Anyone who’s vaguely familiar with the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” mythos will know the importance of Harvey Kinkle.
While perhaps never quite as popular as Salem, Harvey is, nonetheless, the most important male character in the story – he’s Sabrina’s hapless love interest, inexplicably oblivious to the magical misadventures that he’s often caught up in.
In anticipation of the upcoming “Riverdale” inspired dark, gritty reimagining of “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”, an official casting call has been circulated to agencies, looking for a sexy teen to play Harvey.
This is a fascinating read – it makes sense that the show’s creators are looking for a “Legal 18+” actor, considering how much morally icky teen nudity tends to show up in “Riverdale”.
What’s more interesting, though, is the twist that has been added to Harvey’s backstory:
“Male, Legal 18 or 18+ to play high school, All Ethnicities. Sabrina’s boyfriend, the Prince Charming of this dark fairy tale. Harvey is a young man in a small town starting to figure out his place in the larger world. He is politically minded, idiosyncratic, attractive, charismatic, and fun. Handsome and romantic, Harvey’s also smart, woke, and compassionate. In the present-day, he is part of Greendale’s counter-culture youth. He has no idea that he is descendant from a long line of witchhunters…ASP SERIES REGULAR”
How do you make Harvey gritty and dark? He’s the perpetual white knight; the solid, genuine good guy among all of Sabrina’s various love interests, who no matter what, will always stand by her side.
This doesn’t fit with the “Riverdale” ideology, in which all of these traditionally wholesome characters are jerks in some manner, and so, Harvey has a new backstory: he’s trying to be a nice guy, despite having evil genes.
(Let’s take a moment to remember the beautiful moment in the Melissa Joan Hart “Sabrina” show in which the witchhunter genes turned out to be a literal tiny pair of blue denim jeans. Priceless.)
There have been witchhungers in the “Sabrina” mythology before, but they’ve always had an instinctual animosity towards Sabrina, brought on by their genetic predisposition towards being awful people.
It’s a weird quirk of this lighthearted kid’s franchise that, for some reason, the story inadvertently teaches that some people are simply born evil because of their genetics, and it looks like the Harvey of “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is going to challenge this a bit.
Harvey is good, and kind, and sweet. He wants to do the right thing. He’s also going to struggle with a family legacy that forces him to behave in a cruel, callous, and despicable manner.
This is a pretty perfect new direction to take the show in, and it’ll definitely help to make Harvey a more fleshed-out character while still maintaining his sweet demeanor. It also turns the show into a classic “Romeo and Juliet” story, which has, let’s face it, proven to be fairly popular over the past several hundred years.
If you were excited for the “Riverdale” version of “Clarissa” “Sabrina” before, there’s even more reason to be hopeful now. This might just end up being a wonderfully poignant reimagining of some classic characters, that will be enjoyable for old and new fans alike.