A mainstay on ABC's Friday "TGIF" lineup in the 1990's, "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" was a series that built up a good-sized fanbase of those who enjoyed the adventures of the teenage spellcaster. The series followed Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart), who lived with her two aunts Hilda (comic Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Broderick), who reveal to Sabrina that she's a witch with special powers.
The series then followed Sabrina as she tried to navigate being a teenager and a witch. She was joined by pal Valerie (the underrated Lindsay Sloane, who's always very funny, but who's rarely been given anything besides a supporting role), villain Libby (Jenna Leigh Green), as well as romantic interest Harvey (Nate Richert) on various adventures. Every episode saw Sabrina using magic, but ultimately having to solve her problems by using her own smarts instead of having to rely on her powers to get her out of a jam.
The series eventually started to fall rather flat when it changed to the WB and focused on Sabrina's college experience, but during the "TGIF" ABC years, the show offered up enjoyably breezy comedy and usually a lesson that wasn't presented in too heavy-handed a manner. Melissa Joan Hart's performance also played up the material well, as the actress offered a snappy delivery and was good with both the jokes and the occasional physical comedy required. Rhea and Broderick also bounced jokes off one another quite well, as well. Additionally, Nick Bakay (who was also a writer on the series for some time - not a bad gig getting to have a hand in writing your own material) managed to steal some scenes as the voice of animatronic cat, Salem.
The third season of the series sees Sabrina finally getting her witch's license, but finds that it won't be active until she can uncover a family secret - a bit of information that is finally revealed in the Hawaii-set season finale. Highlights of the season include: "Good Will Haunting" (the Halloween episode, where Sabrina gets a haunted doll that terrorizes her friends), "Christmas Amnesia" (at a party in the other realm, Sabrina accidentially erases Christmas at the Spellman household), "Whose So-Called Life is It Anyway?" (Valerie's mom wishes that her daughter be like Sabrina, then Valerie starts to become Sabrina's double), "Sabrina's Real World" (When Salem signs a contract, Sabrina's life becomes a reality show), "Silent Movie" (when Harvey professes his love to Sabrina, a silent spell kicks in and the household turns into an old silent film), "Salem, the Boy" (Sabrina allows Salem to inhabit the body of a classmate, but he uses it to try to take over the world.)
Note: the back of the package notes that music has been altered from the original versions (a music rights issue) and some episodes are edited from their original network versions.
51. 3- 2 051 25 Sep 98 It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad Season Opener
52. 3- 3 052 2 Oct 98 Boy Was My Face Red
53. 3- 4 053 9 Oct 98 Suspicious Minds
54. 3- 5 054 16 Oct 98 The Pom Pom Incident
55. 3- 6 055 23 Oct 98 Pancake Madness
56. 3- 7 056 30 Oct 98 Good Will Haunting
57. 3- 8 057 6 Nov 98 You Bet Your Family
58. 3- 9 058 13 Nov 98 And the Sabrina Goes To...
59. 3-10 059 20 Nov 98 Nobody Nose Libby Like Sabrina Nose Libby
60. 3-11 061 27 Nov 98 Sabrina and the Beast
61. 3-12 060 11 Dec 98 Christmas Amnesia
62. 3-13 062 8 Jan 99 Whose So-Called Life Is It Anyway?
63. 3-14 063 15 Jan 99 What Price Harvey?
64. 3-15 065 29 Jan 99 Mrs. Kraft
65. 3-16 064 5 Feb 99 Sabrina and the Pirates
66. 3-17 066 12 Feb 99 Sabrina the Matchmaker
67. 3-18 068 19 Feb 99 Salem, the Boy
68. 3-19 067 26 Feb 99 Sabrina, the Teenage Writer
69. 3-20 072 12 Mar 99 The Big Sleep
70. 3-21 071 12 Mar 99 Sabrina's Pen Pal
71. 3-22 073 9 Apr 99 Sabrina's Real World
72. 3-23 069 30 Apr 99 The Long and Winding Short Cut
73. 3-24 070 7 May 99 Sabrina the Sandman
74. 3-25 074 14 May 99 Slient Movie
75. 3-26 075 21 May 99 The Good, the Bad and the Luau
VIDEO: Paramount presents "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. Picture quality matches broadcast quality, as while sharpness and detail aren't exceptional, the image at least looks moderately crisp throughout. Some slight artifacting is seen in a few moments here-and-there (mainly in some darker scenes), but the picture otherwise looked clean and clear. Colors looked bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other concerns.
SOUND: The show is presented with a crisp, clear stereo soundtrack.
EXTRAS: Sadly, nothing.
Final Thoughts: "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" eventually lost its magic a bit when the series moved to Sabrina's college years, but the early seasons of the series hold up well, remaining light and fun. The fact that music has been edited and episodes are apparently edited is a disappointment, but fans may still want to check out the set as a rental or purchase if on sale.