What Year Does 'Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina' Take Place?
The Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa-created show is a new take on the story of teen witch Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) based on Aguirre-Sacasa's comic book of the same name. While the comic is firmly set in the 1960s, its TV show counterpart never explicitly says what year it takes place in. It actually goes out of its way not to, by stating the date in episode 1 as "Tuesday, October 28 of this year."
That said, there are a couple of shots of iPhones and of a laptop throughout the 10 episodes, which let viewers know that the (https://www.ibtimes.com/chilling-adventures-sabrina-heads-netflix-following-two-season-pickup-2622834) Netflix show takes place somewhere near the present day. That was done on purpose, Aguirre-Sacasa, who also created The CW's "Riverdale," told International Business Times at New York Comic Con.
"Originally, the 'Chilling Adventures' was the comic book, [which] was set in the '60s, so I think we wanted to keep it as much of that as possible," he said. "The other thing is, in horror movies - cell phones are the death of horror movies, right? Because you can always call for help or you can call your mom or you can call your best friend, so...we try to avoid that, just so that we can tell scary stories."
He continued: "I mean, it's the same on 'Riverdale,' you know. We have a lot of cell phones, but when there's suspense and stuff, not many people are on their cell phones."
To really get a better idea of when "(https://www.ibtimes.com/netflixs-chilling-adventures-sabrina-meet-cast-2727546) Chilling Adventures of Sabrina " takes place, let's break down the clues, episode by episode.
The opening scene lets us know right off the bat that it must be at least 1970 because of the movie posters outside of the theater. There's a horror movie marathon going on, and there are posters up for 1970's "Taste the Blood of Dracula," 1968's "Night of the Living Dead," 1932's "Freaks" and 1954's "Them!"
Although we see a lot of old black-and-white photos and old movies in this episode, we also see Sabrina's cousin, Ambrose (Chance Perdomo), sitting outside of the Spellman estate with a laptop. You can't tell what type of laptop it is or what model, but the first portable computer came out in 1981 and Ambrose's looks quite a bit newer than that one.
While in school, Sabrina's friend Rosalind (Jaz Sinclair) mentions wanting to read Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," which was first published in 1970.
Later, the principal mentions 1962's "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess and 1955's "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov.
One of the most telling clues arrives towards the end of the episode when Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) opens the treasure chest in her room and a copy of "Peter Rabbit Baby Record Book" can be seen resting inside. There are few different editions of this book, but based on the cover, this one is from 2016. This is both telling and confusing because it means the show takes place at least in the year 2016, but it could also mean it takes place in the future because wouldn't Aunt Hilda have gotten this book for Sabrina when she was, well, a baby? And not close to when she's about to turn 16?
Plus, the show said in episode 1 that Oct. 28 is on a Tuesday, and the last year that was the case was 2014. Per the edition of the book, that's not when the show can take place. The next year that Oct. 28 will fall on a Tuesday isn't until 2025. Could the series be set in the future?
As the edition of the book was likely an oversight and the show likely not running on a real-world calendar, that isn't likely. Especially since Aguirre-Sacasa has mentioned wanting to do a "Riverdale" (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/chilling-adventures-sabrina-creator-wants-a-riverdale-crossover-1149951) crossover at some point.
It opens with Sabrina and her friends talking about David Cronenberg's "The Fly," which was released in 1986. Later, when the witch heads to the academy and to choir class, Psychic TV's 1983 song "Always in Always" is sung.
Rosalind and Susie (Lachlan Watson) watch the 1962 movie "Carnival of Souls" in the episode, and the former says how she loves watching these old movies. Speaking of films, while Ambrose is on a date at a cafe, a 1972 "Night of the Lepus" poster can be seen on the wall.
Though it's clear it's much past this year, one of the few years that's actually mentioned in the show is 1892. It can be seen on a headstone that a witch ghost shows Sabrina.
Before this episode, the only recent technology fans saw a snippet of was Ambrose's laptop. This time around, viewers get a glimpse of Harvey's (Ross Lynch) phone when Sabrina calls him, and it's a smartphone.
Sabrina mentions watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, which started broadcasting in 1948, and that Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) likes to watch football, which broadcast its first game in 1939.
Once again, Sabrina calls her boyfriend Harvey, but this time around, we get a better look at his cellular device, and it's an iPhone. Not only that, but you can tell that the earliest model it could be is an iPhone X, which came out in November 2017.
While at a bookstore, Susie tries to steal Virginia Woolfe's "Orlando," which was first published in 1928, but this cover appears to be the 1973 reprint.
So when is the show really set? Between IBT's chat with the creator and the technology seen throughout the series, it's clear that it takes place close to present times. The throwback clues sprinkled throughout are simply a fun way to keep the 1960s feel of the comic book.
All of these clues and more can be spotted in Season 1 of "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," which is now streaming on Netflix.