Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: The Third Season (TV)
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rob Fields (9th January 2008).
The Show

Back when I was in school, I used to collect comic books. I collected many titles from Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and a few other independent labels. However, I never collected any titles from Archie Comics, which is where "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" first came to light. This comic character first saw the light of day in 1962 in a one-shot called "Archie's Mad House". However, there were quite a few readers out there who had spoken and the character got to stay. She had made appearances throughout other Archie Comics titles before finally getting her own series in 1971 (the year I was born). Her series lasted for 77 issues. From there, she has continued to appear in other Archie Comics releases. There has even been a manga graphic novel released in Japan which features a character based on her. Who would have thought that the now-defunct UPN network (it joined with The WB to become The CW in 2006) would have picked up a live-action sit-com (1996-2003) based on this Archie Comics character?
"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: The Third Season" finally has Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) getting her witch's license. But there's a catch! Before she can use it she must uncover the family secret, with help from her wacky Aunt Hilda (Caroline Rhea), wise Aunt Zelda (Beth Broderick), and her talking cat Salem (voiced by Nick Bakay). And while they may advise her to keep her magic hidden, at school Sabrina still helps cute steady boyfriend Harvey (Nate Richert) and best friend Valerie (Lindsay Sloane), while protecting herself against rival Libby (Jenna Leigh Green) and mean principal Mr. Kraft (Martin Mull). Sabrina has to try and balance her student life while at Westbridge High School, her boyfriend, and her 'Other Realm' family. Not easy being a teenage witch, is it? Season 3 highlights include an outrageous Halloween episode, and a finale set in Hawaii, where the family secret is finally revealed. Ah yes, the family secret...
It's too bad that this series is a sit-com. I would have liked to have seen this series take a serious turn the way "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003) did. But after finding out that "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" was part of the Archie Comics lineup, I think that the series being a sit-com fits. After watching only the first couple of episodes, I could tell that the cast had a great time doing this series. There's also a lot of CGI to go around, even the talking black cat is a trip. I don't care about CGI one way or another as long as it works for a series or a film. In other words, it's not overdone. This sit-com actually has a long-term storyline, which starts with Sabrina getting her witch's license and starting her in search of the family secret. The downsides? I think the jokes are a little overplayed in some instances. The 'Pancake Madness' episode is a great example here. I'm not going to give away any spoilers, but Sabrina found out what happened when she got too much of a good thing. Also, you have to watch the entire season before the family secret is finally revealed. Definitely NOT worth the payoff. It makes for some good entertainment though. My final recommendation would be to rent it first and see if you think it's worth owning.

This set contains all 24 season three episodes:

- "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Season Opener" (21:44) Sabrina finally earns her witch's license, but now must uncover a mysterious family secret. Meanwhile, her romantic dilemma continues...

- "Boy Was My Face Red" (21:44) In order to keep Valerie out of an extremely embarrassing situation, Sabrina concocts a spell that backfires, leaving her own face bright red.

- "Suspicious Minds" (21:45) Sabrina gets jealous when Harvey is paired with Libby for a school project about marriage. And Aunt Zelda starts dating Mr. Kraft!

- "The Pom-Pom Incident" (21:45) Valerie decides to try out for the dreaded cheerleading squad, so Sabrina uses a magic coin from the Other Realm in order to change her mind.

- "Pancake Madness" (21:44) After she makes a fool of herself in front of the entire school by giving in to her pancake addiction, Sabrina must go through intense detoxification.

- "Good Will Haunting" (21:44) On Halloween, Sabrina is given an evil doll that proceeds to terrorize her friends. And Hilda and Zelda are trapped at a party in an insane asylum.

- "You Bet Your Family" (21:45) Salem loses a big poker game in the Other Realm, so now Hilda, Zelda, and Sabrina are powerless servants for the next twenty years!

- "And The Sabrina Goes To..." (21:15) Hungry for praise, Sabrina cooks up a spell in the form of a cake and is showered with compliments for every little thing she does.

- "Nobody Nose Libby Like Sabrina Knows Libby" (21:43) Salem and Sabrina wind up inside a tiny spaceship that accidentally flies up Libby's nose, eventually getting stuck inside her brain.

- "Sabrina and the Beast" (21:43) Sabrina's unattractive cousin arrives to discuss the family secret, and turns Harvey into a beast in order to teach Sabrina a lesson about looks.

- "Christmas Amnesia" (21:27) At a trendy party in the Outer Realm, Sabrina accidentally erases Christmas at the Spellman household and must figure out a way to restore the holiday.

- "Whose So-Called Life Is It Anyway?" (21:44) Valerie's mom makes a wish that her daughter be just like Sabrina. But when the wish comes true, Valerie slowly turns into Sabrina's exact double.

- "What Price Harvey?" (21:44) Concerned about Harvey's decision to become a mechanic, Sabrina douses him with a magic cologne that turns him into an industrial tycoon overnight.

- "Mrs. Kraft" (21:44) Aunt Zelda finds out Mr. Kraft used to be married to a witch! So the two women fight for his affections on an outrageous talk show.

- "Sabrina and the Pirates" (21:44) In order to see N'Sync perform, Sabrina obtains a fake ID. But then her magic becomes fake and she can't control some unruly pirates.

- "Sabrina, the Matchmaker" (21:31) Ordered by Cupid to help two people fall in love, Sabrina gets her cousin and the plumber together. But then her cousin's bratty daughters ruin it.

- "Salem, the Boy" (21:44) Sabrina allows Salem to inhabit the body of a classmate. But things get out of hand when the feline attempts to use school politics to take over the world.

- "Sabrina, the Teenage Writer" (21:43) The line between real and imaginary begins to blur when Sabrina types a story on a magic typewriter and the characters come to life.

- "The Big Sleep" (21:45) After Sabrina disturbs an aunt who sleeps ten years at a time, the vengeful relative puts Hilda and Zelda asleep for eternity.

- "Sabrina's Pen Pal" (21:40) Sabrina sneaks her timid pen pal over from the Other Realm in the guise of a cat, but then discovers she is actually a dangerous jewel thief.

- "Sabrina's Real World" (21:45) After Salem signs a contract with a television producer form the Other Realm, cameras are put in the household and Sabrina's life becomes a reality show.

- "The Long and Winding Shortcut" (21:44) By using Mrs. Quick to help solve the family secret, Sabrina is accused of cheating and is stripped of modern conveniences.

- "Sabrina, the Sandman" (21:44) Sabrina gets a job as the Sandman, putting people to sleep. But she becomes confused and upset when she starts peeking into their dreams.

- "Silent Movie" (21:43) Just as Harvey professes his love to Sabrina, a silent spell kicks in. When the entire household turns into an old silent film, Sabrina can't respond.

- "The Good, the Bad, and the Luau" (21:43) As Harvey's mom is about to give birth, Sabrina travels to Hawaii with her aunts, where she finally solves the mystery of the family secret.

Video

All episodes are presented in their original full screen broadcast ratio of 1.33:1. The back cover has the fine print that says "Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions." Having never watched the series, since I wasn't able to get UPN on my TV, I won't know what edits were made (if any). The video presentation itself looks excellent as long as you don't mind the occasional grain in the background. There are no other noticeable anomalies beyond this. Also, the fact that the series has no extras could be another reason the transfers look good. Even the episodes on Disc 4 look good despite having 7 episodes instead of 6 on one disc.

Audio

Each episode is accompanied by an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack. There are no subtitles available whatsoever. The back cover has the fine print that says "Some music has been changed for this home entertainment release." The surround sound effect is nice with only the front two speakers and a sub-woofer. While it's not 5.1, it's still an excellent mix.

Extras

This release does not contain any extras. Yes, this also means no preview trailers.

Packaging

"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: The Third Season" is a 4-DVD set with each disc nicely placed into a single Amaray keep case.

Overall

The Show: C Video: B- Audio: A- Extras: F Overall: B-

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.