In case you haven’t heard, Chucky is back and, by Chucky, I mean the real Brad Dourif Chucky and not that imposter Mark Hamill Chucky from the last movie. Not only is Chucky back, but he’s back in a television series which begs the question: How in the name of FAO Swartz can a series about a possessed psycho murder doll possibly work?
Two episodes into the television series, and I’m still not sure what the series is building to, but I have to say, it’s a lot of fun to go along for the ride.
The Chucky series centers around a young kid named Jake, a gay loner in a small town who is the constant victim of abuse and bullying. He happens upon the titular doll at a yard sale and, into retro things, he buys it and brings it home and soon realizes that his yard sale find has murder on the mind.
So, here’s the thing: The Chucky series never really tips its hat as to what Chucky’s true intentions actually are. While Chucky is a notorious serial killer and it would not surprise me one bit if he ended up murdering everyone by the end of this series, I also completely accept him as the mentor figure that Chucky sets him up to be — an evil, murderous mentor figure grooming a new generation of serial killer, but a mentor nonetheless.
If Chucky has actual thinly veiled affection for Jake and actually wants to look out for him and teach him how to, “take care” of his problems, it wouldn’t surprise a bit. The series deftly uses Chucky’s genuine affection for his own genderfluid child from Seed of Chucky to give him sufficient motivation to become Jake’s father figure.
I’m also very happy that they’re acknowledging that the other Chucky movies happened, especially the more goofy, stupid ones that I have a lot of love for. I’m sorry, but Seed of Chucky is one of my favorites and I will die on that hill – probably from multiple stab wounds.
The Chucky series has some impressive production values, sets a great atmosphere, and features some interesting principle characters and actors. Brad Dourif slips right back into the role of Chucky effortlessly and I am enjoying how the series is giving him time to give Chucky extra layers. Here, he seems more manipulative, the toy that plays with the humans.
Zackary Arthur plays Jake and I like this guy. Jake is really the perfect protagonist for this series as the series appears to be using bullying as a theme. The abuse he suffers not only makes him relatable and sympathetic, it also makes him the perfect foil for Chucky who, as I said, seems to have taken the role as a mentor to eventually make Jake a killer.
The main antagonist — if you don’t count Chucky as an antagonist — would be Lexy, played by Alyvia Alyn Lind. This is one of the problem spots of the series because, so far, Lexy’s only real motivation is meanness and she takes it to extremes for no discernable reason, including dressing up in a very awful Halloween costume for the sole purpose of bothering Jake — a stunt that is singularly cruel and ultimately pointless in the long run. Lexy needs more fleshing out beyond, “I’m rich, I’m spoiled, and I’m mean.”
Jake’s cousin, Junior, is also portrayed as a fairly awful person, but at least he has reason to be. He sees Jake as an interloper and has genuine jealousy towards him. At the same time, though, you can at least understand Junior and see where he’s coming from and so he comes off as a real person and not some cartoon character.
Overall, I’m impressed with the series so far. Like all long-form storytelling, the quality of the series fully depends on where it’s going and what it does when it gets there, but the first two episodes have opened up a world of possibilities for the series to explore. As I said earlier, I could see Chucky killing everyone and moving to a new location with a new set of characters for season two. I could also see Chucky and Jake teaming up as a mentor/murder duo. I could see Chucky getting defeated and destroyed again by the end of the season, only to return for revenge later or end up with a new group of potential victims.
The fact that the series has all these roads and the way is completely dark is deliciously tantalizing and I can’t wait to see where Chucky takes us.