Chucky’s TV return embraces its campy past and a diverse future

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

A true classic never dies: a statement proven to be true with the 1988 slasher classic “Child’s Play” making a comeback television series this October. The series originally released episodes on YouTube, then began airing on Syfy and USA TV every Tuesday. “Chucky” follows Jake Wheeler, Devon Evans, Lexy Cross and Junior Wheeler, a group of middle schoolers trying to get to the bottom of the “Child’s Play” doll’s plan and understand why he is torturing Hackensack, N.J. civilians.

“Chucky” expands on diversity in the series, something much different from the original franchise. For example, the LGBTQ+ community is highlighted within the character dynamics. Jake and Devon’s friendship blossoms into a romantic relationship, and Chucky and Tiffany have a non-binary child, Glen/Glenda. This aspect of the show brings focus to the relationship between LGBTQ+ members and their parents.

In the show, Jake Wheeler has a hard time developing a healthy relationship with his father due to his sexual orientation. Though there was hostility within the household, escalating to physical abuse, Jake Wheeler, played by Zachary Author, still feels some remorse when his father is murdered by Chucky.

Jake confronts Chucky, and states how now they’ll never have a chance to work out their relationship problems. This shows there was still hope for the relationship deep inside, which most viewers could relate to when it comes to family. This leads to the show’s main theme of forgiveness. This is also found when we see the character development of Lexy Cross, played by Alyvia Alyn Lind, who grows to become an empathic character that contradicts her mean girl image. The show allows us to learn that everyone has a story that leads to the way they are later on in life.

After taking time to introduce new characters and a new storyline, the show began to move forward. To spark interest in old fans, George Donald Mancini — the creator of the franchise — found a way to incorporate original characters such as Tiffany, Nica Pierce, Kyle and most importantly Andy Barclay. These characters became the main villains and saviors of the show.

The writing gives the show a comic-book feel with Tiffany, played by Jennifer Tilly, being the minion for Chucky and his master plan, Kyle, played by Christine Elise, and Andy Barclay, played by Alex Vincent, being mentors for Jake Wheeler, Lexy Cross, and Devon Evans. Whereas with Nica Pierce, played by Fiona Dourif, we receive a continuation of her storyline, originating from “Curse of Chucky” (2013), leading to a devastating occurrence by the end of the season.

However, if you are new to the franchise, no need to fear knowledge of the background of these characters from previous movies. Mancini keeps in mind a new audience may be watching, so he inserts clips of the past movies sporadically throughout the season. It even includes new information about Chucky’s past as Charles Lee Ray with his girlfriend Tiffany prior to their original deaths, scenes which fans had never seen before.

The “Chucky” TV series has revamped an old classic to fit into the modern time. This brings interest to new fans with the use of technology, without the overuse of it, while still satisfying the original audience who grew up with ‘80s slashers.

Right after the hour-long season finale aired Tuesday, Nov. 30, it was announced season two is expected to be released in 2022, and fans cannot wait to see what the mystery/horror show has in store.


5/5 stars