Note: This review was originally published on SiftPop in December 2021. Also, read my review of the Chucky series premiere here.
Directly following the events of 2017’s Cult of Chucky, the new eight-episode series picks up in Hackensack, New Jersey, an unassuming town known in this world as the birthplace of Charles Lee Ray…also known as Chucky, everyone’s favorite killer doll. The first half of the season features an all-new cast, which is a refreshing change of pace for the series, which has mostly had Chucky as its lead character in recent entries.
Series creator/showrunner Don Mancini is once again in control, after having no involvement in the 2019 Child’s Play reboot (which featured Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky). Mancini himself is gay, and makes homosexuality a prevalent element of the series after toying with it in some of the films. It doesn’t feel forced or “woke” — there’s a care put into it that makes it feel genuine.
The original characters bring a really interesting take to the Child’s Play universe, and that’s on family dynamics. There are lots of them in Chucky; every main character has some sort of family drama that becomes involved in the story one way or another. At these points, Chucky can get pretty dark and depressing, all before straying back into fantasy/horror territory. It’s a tricky balance, but the series does a remarkably good job for a debut season.
Speaking of convoluted, something introduced in 2013’s Curse of Chucky was the concept of multiple versions of the killer doll existing at the same time. The Chucky series continues this tradition to the extreme, crafting some fun guess-work — which doll is which? — and the beauty of it is that they can kill their villain as many times as they want, and the franchise will endure. It can keep going for as long as Don Mancini wants it to.
And it looks like it will keep going for a while longer: Season 2 of Chucky is set to debut in 2022. Bloody, profane, unique and exciting, the series will delight fans of the source material and newcomers alike. After a killer first season, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.