and Teller, Debbie Harry
Original Air Date: September 27, 1996

Cold Open

The series kicks off with Sabrina Spellman (Melissa Joan Hart) levitating over her bed in her sleep, while her two single aunts, Hilda (Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Broderick) watch on.

Sabrina's First Levitation

Geoffrey: You know it’s the mid-90s because of the lava lamp.

Claudia: Aaand the pilot episode exposition begins.

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The Rugrats Movie (1998)

THE RUGRATS MOVIE (1998)

Directors: Igor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien
Screenplay: David N. Weiss and J. David Stem
Main Cast
: E.G. Daily, Tara Charendoff, Christine Cavanaugh, Kathie Soucie, Cheryl Caser, Cree Summer, Busta Rhymes, David Spade, Whoopi Goldberg, Tim Curry, Margaret Cho, Edie McClurg, Lenny Kravitz, Lisa Loeb, Lou Rawls, Iggy Pop, Beck

A different poster than the standard.

A different poster than the standard.

Some notes before the movie in general:

Geoffrey: I did not see this movie in 1998.  While I did watch the show at my grandmother’s, and she was going to take me…something internally told me not to watch it.  One day, I’ll remember to listen to that internal something-or-other.  Recently, I tried to re-watch the series (which I did love as a kid) and found it pretty unwatchable…but having never seen the movie, I wondered if it was something better.  

Claudia: I probably saw Rugrats the Movie in the summer of 1999.  In those days, on the hottest summer days, mom would take my siblings and me to the local $1 movie theatre so we could cool down while watching a G-rated movie.  Whichever G-rated movie was playing, regardless of personal interest and film quality.  The films we saw ran the quality gamut from Babe to The Pebble & the Penguin.  Rugrats the Movie fell somewhere between those two.  Since that summer, I had not seen this movie.  Not being a fan of the Rugrats TV series, I remember feeling that it was a decent enough way to pass a hot summer afternoon, but I would not go out of my way to watch it again.  Would I change my opinion after a second viewing?  

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