“If I were you, I’d check your urine.”
This is undoubtedly the greatest episode of Sabrina ever. It’s not as bizarre as the pancake episode (which is also terrifying), but it does have some unexpectedly dark moments, which are quite jarring when placed in the midst of the show’s characteristic niceness. I remember watching this episode years ago, but it only struck me recently how weird it was. I love Sabrina, and Archie Comics in general, but I always find it quite funny when they try to include something edgy like this. Such attempts only serve to remind me what a cute and sweet world the Archie universe is. It seems like the writers were aware of this, too, because none of the darker jokes are played too seriously.
For reasons that are left unclear, Sabrina has decided that she hates Christmas. Considering how obnoxiously jolly Sabrina’s aunts are, this is hardly surprising, but it’s difficult to feel any sympathy for her. Her determination to ruin Christmas for everyone else, including her two best friends, soon becomes annoying. Still, it does lead to some funny moments. Her sarcasm in contrast to Harvey’s ditzy niceness is hilarious, as is the montage where Hilda and Zelda force Sabrina to enjoy Christmas. (I’m convinced that Harvey is what Andy from Parks and Recreation must have been like as a teenager.) There are many other amusing little details, too, such as the girl who does a dance for joy after hearing that her tests are cancelled (she’s one of my favourite characters now), and Salem’s yearning for a snowboard. I have no idea why he’d want one, or if cats can even operate snowboards, but at least the threatening letters he sends demanding one is in character. (It’s always nice when the show reminds us that Salem is a criminal who was once bent on world domination.)
However, it’s only in the second half that Christmas Amnesia becomes truly brilliant. Sabrina goes to a party in the other realm, made up of people who hate Christmas. Its tone is surprisingly mean, and includes a dartboard shaped like Santa’s head that bleeds when you hit one of the eyes. Sabrina was invited to this because she was “cool”, which suggests that the residents of the Other Realm have incredibly low standards of coolness. Luckily, though, Sabrina soon realises what a twit she’s been, and rejects their smug, ironic nastiness. Unfortunately, when she switches off the TV there, Sabrina somehow erases Christmas (this sort of thing happens a lot in the series) from the minds of everyone except for her and Salem. This is a pretty good twist, and makes what was already an entertaining episode even better. I can only imagine how miserable it would be if Christmas disappeared and I was the only one who remembered it. Salem reveals that something similar once happened to him, and if she doesn’t manage to bring back Christmas in 24 hours, it will suffer the same fate as the now-forgotten Bobunk. And so, Sabrina does as many Christmas related things she can think of, which only serves to make her look like she’s having a mental breakdown. She even ends up getting suspended. Of course, though, Christmas does eventually return, thanks to a sudden pillow fight and Sabrina learning a sentimental but harmless lesson at the end.
As someone who used to adore Sabrina the Teenage Witch, watching this was nostalgic and fun, even if it did bring up a multitude of embarrassing memories. 3/5.